Diversity and inclusion @ FEB

Who we are

Since early 2014, every faculty relies on a Diversity and Inclusion Committee made up of committed staff and students and managed by a diversity coordinator to promote and ensure a pluralistic and inclusive environment for staff and students within the faculties. The FEB Diversity and Inclusion Committee is committed to thinking and reshaping the faculty’s existing processes from a diversity and inclusion perspective and is engaged with the outline of future practices promoting an inclusive and diversity culture within the FEB.  Do all students and staff members have sufficient opportunities to develop their full potential? Is the education offered tailored to a diverse inflow? Do we offer sufficient support for an increasingly diverse audience? Our FEB team determines its own plans and strategies supported by the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy Cell. We communicate in English. Anyone who is enthusiastic about supporting us in further developing the FEB diversity policy and creating an inclusive environment for everyone is very welcome to join.

You can contact us at diversity.eb@ugent.be

Our international FEB Diversity and Inclusion Committee consists of:

  • Ilse Ruyssen (Diversity coordinator)
  • ZAP: Selien De Schryder,  Tarik Aouam, Veronique Limère, Marleen Easton 
  • AAP: Catherine Acosta Garcia, Khalid Mehmood, Julia Mokhtar, Pooria Jafari
  • ATP: Ann Maes, Lies Vermeesch, Tine De Decker
  • Students: Gauthier Houpline, Mariska Van de Sompele, Margaux Corens, Gust Bossuyt, Noor Deceuninck

Link to the Ghent University Diversity and Inclusion page: https://www.ugent.be/en/ghentuniv/principles/diversity-and-inclusion

Our initiatives

Although diversity is not part of the university-wide policy choices at the Faculty of Economics and Business, the FEB is nevertheless undertaking numerous actions to initially achieve two goals. On the one hand, efforts are being made to increase the intake and progression of students from various backgrounds by identifying and eliminating specific obstacles that these students experience. On the other hand, the committee raises awareness about the importance of diversity and inclusion among staff members by means of training courses and a learning network with diversity and inclusion as central themes.

Without being exhaustive, we highlight four ongoing initiatives below.

1. Threshold research among students

In the academic year 2020-2021, the committee (after consultation with the monitoraat, the director of education and Stuveco) started a series of in-depth interviews among students with a migration background at the FEB to gain insight into the barriers that affect the significantly lower throughflow figures for this group. Once all obstacles have been identified, the faculty diversity& inclusion committee will look for solutions.

2. Graduate Support Network

In October 2020, a survey was sent to the OAP and completed by 130 respondents. The interesting results revealed a number of practical problems. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go in terms of integration and social cohesion within the department or research group. Some indicated to have experienced racist behavior in the workplace, a lack of psychological support and a lack of English-language communication

3. Learning network Diversity
The diversity committee wants to create a learning network with diversity as the central theme. Initially, the committee wants to bundle the existing – but fragmented – expertise on diversity and inclusion within the FEB and give all colleagues and students the opportunity to call on this.

There is an initial list – which is far from exhaustive – containing all relevant publications on diversity of FEB colleagues. This is a warm appeal to email your own work on diversity and inclusion to diversity.eb@ugent.be . All information will be included in a Biblio list 'FEB Expertise on Diversity and Inclusion'. In the future, the committee wants to list the extent to which diversity in teaching materials is addressed.

4. Awareness of the importance of diversity among staff members
Training to bring diversity to the attention of FEB staff members is also a high priority on the committee's agenda. The diversity committee has already organized several sessions of the Active Bystander Training. The impact of bullying, intimidation and other transgressive behavior can lead to stress, anxiety and (mental) health problems. Often bystanders do not intervene because they do not know what is expected of them or how they can respond. The award-winning Active Bystander Training teaches participants techniques to act effectively when they are victims or witnesses of transgressive behaviour.

The workshop Bias Interrupters for selection committees is also an important training. In theory, a selection committee always tries to select the best candidate for a position, but in the meantime scientific evidence shows that this is not as easy as it seems.

Research shows that people are less objective when making selections than previously thought. Classic recruitment procedures often even lead to the selection of the wrong candidate. This is mainly due to implicit bias, stereotypes that we all have. This bias is an unconscious factor in our selection procedure, unless we actively learn to recognize the bias and take action. In the interactive workshop you will learn to look at the role implicit bias plays in the recruitment of academic staff. We discuss the current recruitment methods and look at how they can be adapted – where possible.


Upcoming Events

The FEB Diversity and Inclusion Committee is more than excited to invite you to a Debate on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the Workplace that will take place on November 5 2021. D&I is increasingly included as a strategic pillar especially within large corporations, governments, universities and non-profit organizations, and is considered a key requirement for excellence and innovation. To solve a complex problem, one usually gets a better result when a team of talented people with different backgrounds and perspectives (gender, age, experience, ethnic-cultural diversity, disability, ...) dares to think together, rather than bringing together the smartest minds in the organization with similar backgrounds. This has been shown by several studies from both the academic and corporate worlds. To achieve greater innovation and excellence, a more inclusive talent-centric approach is needed. Together with its external stakeholders, Ghent University wants to engage in a debate on this issue.


The debate Diversity and Inclusion is an initiative of:

- The Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Ghent University

- The Vice-cabinet of Ghent University


14:00-14:15 Welcome

Prof. Mieke Van Herreweghe, Vice Rector of Ghent University

Prof. Patrick Van Kenhove, Dean Faculty of Economics and Business Administration UGent


14:15-14:45 D&I in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Prof. Ilse Ruyssen, Introduction D&I 

Prof. Dirk Van de gaer, Equal opportunities


14h45-15h15 Keynote speaker Diversity & Inclusion

Mieke Van Gheluwe, Vice President Finance (Global) at Dell Technologies


15h15-16h15 Panel discussion Diversity & Inclusion

Bram Van Braeckevelt, Alderman of Personnel of the City of Ghent

Sara Wouters, Diversity and Inclusion (incl. Wellbeing) senior manager PWC

Mariam Harutyunyan, Strategic Advisor KinArmat Consulting

Representative of ArcelorMittal

Representative of Janssen Pharmaceutica

Moderation: Peter Musschoot, leadership trainer & team coach


16h15-16h30 Q&A


16:30-16:45 Speech

Bart Somers, Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Equal Opportunities


16h45-17h00 Conclusion

Final words in co-creation with the public

Closing words Badra Djait, coordinator Diversity & Inclusion University Ghent  


The debate will take place in the Kapittelzaal of St. Peter's Abbey in Ghent on November 5 from 14:00-17:00. The debate will be held in Dutch, and is free to attend for everyone, both from within and outside of UGent. Registration is mandatory and can be done via this link: https://webappsx.ugent.be/eventManager/events/diversiteiteninclusieopdearbeidsmarkt 

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact the Coordinator Diversity & Inclusion of UGent, via Badra.Djait@ugent.be.


“Diversity leads to excellence. Coming into contact with a multitude of views and people enhances insights, leads to better analyses and therefore solutions. Diversity is thus about the composition of the workforce and student body based on a number of demographics and socioeconomics such as gender, nationality, worldview, sexuality, ethnicity, age, cultural background, disability, and so on. 

But committing to greater diversity - and thus improving the reflection of our super-diverse society within an organization and eliminating inequalities - is not enough in itself, inclusion is crucial. "Inclusion is about valuing the input of different perspectives of diversity." 

 - Badra Djait, central coordinator Diversity and Inclusion at Ghent University -