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Diversity in the DNA of IMC Krems

Every person is different. If you approach this diversity positively, you can use it for the benefit of all. A master's thesis in the Management degree programme is dedicated to a discrimination-free working environment in large Austrian companies, as IMC Krems lives it itself.

“Pride Month” is celebrated worldwide in June – a time when LGBTQ+ diversity management is the focus topic. For IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems this is always the case, because it is part of its “DNA” to create equal framework conditions for all employees, lecturers and students in teaching, research and administration. Diversity and equal opportunities are anchored in the corporate strategy and corporate values and are systematically incorporated into awareness-raising and public relations work.
Master’s thesis on diversity management

Katrin Daniela Berger, MA, MBA, has successfully completed the master’s programme in Management at IMC Krems with her thesis “Discrimination-free working environment in large Austrian companies. Potentials of LGBTQ Diversity Management”. In her thesis, she deals with the concrete measures already taken to create a discrimination-free working environment for employees of the LGBTQ community. In addition, she analysed which steps are essential in the future to ensure this goal. Even though many efforts have been made, it is still necessary to advance endeavours in many companies.
“According to surveys, every fifth member of the LGBTQ community conceals their sexual orientation in the work environment for fear of negative consequences,” says Berger. Discrimination is confirmed by many experts, but it also often occurs unconsciously due to a lack of experience in dealing with those affected. In many large companies, however, LGBTQ diversity management is already established – in fact better than in small and medium-sized enterprises, Berger found out. The establishment also depends on the industry. In any case, large domestic companies define clear rules for cases of discrimination. They use their efforts to enhance their image, as they are seen as open, dynamic companies, which means they run the risk of “pink washing”. They implement a wide range of measures – yet there are recommendations for action, especially for dealing with transgender, intersex and bisexual people. “The essential goal of diversity management is a corporate culture characterised by appreciation,” says Berger.

Diversity of measures at IMC Krems

For IMC Krems, the master’s thesis confirms that diversity management can be implemented in a versatile way in everyday life at the university. “We founded the advisory board ‘Gender & Diversity’ at the end of 2019 and are thus constantly developing our strategies in the field of diversity and equal opportunities,” says CEO Mag. Ulrike Prommer. “The topic must be anchored at all levels – and not only during Pride Month, but always. This is a matter of course for us as an international, colourful university of applied sciences with high standards for ourselves.”
With regard to gender & diversity, IMC Krems implements, among other things, measures to increase the proportion of women employed on degree programmes and the number of research proposals, to build gender and diversity competences in the IMC team by means of training, to deal with students with disabilities and to make different gender identities visible.

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