The research world is based on competence, creativity and active participation. Differences between individuals and groups provide many sources of innovation, inspiration and outstanding accomplishments. Workplace Diversity & Inclusion encourages the involvement of fellow workers with different backgrounds in an atmosphere of respect and fair play, in line with the principle of equal value.
Men and women, talented young people and experienced staff, individuals with disabilities and people of different nationalities with widely varying backgrounds all work at WSL. Workplace Diversity & Inclusion represents the standpoint that diversity at all levels promotes an innovative approach to solutions and first-class results.
- A non-prescriptive point of contact and advice centre for all staff. The subject areas are: work and management issues and incidents which are perceived as discrimination or harassment, as well as general support and mediation.
- Advice to the directorate on issues of Workplace Diversity & Inclusion. This applies particularly to equal opportunities for women and men.
- Implementation projects pursuant to the performance agreement with the ETH Board on issues relating to diversity. Focal issues are also determined and developed through staff surveys.
- Reporting (including regular reporting), along with the corresponding data analyses for the ETH Board and other management levels, and reporting to and cooperation with national and international expert panels.
- In addition to previous occasions such as ‘Future Day’ (formerly ‘Daughter’s Day’), events like the 2011 ‘Women’s Day’ will be organised around gender-equality themes.
- WSL Workplace Diversity & Inclusion participates in the Commission for Gender-Equality Issues of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research and the ETH Domain, as well as serving on the Commission for Scientific Integrity of the ETH Domain.
The performance mandate for the ETH Board for the period 2013-2016 points to four focal areas for Workplace Diversity & Inclusion, and the same priorities emerged from the key results of a Theme Detection Study conducted among staff regarding diversity.
1. Compatibility of family and career
With the aid of researchers from all the sites, a comprehensive catalogue of potential measures relating to the issue of the compatibility of family and career was compiled for the management. Currently, the emphasis is mainly on promoting flexible working hours and their implementation at all levels for both men and women.
On various sites there are also rooms/quiet areas available for mothers to spend time with their children. Individual advisory sessions about for example maternity leave are provided as and when necessary.
2. Women in (prospective) management positions
Companies and institutions with mixed management teams have been shown to achieve more sustained success than other organisations, and packages of measures to promote gender equality have now produced a large pool of very highly qualified women.
In spite of this, the proportion of women in executive bodies, such as boards of directors, executive committees and management boards, has only fractionally increased. In the fields of science and technology in particular, some 30 years of gender equality policy have hardly led to any women executives serving in decision-making bodies.
At WSL, in future women will continue to be supported by various career development projects. Currently, best practice remains based on a two-pronged approach: the promotion of new talent after a PhD and postdoc, and individual coaching sessions for women who are qualified for a management position.
In addition, the Equal Opportunities Working Group and the HR managers of the ETH Domain have taken the first steps towards jointly tackling the issue of recruitment processes and career planning for men and women.
3. ‘Mediation projects’ for women in 2013
‘Mediation projects’ too serve to increase the proportion of women in male-dominated bastions of the labour market. Women employees who are interested take a specifically targeted training course to boost their career possibilities.
4. Promotion of young talent
WSL currently plays host to around 150 PhD candidates. Of these, some 60 are doing the whole of their PhD at WSL.
A questionnaire for PhD students was put together with PhD candidates from the Staff Committee and members of the Directorate to find out about their motivation for doing a PhD at WSL and their satisfaction with their employment conditions, the working atmosphere and the supervision of their PhD. The results made clear which aspects are particularly crucial for a high level of work motivation at WSL. Our young talent will be fostered accordingly, not least by providing them with an attractive work environment.
A PhD project involving PhD students from all the sites is currently being conducted based on the results of the survey, and recently a PhD society was established. This focuses on exchanging and transferring knowledge and carrying out specific continuing training.
Development opportunities for various groups of employees
Continuing professional training opportunities are available to many employees from different age groups and educational backgrounds and with differing employment conditions and statuses (full- or part-time). Against the background of the highly competitive international research environment, processes will be optimised and criteria found that take even more account of the principle of equality with regard to career planning possibilities and continuing training.
- Equal Pay Day Switzerland
- ETH Board 2016 - Advancement of women
- Equal ETHZ
- Studie "Women matter 2017" von McKinsey
- BFS Statistik: Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann - Indikatoren der Erwerbstätigkeit 2016: Aktualisierung
- Women in industry report (on ey.com)
- ZIWA Zurich International Women's Association
- Gender Campus