MBS strengthens its support and signs the LGBT+ Higher Education Convention of L’Autre Cercle
© Université de Montpellier
On Thursday 13 October, Montpellier Business School (MBS), Centrale Nantes, EM Normandie, KEDGE, the University of Lorraine and the University of Montpellier were the first six institutions to sign the LGBT+ Higher Education Convention of L’Autre Cercle.
Created with the support of the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Sylvie Retailleau, and in partnership with two student associations, CAELIF and FAGE, this commitment is to create a caring and inclusive work and study environment for all LGBT+ staff, teachers and students.
A commitment that is part of the MBS diversity policy
In 2014, MBS signed the first LGBT Commitment Charter of L’Autre Cercle alongside eleven Montpellier-based companies. “This commitment was immediately translated into the implementation of training actions for MBS managers and employees, and enabled us to host the association’s first annual conference on the topic “Tomorrow: an inclusive professional world for LGBT+ people,” explains Benjamin Ferran, CSR and Sustainable Development Manager.
More recently, MBS had the opportunity to contribute to the 2nd edition of the LGBT+ Barometer Autre Cercle – IFOP and to the organisation of the first afterworks for the inclusion of LGBT+ community in companies. “It was obvious in relation to the school’s mission to accept the invitation and to participate in the extension of this action plan to the students,” adds Benjamin Ferran.
Four key objectives to change the environment of higher education
“Not being yourself, being afraid that your colleagues at work or at school will find out that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex etc. has an impact on your well-being and on your performance at work and in your studies. The goal is for higher education to be a place of openness, where everyone can feel confident, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” explains Charles-François Perrone, Head of the Convention at l’Autre Cercle and 2010 MBS Alumni.
For all LGBT+ employees, students and teachers, the members of the Convention commit themselves to:
– Create an inclusive work and study environment
– Ensure equal rights and treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
– Supporting victims of discriminatory comments or actions
– Measuring progress and sharing good practice to improve the working and learning environment in higher education
The institutions are also committed to a zero tolerance policy towards all types of discrimination and to training students to be the responsible, caring and inclusive professionals of tomorrow.
“To be acknowledged as the Business School of Inclusion” – Bruno Ducasse, Dean of MBS
MBS has implemented enhanced tools to fight against all forms of discrimination, starting with access to the Wethics platform. “Students and employees who are victims of discrimination, harassment or sexist and sexual violence can request independent and free support from a specialised lawyer”, explains Benjamin Ferran.
In terms of employee training, the actions implemented following the signing of the Convention have been integrated into an “Equali-learning” prevention programme run by the Human Resources and CSR Department.
On the research side, the MIND Chair assists companies in implementing diversity policies in order to transform managerial practices and make organisations more inclusive.
Finally, the students are also involved in the Care About Us association, a team dedicated to raising awareness of risky and discriminatory behaviour, which offers another open door to potential victims.
“MBS’s ambition is to be acknowledged as the Business School of Inclusion. This agreement reinforces the existing mechanisms and initiates a greater number of initiatives that will be carried out by the entire MBS community”, concludes Bruno Ducasse, Dean of MBS.