Diversity at Fraunhofer EMFT

Living diversity together

At Fraunhofer EMFT, recognizing and promoting individual skills, characteristics and backgrounds is important to us. We believe that diversity is our strength and that it should be integrated into our day-to-day work. Why? Because it not only increases well-being and satisfaction in the workplace, but also enriches the entire institutional atmosphere. Our diversity efforts extend across various areas of responsibility and are deeply embedded in our corporate structure and culture:

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1. Diversity as a social and entrepreneurial reality

For us, diversity is more than just a fact - it is a driver of innovation. The exchange of different ideas and perspectives promotes creativity, innovation and the ability to solve problems.

2. Empathy, cooperation and equal opportunities

Diversity creates equal opportunities for all. It helps to overcome discrimination and inequality. We promote actively diversity and sensitize ourselves to the needs of all. This promotes cooperation across cultural and social boundaries and contributes to the creation of a fairer society.

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3. Respect and appreciation

Both legal requirements and ethical standards demand a respectful approach to diversity and the avoidance of discrimination. Through specific diversity projects, we ensure that we meet these requirements and create an inclusive working environment. At Fraunhofer EMFT, all employees are recognized, respected, appreciated and valued.

"We are committed to these principles and reaffirmed this in 2011 when we signed the 'Diversity Charter'. We are thus committed to creating a prejudice-free working environment in which everyone has the opportunity to develop their full potential."


Dimensions of diversity

The importance of gender diversity at Fraunhofer EMFT

At Fraunhofer EMFT, we firmly believe that gender diversity is of great importance, not only for a harmonious and balanced working atmosphere, but also for the success of our company. Men and women often bring different ideas and opinions to a team due to their diverse life experiences and perspectives, which complement each other and lead to better collaboration. As a leading research institute, we are not only responsible for innovative technologies, but also for shaping an inclusive and diverse working environment. Therefore we see ourselves not only as a role model for society, but also for other institutions and organizations.

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Our initiatives for equality and gender diversity:

We have already taken important steps to promote gender equality and equal rights at Fraunhofer EMFT:

More women in science and leadership

  • Promoting the proportion of women: We actively strive to recruit more talented female scientists and improve gender balance in our teams.
  • Promoting female careers: With programs such as TALENTA and FATALE University, we offer targeted coaching in areas such as mindset, language, branding, self-presentation and negotiation skills to support women on their way to management positions.
  • Promoting interest in tech professions: Girls' Day is one of our initiatives to get girls and young women interested in technical professions and inspire them to pursue a career in science.

Less pressure to perform for men

  • Man 4.0: We are actively involved in educational work to challenge outdated notions of masculinity. Our aim is to promote a modern image of men that focuses not only on professional success, but also on work-life balance and family commitment.
  • Part-time opportunities for men: We offer our male employees the opportunity to use part-time models in order to better reconcile family and career.
  • Parental leave for fathers: We encourage fathers to take parental leave in order to play an active role in the family while continuing their professional development.

Genderneutral language

  • Regular diversity check: We continuously check our internal and external written sources for gender neutrality. We use both manual and automated checks to ensure that our communication is inclusive and diversity-conscious.
  • Moderate use of gender-inclusive language: We pay attention to the appropriate use of gender-appropriate language without resorting to exaggerated formulations. We use language that is inclusive of all genders and non-discriminatory. Both masculine and feminine forms are used in order to address all genders.
  • "Our language should be inclusive without changing the core of our communication." (Jennifer Salagean - HR Development)  

We are proud to drive these initiatives forward and will continue to work hard to create a working environment where diversity and equality are celebrated and valued. Our vision is to create a world where everyone has equal opportunities, regardless of gender, and where diversity is seen as a strength and source of innovation.

Generational diversity at Fraunhofer EMFT

At Fraunhofer EMFT, age differences are not an obstacle, but a source of strength. In many of our business units, mixed-age teams work hand in hand. This enables us to benefit from the diversity of knowledge, qualifications, skills and perspectives of our employees. Our experienced employees bring valuable knowledge and skills to the institute through years of work, while younger employees bring fresh ideas and contribute to innovation and progress with their energy and curiosity, in addition to their competencies and knowledge. However, it is important to emphasize that energy and curiosity are not limited by age and can be found in employees of all age groups. We focus on every employee at every stage of their working life and career. Their contribution is invaluable to the success of Fraunhofer EMFT.

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Our initiatives to promote generational diversity:

  • Knowledge transfer: We believe in lifelong learning and promote the transfer of knowledge across generations. Our employees have the opportunity to continue their professional and personal development. Expert sessions, role models and collaboration between different age groups are just a few examples of how we optimize knowledge transfer.

  • Promoting young talent: We invest in the future by developing programs to promote young talent. This includes collaborations with schools, colleges and universities as well as targeted training programs. We want to encourage and support young talent to develop their skills and interests within our organization.

  • Public relations: Fraunhofer EMFT is proud to be present at many congresses and trade fairs. This high visibility opens up a wide range of project opportunities for us at regional, national and European level. We are committed to sharing our expertise and innovative strength with others and working together to find solutions to the challenges of our time.

  • Personal growth: We believe that every employee has the potential to develop personally and professionally. We therefore offer personal development measures that are individually tailored to the needs of our employees. These measures enable employees to realize their full potential while learning from the experience and expertise of their colleagues. Mentors play an important role in empowering their mentees and promoting overall wellbeing at the institute.

Generational diversity is an integral part of our corporate culture at Fraunhofer EMFT. We pride ourselves on valuing and encouraging the different life experiences and perspectives of our employees. This diversity is not only an asset to our team, but also a key to our continued success in research and development. We are committed to further expanding our generational diversity initiatives and creating an inclusive work environment where everyone can do their best, regardless of their age.

Equal opportunities at Fraunhofer EMFT

An open corporate culture based on equal rights is important to us. Equal opportunities and fair pay are core values at Fraunhofer EMFT. Our aim is to create a working environment that is free of prejudices and in which every employee can develop through maximum authenticity. A team made up of employees with different experience and training, such as apprentices, journeywomen, engineers and foremen, is often more successful due to the different skills and perspectives. "Diverse" teams, made up of experts with different areas of expertise and experiences, such as physicists, chemists, biologists, and mechanical engineers, are strongest at the boundaries between disciplines.

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Our efforts continue:

  • Transparency in pay: we promote transparency through clear salary structures and criteria, and we also constantly review our pay practices to further minimize the gender pay gap. We are guided by clear salary levels of the TvöD, which does not provide for differences in gender.

  • Diversity of sexual orientation: We are committed to an inclusive working environment in which employees feel safe and respected regardless of their sexual orientation.

"Equal opportunities and fair pay are not only important morally, but also for the success of our institute. Our goal is a future without a gender pay gap." (Jennifer Salagean, HR-Development)

Cultural diversity at Fraunhofer EMFT - Our initiatives to promote diversity

At Fraunhofer EMFT, we value and promote the cultural diversity of our employees. With a total of 155 employees from at least 23 different nations, diversity is an integral part of our day-to-day work at the institute. We welcome employees regardless of their ethnic origin, nationality, religion and culture. This diversity of mentalities and cultural perspectives contributes significantly to our ability to innovate, increases motivation and at the same time promotes equal opportunities. Employees with different cultural backgrounds and skills in a team are an asset in high-performance teams, as they contribute to a higher capacity for innovation, motivation and equal opportunities at Fraunhofer EMFT.

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Our initiatives to promote cultural diversity:

  • Language courses for employees: We offer language courses that enable our employees to improve their language skills or learn a new language. This not only promotes internal communication, but also enables our employees to network better in a globalized world.

  • Bilingual communication culture: At our institute, we cultivate a bilingual communication culture in German and English. This facilitates collaboration and the exchange of knowledge between employees from different countries and language areas. We believe that diversity in language is the key promoting understanding and collaboration.

  • Worth knowing: At the institute, we regularly organize a "German Lunch" and thus give foreign-language employees a good opportunity to improve their German language skills in a relaxed atmosphere and at the same time get to know German culture better. This not only strengthens integration, but also communication and understanding among employees.

  • Cultural awareness: We plan to introduce cultural awareness programs to promote understanding and appreciation of different cultural backgrounds. These programs will help to reduce prejudices and create an inclusive work environment where every cultural perspective is valued. 

  • International partnerships: We aim to strengthen partnerships with international research institutions and companies in order to promote cultural exchange and realize joint projects. These partnerships will enable our employees to work in intercultural teams and benefit from different global perspectives.

  • Celebrating cultural diversity: We plan to organize events and activities to celebrate cultural diversity. These events will offer our employees the opportunity to share their cultural traditions and customs and to get closer to each other.

"Promoting cultural diversity at Fraunhofer EMFT is not only an ethical imperative, but also a key to our success in a globalized world. We pride ourselves on creating an inclusive and diverse work environment where every employee can reach their full potential, regardless of their cultural background." (Jennifer Salagean - HR Development)

Physical and mental abilities

We promote an inclusive culture and support employees in all situations, including through barrier-free working - in the spirit of active inclusion. People with physical or mental disabilities work for us in a wide variety of positions and are given the opportunity to develop their full potential.

Our initiatives:

  • Equal opportunities officers: All Fraunhofer institutes have local contact persons for equal opportunities issues. Their task is to monitor the implementation of equal opportunity concepts and ensure that they are implemented.
  • Our General Disability Manager represents the interests of the severely disabled.

Our diversity goals

Our four diversity goals are the guiding principles of our inclusive and diverse corporate culture at Fraunhofer EMFT.

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1. Strengthening awareness of diversity
One of our key objectives is to raise awareness of the importance of diversity. Through targeted awareness-raising measures and training, we break down prejudices, challenge stereotypes and promote an open dialog about diversity.

2. Structural anchoring of diversity
By structurally anchoring diversity in company processes, we ensure that diversity is considered and internalized at all levels, in recruitment, career development, decision-making and company management.

3. Creation of an inclusive work culture
With this goal in mind, we promote the creation of a working environment in which all employees feel equally accepted, respected and supported. Discriminatory behavior is proactively countered.

4. Promotion of diversity
Our goal of promoting diversity within Fraunhofer EMFT involves recognizing and valuing a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, skills and perspectives.

Unconscious Bias and Awareness

We want to continue to raise awareness of the importance of diversity in everyday life, communicate the effects of individual bias (unconscious bias) and learn constructive ways of dealing with it in order to further reduce prejudices and promote an open discourse on diversity.

Our initiative:

With the help of awareness-raising workshops at Fraunhofer EMFT, we communicate data, facts and trends. Our workshops cover 10 dimensions of diversity: 

Gender, sexual orientation, social background, language level, professional diversity, religion, belief, ethnicity, mental diversity, limitation/disability and age.

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The roots of our employees

Prof. Dr. Amelie Hagelauer, Institute Director:

>> Diversity enriches the Fraunhofer EMFT. For us, every single person counts, with their individual experiences, perspectives and characteristics.<<


For more diversity in the world of work

Since November 2011, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has been a signatory to the Charta der Vielfalt.


What is diversity for you?

Interview with Jennifer Salagean on Diversity@Fraunhofer EMFT.


Female scientists at Fraunhofer

We open big doors for research in practice.

Change starts with us.

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