ESSEC Business School has a long-standing commitment to addressing issues of diversity, tolerance and respect for others. Since 2020, these actions have been a core part of our School’s strategy, and as such, concern all our campuses. They have been integrated as a constitutive part of ESSEC’s overall ecological and social transition strategy (the Together strategic pillar), under the “Diversity & Inclusion” action plan. Consequently, the team in charge of the Together strategy is the main reference body on these topics and is responsible for representing, governing and promoting this policy among the School’s management bodies. A permanent member of this team is specifically responsible for managing the Respect for Others Policy.
ESSEC has developed a reference document to define its overall policy on respect for others. ESSEC is truly committed to these issues. However, we are acutely aware of their complexity and of the need for this policy to be understood and implemented as part of a continuous improvement process, based on feedback from members of the community, insight from external experts, and the emergence of best practices in the higher education sector. Therefore, the overall approach will be re-evaluated on an annual basis so it can be further developed and adapted to the needs and realities of the ESSEC community.
The charter for the respect of others
The Respect for Others Charter is a Charter for good conduct which encourages respect for others’ ideas, words, and physical and mental integrity within and outside the boundaries of ESSEC campuses. The Charter's aim is to combat all hateful actions and forms of discrimination (sexist, racist,homophobic...). It applies to the entire ESSEC community, individually and collectively. On all our campuses, regardless of their status - student, participant, professor, external lecturer, co-worker, or partner - each and every one of us is required to become aware of it, to subscribe to it, to practice it and to respect it on all occasions.
Everybody should concur to the following principles of behaviour and should commit to exercising them in any circumstances:
- Adopt a benevolent attitude for those around us in all activities: academic, pedagogical, events, celebrations, professional occasions and on social networks.
- Respect each person’s right to speak during group work, team meetings, campus events; refrain from interrupting others, from shouting at anyone; speak in turns, ensure that others are offered the opportunity to express their opinion;
- Respect the opinions, values and identity of others in their differences (gender, sexual orientation, age, origin, language, religion, opinions and possible political affiliations, etc.).
- Refrain from using any hateful, demeaning, sarcastic or contemptuous language
- Not use abusive, offensive or rude language, especially avoid sexist and/or lewd remarks; and all other forms of inappropriate behavior.
- Not harass others, neither morally nor sexually, with the understanding that it is the person targeted by the comment or behavior who is in a position to judge whether they felt the behavior or comments were insulting or inappropriate.
Online reporting platform
An online reporting platform has been set up to facilitate reporting violations of the Charter of Respect for Others to the administration. This platform is available 24 hours a day and can be used by students, professors and staff.
The Diversity Fresco
The development of Diversity Fresco was initiated in 2019, through a partnership between ESSEC Business School and Belugames, a company specializing in educational games and cooperation. This Fresco is designed to help fight against discrimination in the same way as the famous Climate Fresco does for climate issues. The Diversity Fresco is a tool designed to help build awareness about discrimination and to challenge preconceptions surrounding issues of discrimination and inclusion within organizations (schools, universities, companies, associations, etc.).The various concepts and definitions used on the cards which make up the Diversity Fresco are based on the academic expertise of Junko Takagi, Chaired Professor of the Leadership & Diversity Chair at ESSEC, as well as on research in cognitive sciences and social psychology.
The Diversity Fresco is based on the same educational techniques as the Climate Fresco. It works as an interactive and experiential awareness-raising workshop that lasts three hours, for a group of six to ten people, run by a specifically-trained facilitator. It is based on a set of concept cards, which serve as the basis for discussion and debate. As part of the workshop, the participants are expected to work as a group to produce a logical process.
At ESSEC, this initiative has been offered at the beginning of the academic year 2021/22, to the 420 students admitted to the Grande École Program through its competitive entry exam. It will then be extended within two years to all students in pre-experience programs in a first version – adapted to the French cultural and legal context – was designed and presented to 45 member schools of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE) on July 7, 2021.
Prevention and awareness within the ESSEC community
The school's 2,200 new students were made aware of issues relating to gender-based and sexual violence a few days after they started their studies. Since last year, this was done through a play by the "Act'Théâtre, Le Miroir des Gens" troupe.
In addition, student association managers undergo training on issues pertaining to respect for others and ESSEC's internal policy. They receive specialized training on sexist and sexual violence, provided by the firm Ekiwork.
More broadly, content on themes related to respect for others and inclusive management is integrated into the curriculum, particularly in law and organizational behavior courses.
Finally, the members of the ESSEC Comex have also received specialized training by our partner Ekiwork.