We are facing the situation that approximately half of the PhD students in Europe are women, but the levels of women researchers decrease at the postdoctoral level and drop dramatically in leadership positions. These numbers demonstrate a dramatic waste of talent and resources in education, research and the labor market.
To overcome the gender imbalance in leading positions at CeMM, we joined the H2020-funded project “LIBRA”. Together with 12 top European research institutes of the EU-LIFE alliance, we are actively working on the improvement of our institute policies in four domains:
- Recruitment policies and procedures
- Career development and training
- Work-life balance
- Sex and gender dimension of research
Supported by a gender expert organization, we first evaluated the current status of gender equality at CeMM and now created a tailored Gender Equality Plan which contains detailed actions to
- Remove a gender bias during recruitment
- Give mentoring and training to all scientific staff to raise awareness and facilitate career development
- Increase Work-Life balance for CeMM employees
- Raise excellence by including sex and gender dimension in research
- Increase attractiveness of CeMM as an employer for female scientists
Diversity is a key feature of a modern and successful workplace. It allows access to a larger talent pool, and increases the number of viewpoints and experiences in a team, which results in improved productivity and the personal growth of all team members. To increase workplace diversity, it is important to assess and restructure recruitment processes to ensure objectivity and inclusiveness.
This recruitment handbook was created to inform the institutes participating in the LIBRA project, and to support them in hiring the most suitable candidate, and increasing workplace diversity, which provides the basis for creativity and ultimately success.
One of the biggest challenges in recruitment is to overcome unconscious biases and to structure the individual processes. In order to do so, this handbook compiles a series of recommendations for a more fair, objective, and transparent recruitment process for senior leadership positions in science research institutes. These recommendations can also be applied more broadly to include the recruitment of PhD students, postdocs and technical staff.