C. Orelli - A more equal opportunities education
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Chiara Orelli Vassere is the Gender and Diversity contact person on the SUPSI Board. She graduated in history in Rome and currently directs the Institute for Transition and Support at the Division of Professional Education.
Can you tell us about your career path?
In the past I directed the Italian edition of the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland and then SOS Ticino, a non-profit organisation active in supporting the unemployed and migrants. I later held the position of institutional coordinator for domestic violence and was a member of the cantonal parliament.
As the Gender and Diversity contact person on the SUPSI Board, have any steps been taken, in your opinion, in terms of equal opportunities within our institution?
Yes, important work has been done, studded with small and large achievements, in the direction of full recognition of equal opportunities and inclusion of diversity. Above all, the tenacious and constant commitment to transforming the cultural model or paradigm that normalises or at least does not problematise inequalities into a progressive awareness of the need to integrate the theme of equality both into the educational offer and into all the organisational and administrative components and realities of SUPSI is decisive. Action Plans on equal opportunities, the promotion of equal careers, the setting up of tools against discrimination, sexual harassment, mobbing, the development of measures to reconcile family and study and/or work: these are all part of a path that is now consolidated in its basic approaches and will not be forgotten in the future.
How do equal opportunities fit into the global theme of sustainable development?
SUPSI has set itself a sustainability policy that considers all its facets. Equal opportunities, an objective of the 2030 Agenda and of the Federal Council's 2030 Equality Strategy, are fully part of the sustainability and social responsibility objective of our Institute and are well noted, also through the illustration of some of the good practices implemented, in the first Sustainability Report, released by SUPSI in 2021.
What challenges still lie ahead for us as a university?
Personally, I think it is a priority to insist on promoting a more gender-sensitive and inclusive education through a programmatic commitment to integrating these issues into the curriculum as a whole. Gender medicine, inclusive urban planning (in cities and spaces traditionally designed according to the needs of traditional male labour and with spatially defined social hierarchies), women's work with no or low pay: these are just some of the important themes in this perspective, and it is good that SUPSI should be able to take up their innovative potential to a greater and more organic extent than it already does.