From the ecosystems we study we know that diversity improves their long-term development and resilience. Research teams where people from different backgrounds and perspectives work together are more creative and productive. We can achieve scientific excellence only if we provide an inspiring workplace that attracts diverse outstanding people and fosters individually tailored career paths for all. Thus, we are committed to providing a welcoming, diverse and inclusive work environment that enables our researchers and other staff to work together constructively and harmoniously, regardless of their background or identity. For us, this includes an organisational culture characterised by mutual respect and support for all. We have laid down our guiding principles and structural implementations in our Gender Equality Plan and our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Important elements here are the removal of barriers and the provision of differentiated support to achieve equal opportunities. For our respective achievements, we were honoured with the TOTAL E-Equality award in 2023.
According to the jury, IGB received the TOTAL E-QUALITY award for the years 2023 to 2025 “due to its exemplary actions in terms of a gender- and diversity-friendly organisational culture”. For example, important milestones in gender equality have been achieved in recent years, such as the introduction of gender- and diversity-sensitive recruitment procedures, the promotion of the career development of young female scientists and the improved reconciliation of work and caring responsibilities. The jury acknowledges this progress and encourages the Institute in its efforts to achieve gender parity at all levels through more targeted career support for women scientists. This could be supported, among other things, by the introduction of a sound gender monitoring system.
We passionately support gender equality
We promote equal opportunities for persons of all genders and explicitly consider intersectionality. The aim of gender equality measures at the IGB is to enable people of all genders to participate equally in everyday working life at the IGB and to develop their careers on an equal footing. In doing so, we make a special effort to counteract the structural disadvantage of female scientists and persons with care responsibilities. To this end, we are working on five fields of action:
- Improving gender balance in all career stages at the IGB through active recruitment and a balanced hiring process.
- Promoting the career development of female scientists at the IGB.
- Further improve a women and diversity friendly atmosphere and working conditions at the IGB.
- Promote family-friendly working conditions at the IGB.
- Changing society's perception of women in science.
Promoting gender equality and preventing gender discrimination and harassment is an important task for all IGB members. Concrete measures to this end are set out in our Gender Equality Plan. The Director is responsible for implementing measures to achieve these goals and is actively supported by the Equal Opportunities Officer and her deputy.
We foster diversity, equity and inclusion
With our human resources strategy, we constantly strive to offer our scientists and science support staff optimal working conditions at all career levels. These efforts are regularly evaluated externally within the framework of the "HR Excellence in Research" certificate of the European Commission. Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy describes our deep conviction that diversity and inclusion makes IGB a better workplace for all, and how we intend to achieve this.
We expressly welcome the increasing proportion of international colleagues and work intensively on overcoming language barriers. We give our staff a maximum of individual freedom so that they can develop and use their creativity in the best possible way. In addition to interdisciplinary thinking and working, we value researchers who enrich our experience with new methods and research approaches. IGB has a Diversity and Inclusion Group that provides a safe space for interested people to exchange. Our diversity officers are important points of contact for staff and managers, and a well-structured and versatile conflict counselling centre helps to turn friction into constructive developments, prevent discrimination and clarify cultural misunderstandings. We are signatories of the Diversity Charter and actively participate in the German Diversity Days.
We welcome colleagues with disabilities!
People with disabilities are particularly dependent on the protection and solidarity of society. At IGB, we offer people with disabilities or chronic illness individual support that goes beyond legal requirements.
Information about disabilities and health restrictions is voluntary, also in the application process. If this information is provided, both our transparent recruitment process and our disabled persons’ representatives ensure that this information does not have a negative impact. In cases of equal aptitude, applicants with severe disabilities will be given preferential consideration.
It is important for us to understand the needs of our employees and to find individual solutions. For people with disabilities or chronic illness, these include, in particular, optimisation of
- flexible working hours
- mobile work
- workplace equipment
- part-time work options
- acceptance and support by colleagues and superiors
As further support, scientists with fixed-term contracts and good performance who have long absences due to their disability or chronic illness can receive contract extensions to compensate for these absences. In this way, the IGB promotes equal opportunities and career development for scientists with disabilities or severe health issues. Further, we support colleagues to obtain an official certification of their disability status.
We are proud of our inclusive and diverse working atmosphere and welcome all colleagues - with all their individual needs and requirements.