Equality and Diversity Award 2023 to university lecturer Aira Huttunen

The Equality and Diversity Committee of the University of Oulu has issued the Equality and Diversity Award 2023 to university lecturer Aira Huttunen for strengthening the voice of a gender minority through research.
Aira Huttunen

Huttunen defended their doctoral thesis on embodied information practices of transgender people in November 2022. Huttunen’s research is in the field of Information Studies and the research material consisted of 37 interviews with Finnish people of different ages who identified as transgender. The results of the study underline the stigmas faced by transgender individuals and the fact that schools, healthcare providers and the media do not offer sufficient information on gender diversity. The research thus provides important information for teachers and healthcare professionals, for example, who can address the shortcomings of the current information practices and better cater for the needs of transgender people in the future.

The leading association for Information Studies, The Association for Information Science and Technology, assessed Huttunen’s research as pioneering and rewarded them with a doctoral dissertation award earlier this year. The award description outlines that Huttunen’s doctoral thesis is the first extensive research on the information practices of Finnish transgender people and among the first to examine the topic globally.

Honorable mention to Mirka Rauniomaa for advancing equality and diversity

Mirka Rauniomaa

The Equality and Diversity Committee awarded an honorary mention to university lecturer Mirka Rauniomaa, who has actively implemented equality measures in her faculty. Rauniomaa has, for example, promoted the introduction of gender-neutral toilets through discussion, and she represents the Faculty of Humanities in the Code of Conduct work.

The recipients of the award and honorable mention were selected from candidates nominated by members of the university community. The awards were issued at the Children’s Day at Work event on November 24, 2023.

The University of Oulu has issued the Equality and Diversity Award since 2009. The goal of the award is to promote the achievements relating to equality and diversity and to increase awareness on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion among the university community.

Last updated: 24.11.2023