Let’s reflect on our own behaviour. How to act in a way that is not perceived as bullying or harassment by the other party? Let us keep in mind that we all have an obligation to abide by the Code of Conduct for Employees, Students and Graduates of Mendel University in Brno.


As a teacher, how can you prvent sexual and gender-based harassment or discrimination?

At MENDELU we pride ourselves on our community atmosphere and friendly relationships. However, we need to strive to be professional at all times and never cross the line, which may often be thin.
  • “UNIVERSITY AS TINDER PREMIUM?” Do not establish intimate relationships with students. Teachers and students may be adults, but they are not on an equal footing. While you, from your position as teachers, may perceive the relationship as consensual, the student may feel pressured into the relationship and may not be able to end it freely. Communicate professionally, even on social media, without being too informal. How else do you ensure that your friend/partner is not treated preferentially? People around you will think so and may make it unpleasant for them as well.

  • “FLIRTING IS THE SPICE OF LIFE?” Let us not reduce male-female relationships solely to the sexual dimension. Not everyone is comfortable with double entendres. But that does not mean we cannot treat each other courteously.

  • “LET’S HAVE A PRETTY GIRL GIVE A PRESENTATION.” Women usually want to be considered beautiful, but in the context of their studies they expect to be recognised for their knowledge and skills, not their looks. Moreover, how does this make those who have not been selected feel? Keep such remarks to yourself.

  • “THIS SPECIALISATION IS NOT FOR GIRLS, FOR BOYS.” The world has changed, traditional roles no longer apply, women and men can have the same interests and talents.

  • “SHE’S SURE TO GET MARRIED SOON AND GO ON MATERNITY LEAVE.” You can never know for sure. And even if this was the case, children are not a career obstacle these days. Nobody asks men those questions.

  • “DARLING, PRINCESS, ...” We want to be nice, but students are our colleagues, not children. They may find such a way of address offensive.

  • “IT’S THE GIRLS’ FAULT ANYWAY.” We are solely responsible for our own behaviour. The way a woman is dressed does not give anyone the right to treat her inappropriately.

  • “HOW ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE SENSE OF ALL THE GENDERS THESE DAYS?” We need to respect human individuality. If you are not sure how to address a person, ask them and respect their wishes.

  • “A STRONG PERSONALITY CAN HANDLE IT.” Where there is a power asymmetry (students – teachers; superiors – subordinates), it is difficult to object and defend oneself.

  • “CLOSED DOOR OR OPEN DOOR?” When dealing with students, we should keep the door open. This creates a safe and transparent environment.

How to prevent workplace bullying as a superior?

  • Let's pay attention to our colleagues and see if there are any personal problems or if anyone is prone to bullying.

  • If we listen to the problems of our people, we will have much more informal authority.

  • Assign a mentor to the new employee who will help him/her with orientation to the university and with settling into the job.

How to prevent sexual harassment among students? 

Can students also harass their teachers?

  • This can also happen in an academic environment. Professionalism, dignity and respect must also be maintained on the part of students.

How to maintain good relationship and effective cooperation in general?

  • Respect the work of others: every job is important for MENDELU, we are one team.

  • Do not blame others: we are all working as best we can.

  • Show mutual understanding: we are human, and we all have our worries. Let’s clean up our own mess before we start criticising others.

  • Be polite to each other: please, thank you, I am sorry…

  • Do not spread rumours or gossip: let’s only share verified and useful information.

  • Never be aggressive, even in written communication: no exclamation marks, no text in red, do not CC people who do not need to be included.

  • Feedback is an important part of how work teams function: but with no ridicule or scorn.

  • Let’s not take ourselves so seriously: staying on top of things helps.

  • Let’s pay attention to what is happening to the people around us: “Indifference towards others as well as indifference to the fate of all of us in our entirety is precisely what opens the door to evil.” (Václav Havel)

  • Universities have a high public profile: let us strive to be role models