Sexual Harassment Awareness Day

Every year on April 25, the Swiss Higher Education Landscape draws attention to sexual harassment in the higher education context as part of Sexual Harassment Awareness Day (SHAD for short). Empa participates in this important day of action.

Important Information and Background
This Day is organized with a Swiss wide Campaign led by the University of Lucerne. The goal of the campaign is to preventively counteract sexual harassment and sexism. A culture should be created and cultivated at our institutions in which there is no place for sexual harassment. More info about the campaign can be found below.
More About the Campaign

Swiss universities and research institutions want to ensure that all members of the higher education landscape can study and work in a safe and respectful environment. This is why swissuniversities launched the Sexual Harassment Awareness Day as part of the project "P-7: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Higher Education Development". This will be held throughout Switzerland for the first time on March 23, 2023. The aim is to highlight the causes, forms and consequences of sexual harassment. Because preventing sexual harassment requires knowledge and visibility.

Find out all about the campaign and watch expert videos and a video statement of all directors and principals involved in the campaign on the campaign website.

Project SHAD 2024

The "True Stories: what is too close?" Project

At the 4 ETH research institutes PSI, Empa, Eawag and WSL, we use the occasion of the second national Sexual Harassment Awareness Day to broaden the topic of sexual harassment in order to address the range of experiences of transgressive behaviour.

It is important to us to offer a safe space to discuss the content of these experiences.

The cross-institutional project "True Stories" was created exactly for this purpose. 


SHAD 2024 activity at PSI, Empa, Eawag and WSL

On 25 April, we invite employees to take part in discussion rounds on transgressive behaviour, addressing experiences and talking about how personal lines can differ. Employees can find more detailed information on the intranet websites of the institutions or informational e-mails.

Programme of 23. March 2023




Access Link

10.00 – 10.30h

Press conference (national)



Online Webinar “The True Costs of Sexual Harassment for All” (EN)*



Online Webinar «LGBTIQ+ and Sexual Harassment» (EN)*



Online Webinar «What is Sexual Harassment and how do I find support?» (DE/FR) *

Conducted in German:

  • Speaker: Stella Harper (Co-Founder and Co-Leader of SpeakUpETH), Lilian Fankhauser (Co-Leader Departement for Equal Opportunities and person of contact for sexual harassment at the University of Berne)

Conducted in French:

  • Speaker: Marijn van der Meer (Founder of the campaign Paye ton EPFL), Aurélie Nusbaum-de Francesco (Avocate de la gestion des conflits du travail, personne de confiance et médiatrice)

Target Group: All (especially students)

Link German



Link French


Online Panel «Crisis management in the event of sexual harassment» (DE/FR)

  • Participants: Prof. Dr. A. Epiney (Pricipal Unifr), Y. Pieles (Investigating Person, Unibas), O. Schroeder (Crisis communications expert), N.N. 
  • Moderation: Prof. Dr. N. Amstutz (FHNW, Co-president FORUM)
  • Language: Simultaneous translation German-French
  • Target Group: Persons from the crisis team of your institution and all other interested parties



*These online events will be published in the Intranet after March, 23.


What is Sexual Harassment?

The Gender Equality Act defines sexual harassment as any behavior with sexual connotations that is unwelcome from one side and that violates a person's dignity. The harassment can occur during work, study, events and other contexts. It can originate from employees, students, members of partner companies or from external parties and can affect all persons. Sexual harassment can be carried out with words, gestures or deeds and can originate from individuals as well as groups.

There is a simple rule for assessing whether or not it is sexual harassment: the decisive factor is not the intention of the harassing person, but how their behaviour is received by the person concerned. In other words, whether they perceive it as desirable or undesirable.

Further useful information regarding sexual harassment can be found on the ETH Website here (external link) and contact points at Empa (intranet access required) on the topic can be found online.

Sexual Harassment is not tolerated at Empa. If it is committed there are clear consequences under personnel law or even disciplinary consequences.


Weitere Informationen

Empa employees find points of contact on the intranet.