Equal Opportunities / Work Life Balance

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for men and women, and supports efforts to create an equitable work life balance.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is committed to bringing more women into applied research. It aims to increase the proportion of female scientists in all areas where they are currently underrepresented. In order to achieve this objective, the different circumstances and interests of men and women need to be identified and integrated in every project and program from the outset, and reviewed at regular intervals thereafter. The resulting findings are used as a basis for improving gender equality aspects in personnel recruitment and throughout the working lives of our female employees.

Diversity Management

Fraunhofer research teams are composed of a well-balanced mix of members. This enables them to exploit the creative potential of both sexes and a variety of different age groups, cultural backgrounds and scientific disciplines, and thus improve the quality of their results.

Work-life balance

The ability to achieve a happy equilibrium between leisure interests, family and work lies at the very heart of the equal opportunities ethos. A healthy work-life balance is a high priority for all our staff.

To be an attractive employer, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft needs to give employees every opportunity to organize their work flexibly. Looking towards the future, our intention is to systematically expand the part-time and teleworking arrangements we already offer, along with the hitherto little-used option of taking sabbatical leave.

Overview of our tools to promote equal opportunities:

  • Pact to increase the number of women in MINT professions (Mathematics, IT, Natural sciences, Technology) – Fraunhofer Talent School
  • Girls' Day
  • Work experience for girls
  • Program for female postgraduate students 
  • Fraunhofer mentoring program
  • Childcare 
  • Support for active fatherhood

Fraunhofer’s mentoring program

Mentoring is a highly-effective method of encouraging personal development, in which experienced senior staff offer guidance to more junior colleagues within a personally-defined and structured professional relationship. Mentoring plays an important role in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, particularly when it comes to increasing the percentage of women in scientific, engineering and management positions.