Code of Conduct

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Code of Conduct

We, the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ensure that our environment is respectful and professional for ALL of our members including professors, students, research, administrative and technical staff, and lecturers.

We treat everyone with the same respect with which we expect to be treated.

We behave and present ourselves professionally at all times.

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Our environment is one of mutual respect

MAVT definition:

  • We treat people respectfully and supportively regardless of their gender, origin, nationality, religion, ideology, physical ability, sexual identity, and professional status.
  • We treat people respectfully and supportively regardless of our location or situation.
  • We encourage open and fair communication and a conflict-free culture.
  • If conflicts arise, they are handled in a fair, impartial, and solution-oriented manner.
  • We do not tolerate needling, insulting and contemptuous remarks, defamation, assignment of humiliating tasks, intensive monitoring, and unjustified criticism.
  • We speak and write in a gender neutral format, i.e. "they" or "she or he".

We consider the following examples as inappropriate behavior:

  • A student leading an exercise group (Übung) states to another student, “This is a typical female student that will not pass the exam.”
  • Derogatory and needling comments about someone's appearance and skills, e.g. commenting to a female on hearing of her success, "You're sooo smart.", implying that her success is due to looks and not brains.
  • A lecturer responds to a student question in class in a degrading manner.
  • A student says to a well-educated technician: “Prepare the tool by tomorrow!”
  • A person of seniority refuses to meet another person to resolve a conflict.
  • A lecturer leaves an inappropriate drawing on the board throughout a lecture.

Our environment is free from threats and violence

MAVT definition:
Violence at the workplace includes any action, incident, or behavior that departs from reasonable conduct in which a person is assaulted, threatened, harmed, injured in the course of, or as a direct result of, her or his work (see International Labour Organization, UN).

Physical violence of any kind is unacceptable in our community. Psychological violence is subtler but no less cruel:

  • We do not use verbal or non-verbal insults, humiliation or abuse.
  • We do not use verbal or non-verbal pressure or threats.
  • We do not harass or stalk.

We consider the following examples as inappropriate behavior:

  • One person blocks use of experimental equipment and threatens that if the other person does not back down in their rightful claim to use it that they will make sure that it is bad for their career.
  • A professor threatens a doctoral student to sabotage their career if they do not include questionable data in a research paper.

Our environment is free from sexual harassment

MAVT definition:
Any harassing behavior of a sexual nature or other behavior related to the person's sex that adversely affects the dignity or equality of women or men in the workplace is discriminatory (see Swiss Gender Equality Act, Art. 4).

This includes:

  • Sexist jokes and suggestive, disparaging or contemptuous remarks or actions.
  • Displaying and disseminating pornographic material including posters, screen savers, and any visible display.
  • Undesired physical contact.
  • Exploitation of a dependent relationship.

We consider the following examples as inappropriate behavior:

  • A pornographic screen saver on a personal laptop visibly displayed in a work or study environment.
  • Unwanted physical contact from a colleague or superior, e.g. putting an arm around someone or touching them repeatedly.
  • A lecturer making sexist jokes or comments in a lecture or meeting with students.
  • Making comments that women are less tough or less skilled in any area just because the are a woman, e.g. 3D spatial reasoning, working with tools or computer programming.

Our environment is free from discrimination

MAVT definition:
Intentional or unintentional discrimination of persons in comparable situations because of actual or attributed group-specific characteristics such as gender, origin, nationality, religion, ideology, physical ability, sexual identity, and professional status. (see Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, Art. 8, para. 2) will not be tolerated.

  • Unequal appraisal, promotion, and treatment on the grounds of gender, origin, nationality, religion, ideology, physical ability, sexual identity, and professional status.
  • Discrimination because of pregnancy or maternity.
  • Sexist or racist representation of persons in presentations, video material, and computer programs.

We consider the following examples as inappropriate behavior:

  • Not adhering to the maternity leave laws and regulations.
  • Disparaging and personal comments in teaching evaluations, i.e., comments about the lecturer’s appearance, tone of voice, or person.
  • Not hiring someone due to their gender, origin, nationality, religion, ideology, physical ability, and sexual identity.
  • Application of rules and processes differently to people in the same position based on their gender, origin, nationality, religion, ideology, physical ability, and sexual identity.
  • Making degrading comments to a student based on their sexual orientation.
  • Making unwelcome comments about looks or dress.

Our environment is free from bullying (mobbing)

MAVT definition:
Bullying is the regular, systematic harassment by colleagues, managers or subordinates over a long period (weeks) with the aim of exhausting the person in question and gradually driving them out of their job or study program (see Leymann H, 2006).

  • Targeted exclusion of colleagues and team members, refusal of contact and withholding information.
  • Needling, insulting, contemptuous comments and defamation.
  • Assignment of humiliating tasks, intensive monitoring, and unjustified criticism.
  • Intentional exclusion or taking advantage based on language.

We consider the following examples as inappropriate behavior:

  • Excluding a relevant person from meetings, access to meeting minutes and events.
  • Excluding a person from meetings due to language, i.e., by not inviting them or holding the meeting in a language that not all people understand.
  • A student team in the first semester of the Master's program alienates an international student who is just learning German by holding all of their meetings in German.
  • A professor demands confidential information about reviewers from a post-doc in another lab.

How to react to inappropriate behavior:

  • If you are a victim of inappropriate behavior, you should respond quickly and firmly.
  • A slow response makes it more difficult to convey that the behavior or actions are inappropriate and unwelcome. It must be understood that you will not tolerate such behavior. If you are silent or passive, this can be interpreted as acceptance of the inappropriate actions and behavior.
  • If verbal communication is unsuccessful, inform the harasser in writing that the inappropriate behavior must stop. See: Sample letter to someone harassing you.
  • Talk to other people. Determine if others are having similar experiences.
  • If you are unable to resolve the situation, approach someone from the list of contacts. They can discuss (confidentially if requested) your situation and advise on the best course of action.
  • Document your situation. Keeping a detailed log in which you note all incidents (i.e. the person harassing you, date, time, place, words, gestures, type of offence, witnesses) can make it easier to prove inappropriate behavior and actions.
  • When the person in question does not change their behavior, the process escalates.
  • People who accuse innocent people of inappropriate behavior can expect the same consequences as those who harass others!

Contact

Contact the relevant organizations and people depending on who you feel most comfortable to talk to:

Inside the department

Prof. Dr. David J. Norris

Prof. Dr. David J. Norris
Head of Department
LEE P 210
Tel: +41 44 632 53 60
E-mail:

Maddalena Velonà

Dr. Maddalena Velonà
Studies Coordinator
LEE K 210
Tel: +41 44 632 21 99
E-mail:

AV D-MAVT Helpdesk

LIMES - Ladies in Mechanical and Electrical Studies
E-mail:

ETH Zurich Entities

Dr. Monika Keller

Dr. Monika Keller
Office of Equal Opportunities
CLD D 11
Tel: +41 44 632 62 76
E-mail:

Ueli Lott

Ueli Lott
Human Resources
LEE K 206
Tel: +41 44 632 70 92
E-mail:

Prof. Dr. Wilfred F. van Gunsteren

Prof. Dr. Wilfred F. van Gunsteren em.
Head of Ombudspeople
HCI G 237
Tel: +41 44 632 55 01
E-mail:

Dr. Maryvonne Landolt

Dr. Maryvonne Landolt
Ombudspeople
E-mail:

SGU

SGU
Safety, Security, Health, Environment
Tel: +41 44 342 11 88
Intern: 888

Adrian Meier

Adrian Meier

Andreas Romer
SGU Security
HPI F 26
Tel: +41 44 632 27 79
E-mail:

 
 
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Thu Jun 22 17:53:50 CEST 2017
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