Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Diversity refers, among other things, to the extent to which different social groups that exist in society are also represented within an organisation. Within the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FSW), this translates as the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and identities among both students and staff.

Inclusion looks at the climate this diversity generates: the extent to which the culture within an organisation is open to diversity. The Faculty not only values diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and identities but also actively embraces them. In this way, FSW strives to ensure a shared sense of togetherness.

Diversity and inclusion at FSW

Diversity and inclusion are important priorities for the Faculty, so FSW’s goal is to create a community of students and staff in which everyone feels heard and welcome as a full member. However, if we are to maintain this sense of belonging and community and deepen it still further, this calls for sustained effort from us all. Insult or exclusion on the basis of gender, ethnicity, belief, sexuality, socio-economic background, or on any other basis, is completely unacceptable. It is not just that being open to different perspectives, backgrounds, and opinions enables us to discover the other in ourselves, but also that in doing so we remain true to a fundamental value enshrined in the identity of our rule of law: the right of every individual to be part of a just and cohesive society.

Why are diversity and inclusion important?

The global nature of society means that we are increasingly engaging in a diverse society. Misunderstandings and misinformation create the risk of social polarisation. By appreciating and respecting each other's differences, but also by reflecting these differences in the character and composition of students and academic staff, we can make a difference both at the individual and at the collective level. Attention for diversity and inclusion is therefore crucial for a just society in which social groups whose voices have so far been less heard are more fully represented.

n addition, several studies show that paying attention to diversity and inclusion leads to more innovation and a better study and work climate. So we should stress the importance of mutual respect – even when we disagree – and encourage the exchange of ideas, views, and positions. Only then can we form an inclusive knowledge community.

The Faculty's Vision and Strategy Plan (PDF) explains in more detail why diversity and inclusion are such an important priority for FSW.

FSW Code of Conduct

For us to build a healthy inclusive learning and working environment at the Faculty, we must not only take into account a diversity of perspectives and experiences, but also pay attention to the wellness and well-being of each individual member, from a collective sense of belonging. This brings us to the question: how does individual well-being relate to the well-being of another, or of the group as a whole? Our Faculty’s social code of conduct is an important guide here.

POPcorner FSW

As the first POPcorner of Leiden University, the POPcorner FSW has now been providing extra support for students for over 10 years. And the support point is increasingly available to staff members looking for guidance in their contact with students. In close cooperation and coordination

with the FSW’s study associations, student advisers, and student networks, we give students and lecturers a way to actively build a diverse and inclusive learning environment.

If ten years ago the POPcorner focused mainly on first-generation students, now students from all backgrounds know how to find us – whether as a buddy for international students or a companion for a fellow student with a disability, or to organise social activities, get a bit of extra support, or get help with writing skills, statistics, or community building. The POPcorner is run for and by students - and in the meantime we have built up considerable experience of dealing with challenges around diversity and inclusion. Since 2021, we have also been operating in The Hague from the Beehive, in a unique and energetic collaboration between the 3 faculties FGGA, FGW, and FSW and the Meeting Point. The main goals of the POPcorner The Hague are related to the further development of an inclusive community: from raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusiveness to putting these principles into practice. The focus lies particularly on community building, well-being, and promoting a safe climate of dignity and respect. In addition, students can of course benefit from similar services to those on offer at the older POPcorners in the broad area of study skills.

Nadia Mansouri

Coördinator POPcorner FSW

Nadia Mansouri

Failure in inclusion and/or social safety, will undermine the well-being of the individual (or organisation).

What exactly is the relationship between diversity, inclusion, social safety and well-being? 

We compare this to the double helix structure of human DNA, noting that we work/study in a diverse environment. Since a diverse working environment is not automatically inclusive, continuous efforts are needed to ensure inclusion. Therefore, we consider the first strand in the double helix structure of DNA to be the "inclusive" strand. 

If the first strand of the helix structure represents inclusion, then the second strand represents social safety - the behavioural norms needed to safely express differences in views and perspectives. 

A well-functioning DNA system ultimately contributes to a healthy human being. Similarly, social safety and inclusion are a necessary condition for wellbeing. Put another way, this means that shortcomings in inclusion and/or social safety will undermine the well-being of the individual (or organisation).

This website uses cookies.  More information.