Gender Equality Policy 2023
Overview of diversity and inclusion measures, policies and activities
European Research Institute for Gas and Energy Innovation, a.i.s.b.l. – ERIG – is committed to an inclusive work environment, where all employees at all levels of the organisation, regardless of their origin, gender, sexual orientation nationality etc., are treated equally and with respect and can unfold their full capabilities in the service to the objectives of ERIG. ERIG should be a generous and safe environment building on mutual respect both in regard to the individuals and to ERIG as an organisation. ERIG recognise the importance of gender equality and the goal the European Union have on gender equality in research, development and innovation. ERIG regards a diverse and competent workforce as of great value to the organisation. ERIG is connected via a framework agreement to its German Country Member, who support ERIG in human resource matters and provides expertise in gender equality and monitors sex/gender disaggregated data of the ERIG staff. Furthermore, ERIG share training activities and many features the German country member to improve gender equality, work-life balance and working culture within ERIG.
Code of Conduct
Description of current situation
Gender balance in management and decision-making
The Board of Directors recognise the importance of a balanced work force. Currently one of the members of the Board is female. In ERIG office there is a 50% division between the genders. ERIG employs engineers and communication assistants in project management, project coordination and project communication & dissemination. Typical projects are EU funded or third party projects with an European perspective.
Work-life balance and organisational culture
ERIG advocate a healthy work-life balance. Employees work with a large degree of autonomy of the day-to-day work and can often set their own priority of the tasks at hand. Additionally, all employees (in consultation with the supervisor) have the possibility to work from home, if this is done in a responsible way and does not jeopardise the quality of the work done for ERIG. This has been exercised in ERIG without significant draw backs on over-all performance, but to great personal gain in work-life balance for the individual employees.
ERIG is associated to several employee benefits via the German Country Member. This includes measures to improve team building such as common seasonal festivities and Info-breakfast etc. ERIG believes that physical health is an important factor in mental health and employees have benefits at fitness studios, company bikes, etc. In order to support the ERIG employees in the work-life balance, ERIG is associated to a service provider for life-situation-coaching, child support and home-care/elder-care that can be accessed by the employees anonymously.
ERIG remunerations is gender neutral and is based on qualification, working hours and performance. ERIG is a small organisation and independent of collective bargain agreements. ERIG orients their salary policy and is supported in HR issues by the German Country Member, DVGW e.v..
Method, resources, time
Measures against gender-related misbehaviour, or other forms of undesirable behaviour
Having a working environment where everyone feels safe is something ERIG takes very seriously. The Code of Conduct clearly defines desirable behaviour. Desirable and undesirable behaviour is discussed among the staff in open meetings with external support of a human resource specialist.
ERIG Office have weekly meetings with an open agenda, in which reflections are made on past work and an outlook on the work immediately ahead. There is also room for all personnel to address any other issue in regard to the work, cooperation and in regard to team spirit. Employees can also address the Secretary General confidentially, the external HR-support at the German Country Member and/or the ERIG President. The Secretary General have regular bilateral meetings with each employee about their engagement in ERIG, this is a regular and scheduled meeting where organisational culture and potential disturbances, and violation thereof are addressed.
Stereotypes and often prejudiced everyday thinking about gender, ethnic, cultural or religious affiliations and the associated attributions varies in many ways and are widely spread. A long-term goal is to create a stable gender- and diversity-sensitive organization. ERIG rejects the use of stereotypes, e.g. based on gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion and other personal characteristics. All employees are briefed about the existence and how to encounter stereotypical thinking and structural inequalities also from the background of the successful implementation of equal opportunities. This includes mutual transparent and appreciative information and communication.
ERIG considers a variety of different cultures to be an enrichment to the development of ERIG and its goals. In this regard, ERIG will continue filling new or subsequent positions by appointing applicants of different nationalities, as has been the case thus far.
Sexual harassment in the workplace includes unwanted sexual acts such as harassing physical proximity that is explicitly not desired by the person being harassed. This also includes solicitation for unwanted sexual acts and certain physical touching, as well as obscene jokes or sexual innuendos and inappropriate comments or jokes about employees’ appearance. Insinuations, that sexual accommodation could bring professional benefits is also sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is not tolerable. Indications of harassment will be investigated, and appropriate measures will be taken to create a trouble-free working environment. Efforts will be made to ensure that harassment at the workplace ceases. Harassment at the workplace is a violation of the duties under the terms of the employment. The managers in ERIG, in particular, are required to counteract harassment and to investigate cases that have come to their attention.
Those affected by harassment or discrimination in the workplace or employees who wish to report an incident of harassment or discrimination have the right to contact either the relevant manager, the external human resources resource or the president. The persons concerned are subject to the special protection and duty of care of ERIG and must not suffer any personal or professional disadvantages. Measures are not to be directed against the person concerned, but against the perpetrator. In order to avoid or reduce psychological and physical symptoms in the persons concerned or to reduce them, appropriate measures are taken without delay.
Mobbing or bullying occurs when, for example, hostility, harassment or discrimination is carried out by colleagues or managers, especially if these hostile and systematic acts take place over a longer period of time. Bullying must be prevented by all means available. The comments on sexual harassment also apply to mobbing and bullying. Contact persons for those affected or employees who wish to report such an incident, are relevant manager, the external HR resource or the president.
For a healthy working environment, it is not only personal well-being that is crucial. The way in which managers deal with the issue of illness/health also has an impact on every employee. To support employees, a family service is offered to ERIG staff for work-life-coaching service, which employees can access anonymously. The coaching is aimed at problems at the workplace as well as mental strain/stress.
Recruitment and career
ERIG search for suitable candidates independent of gender, religion, background and otherwise. Although, ERIG has an overall equal share between the genders, the male part has higher qualifications and higher qualified positions. The gender distribution in the education and degree programmes in the technical field, ERIG is recruiting from for more qualified positions, is male dominated. On the other hand, there is a female overweight in educations with communication and back office. This is clearly reflected in ERIGs current profile of employees. To counteract this manifesting itself or getting worse, ERIG would prefer female candidates for the project management positions male candidates in the communication oriented positions if similar qualifications are given in relation to competing candidates for the corresponding position – as far as there are no other special circumstance speaking against this (such as experience, qualification, personality).
Data collection and monitoring
The workplace situation is discussed with every employee in annual individual meetings with management. Records and basic data on gender or sex of staff and leadership are kept with strict compliance with the rules of privacy by the external human resource service provider.
On behalf of ERIG November 1st 2023
ERIG Secretary General