Diversity and Equality from Day One for First-Year Students 

Discrimination awareness is an integral part to the start of the schoolyear at ENSAI. All first-year students, be they future engineers or civil servants took part in a session delivered by the school’s three diversity and equality officers. 

Since November 2019, appointing diversity and equality officers is mandatory for French public organizations.

Raising awareness on discrimination

After introducing their roles as diversity officers, Valérie Chrétien, in charge of internships, Todd Donahue, Head of Humanities and International Relations, and Carole Essirard, executive assistant and in charge of continuing education, launched a Kahoot.

Students took this interactive multiple-choice quiz on their smartphones to assess their knowledge of discrimination-related topics. Kahoots help students engage through gamification.

First-year students were asked questions about the ratio of female to male students at ENSAI, gender pay gaps or the deadline for filing a complaint against racist remarks.

The talk then focused on the following themes: direct and indirect discrimination, sexism and sexual violence, LGBTQIA+ fight for equity and inclusion, racism, disabilities, antisemitism and islamophobia, and psychological harassment, better known as bullying.

Three Diversity and Equality officers at ENSAI

ENSAI’s diversity officers were appointed before the November 2019 law passed. Valérie Chrétien, Todd Donahue, and Carole Essirard have indeed been charged with promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion since May 2019.

“Students can come to us if they are victims or they witness discriminatory behavior. What is shared in person or via email ( stays confidential”, says Valérie Chrétien.

She also helps out students facing financial or mental health problems (depression, burn out) or disabilities. She assists them in finding relevant professionals or organizations to get the help they need.

ENSAI is a member of CPED

The Conférence Permanente des Chargé·e·s de mission Egalité et Diversité (Permanent Conference of Diversity and Equality Officers) gathers the officers from 62 French universities and 29 grandes écoles, including ENSAI. This network aims to fight discriminations of all kinds, to promote equality and diversity in higher education, and to share their best practices.

The CPED meets every quarter for two days in order to share its members’ activities in universities and grandes écoles. It deals with the problems their members may face while implementing a gender equality policy and helps come up with solutions.

Find out more about ENSAI’s values