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Gender Equality Plan

The aim of the Institute of Physics of Materials of the Czech Academy of Sciences, (IPM) is to elucidate the relation between the behaviour and properties of materials and their structural and microstructural characteristics. Emphasis is placed upon research into advanced metallic materials and composites with a metal base in relation to their microstructure and production technique. On this basis it is possible to optimise both the microstructure and material properties and to design advanced materials.

IPM is a research Institute with long tradition. It was established in 1955. Since that time, it has been continuously developed to the present day. The Institute has nearly 160 (135 FTE) employees at present. Since foundation the management of the Institute has placed great emphasis on the quality of interpersonal relations at the workplace and on teamwork. It makes sure that no one is discriminated against for any reason, such as gender, political preferences or religion.

The aim of the plan is to further develop the Institute to be an excellent equal-opportunity employer that gives students and employees an open, tolerant, welcoming and enriching environment where they can realize their full potential. In spite of the fact that this requirement is quite natural in a developed and cultured society, and in spite of the fact that it has been very well fulfilled since the establishment of the IPM, the management of the IPM developed this Equality Plan for the years 2021-2025. The plan is based on the ERA Communication 2012 framework which defined the gender equality in scientific careers, gender balance in decision-making positions, integration of the gender dimension into the content of research and innovation.
In particular, it addresses all mandatory requirements for a GEP demanded for participants in Horizon Europe projects.

Gender equality indicators and the availability of data disaggregated by gender and further categories play an important role in the gender mainstreaming. Data are publicly presented in annual reports of the activities of the Institute, which are published on the web page of the Institute.

Breakdown of employees by age and gender as of 31 December 2021:

age women men total
≤ 20 0 1 1
21 – 30 9 23 32
31 – 40 9 23 32
41 – 50 11 27 38
51 – 60 14 15 29
≥ 61 3 29 32
total 46 118 164

Breakdown of employees by job positions and gender as of 31 December 2021:

women men total
scientific worker 13 50 63
professional staff 14 42 56
other staff 19 26 45

The highest percentage of women, 33 % is in the position of the Department heads. A lower percentage is in positions of scientific group leaders. Here, women hold only 10 % of the positions. The long-term aim is to reach a same fraction of women in academic position as is the women fraction of absolvents of Czech technical universities (33% for the year 2022) and about equal fraction of men and women among supporting staff. The recommendation is that in all selection committees (either for recruiting new staff or for choosing a candidate for leading positions at the Institute) the members of both genders are represented.

The research teams leaders are responsible for creating correct and just working atmosphere without any unconscious bias or sexual harassment and are the persons to whom a violation of this principle should be reported.

The institute is taking actions to be a family – friendly employer as follows:

  • the employees have possibility to use the children daycare facility organized by the Academy;
  • the employees have possibility to use up to 5 free days in needs which are not counted in the holiday limit;
  • the employees have possibility to work part-time;
  • the group leaders have authority to agree in justified cases with working at home (home office);

Gender Equality Plan activities of the IPM are targeting an organisation gender equality objective, on the reflection of the European Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025 and all five thematic areas set up for the Horizon Europe programme:

  • work-life balance and organisational culture;
  • gender balance in leadership and decision-making;
  • gender equality in recruitment and career progression;
  • integration of gender dimension into research;

The main objectives of this Gender Equality Plan are the following:

  • increase the attractiveness and credibility of IPM as prestigious employer for the best quality and most qualified researchers in material science in the Czech Academy of Sciences;
  • remove barriers to the promotion of gender equality;
  • integrate the gender dimension into the content of research and development;
  • raise awareness of gender equality;
  • integrate the gender dimension into research content;
  • ensure gender pay equity;
  • promote cooperation with workers on maternity and parental leave;

This plan is a practical tool to promote and systematically support equal opportunities for men and women in research and development at the IPM in line with the current European Strategy for Gender Equality 2020-2025 and the requirements of Horizon Europe. The Gender Equality Plan is also consistent with recent national governance documents, mainly Gender Equality Strategy 2021 – 2030[1], Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.

[1] 8.1.3 Gender equality in the scientific profession,

8.1.4 Gender perspective in the content of education, science, research and Innovation,

8.2 Strategic part, specific aim SC 3 – Applying a gender perspective in the operation and management of education and scientific research institutions.

GEP available also as pdf.