Equal opportunities at IOCB Prague

The mission of IOCB Prague is the pursuit of scientific knowledge through innovative research and the education of new generations of scientists.

We understand that the success and productivity of our researchers require a stable and supportive social environment.

We take into account the personal circumstances that might affect our employees and their partners and/or families and make every effort to support them in achieving a healthy work-life balance.

As an institute, we are committed to providing a positive working environment for all employees regardless of their nationality, gender, ethnicity, or disability status.

These principles have been formalized within the Equal Opportunities Plan, which was approved on 29 October 2021 and is effective through 31 December 2026.

Formally, IOCB Prague’s support for the equal-opportunity agenda is underpinned by the HR Excellence in Research Award.

Equal Opportunities Plan (2021–2026) PDF (2 MB)
Equal Opportunities at IOCB Prague in Numbers Report (July 2022) PDF (301 kB)
Equal Opportunities at IOCB Prague – Monitoring Report 2022 PDF (122 kB)

Equal opportunities officer:

Current situation (July 2022)

As of 27 July 2022, the institute employs a total of 956 employees (an increase of 58 people from July 2021), of which 472 are women and 484 are men, including academic staff, PhD students, and technical and administrative staff. Of this number, 245 staff members (25.6%) are foreign nationals (23.8% in 2021).

Overall, the number of men and women at the institute remains quite balanced. Of the scientific staff, the proportion of women is still marginally lower (46.1%), while in the technical and administrative workforce there are more women than men (59.8%).

Among scientific staff, the percentage of women decreases as the level of seniority increases. The area where there is most scope for improvement is group leaders.

IOCB Prague is flexible in offering part-time employment in justified cases. This is important because part-time work is one of the solutions to the work-life balance problem for parents of young children and other caregivers.

IOCB Prague’s Women in Science initiative celebrates the achievements of female scientists and encourages employees (especially early career researchers) to take inspiration from them in informal settings. It organizes various events, such as discussions on childcare options and ways to facilitate the grant application process during maternity, and discussions with female foreign speakers from the IOCB Invited Lectures series.

Support for parent employees

  • Childcare supplement for mothers returning to work before their child has reached the age of four years
  • Financial support for parents of disabled children on a case-by-case basis
  • Financial support for parents of young children traveling to conferences and workshops to help cover the cost of childcare in order to take their child to the conference with them
  • Financial support for parents of children up to the age of 15 to cover the cost of a children’s camp
  • Parent employees commuting to Prague from greater distances have priority in the allocation of parking spaces within the IOCB Prague campus.

Planned actions

The action targets of the Equal Opportunities Plan are broken down according to the planned timeline of their achievability.

Short-term goals (by 31 December 2022)

  • Equal Opportunities Plan available publicly and to employees ✔️
  • Create a role of equal opportunities officer ✔️
  • Gender-neutral language in job advertisements ✔️
  • Publication of the equal-opportunity agenda on the intraweb and website ✔️
  • Visibility of female researchers (invited lectures, personal career path workshops) ✔️
  • Mapping the needs and requirements of employees at IOCB Prague
  • Need to collect sex/gender disaggregated data on staff and students ✔️
  • More women to apply for awards and IOCB Prague fellowships ✔️

Medium-term goals (by 31 December 2024)

  • Awareness of possible bias in hiring decisions
  • Training/mentoring available for underrepresented groups
  • Ensuring that English and gender-neutral language is used in internal communication
  • Transparency in internal issues relevant to equal opportunities
  • Ensuring that anti-sexual harassment and bullying policy exists
  • Raising awareness of the gender dimension in research and science ✔️

Long-term goals (by 31 December 2026)

  • Review of previously achieved goals and formulation of a new Equal Opportunities Plan
  • Summary information on equal opportunities measures available to all candidates for the positions in the groups and Equal Opportunities Officer available to attend hiring interviews
  • Mapping the needs and requirements of IOCB Prague employees