The Leibniz Institute for Educational Media | Georg Eckert Institute (GEI) actively supports and promotes the legal right to equal opportunities for men and woman in science and academia. The legal basis for the GEI’s equal opportunities policy is the Niedersächsische Gleichberechtigungsgesetz - NGG (Lower Saxony Equal Opportunities Act) and the implementation agreement to the GWK agreement on equality between women and men (AV-Glei). The Institute also complies with The Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality issued by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leibniz Equality Standards.
Incorporating gender equality measures
Ensuring equal opportunities and a healthy work-life balance are the duty of all in leadership roles at the GEI. An equal opportunities officer and deputies are elected every four years and their right to be included in personnel policy decisions is formally defined at several institutional levels. The Equal Opportunities Plan (current version 2020-2022) enables the attainment of objectives to be continuously evaluated and specific measures and responsibilities for future targets to be defined. Data regarding the percentage of women employed in each income bracket, field and position is collected each year.
- Promoting equality through dialogue
The equal opportunities officer meets regularly with the management and heads of department to discuss and identify relevant issues, inform those in leadership positions of their responsibilities in promoting equal opportunities, and report on the progress of current initiatives. The officer is also in regular contact with the works council and other representative groups, and acts as a contact person for all employees in cases of conflict or complaint but also more generally. Ensuring equality between the sexes and preventing discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex are also the responsibility of all GEI employees. To support this important principle the guidelines for the use of gender-neutral language were updated in 2020 and a Code of Conduct for preventing sexual discrimination was approved.
- Specific measures for equality
The equal opportunities team has an annual budget, which it manages independently. These funds enable equal opportunities work to be carried out professionally and support individual training and career development for employees. The budget also supports activities that raise awareness of antidiscrimination measures or other relevant issues, and can provide for caregiving emergencies.
- Compatibility of work and family
The GEI strives to be a family friendly workplace.Its measures to enable compatibility between career and family were recognised in 2020 when it received the Total E-Quality award. Agreements providing for the flexible organisation of working time, for example, are regulated by a works agreement on working hours. In order to ensure those taking maternity or parental leave incur no professional disadvantages, the works agreement mandates a meeting prior to such leave to discuss the return to work. A checklist for pregnancy, maternity leave, parental leave and parental allowance, and the parent-child room for employees and visitors planned for the new building are further measures we are taking to ensure compatibility between career and family.
In order to achieve a diverse, equitable and inclusive atmosphere and compatible working conditions a diversity officer was appointed in 2020. The officer is responsible for implementing the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG) which involves representing the rights of people with disabilities, advising on the recognition, appreciation and promotion of diversity, and revealing and subsequently reducing any remaining disadvantages and barriers at all levels and in all areas.
The GEI was awarded the Total E-Quality certificate for the first time in 2020 for its commitment to equal opportunities for men and women and to being a family friendly employer. In awarding the certificate the jury highlighted the fact that equality is firmly rooted in the structure of the organisation - at management level and throughout the Institute. The success of these programmes is the result of excellent cooperation between the management, the staff council, the equal opportunities officers and the representatives for employees with disabilities at the GEI. Together they have implemented measures that include flexible working hours and education and training courses for diverse career paths.