Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We believe that excellence is fostered when diverse voices and perspectives come together.

Shaping change: This is what drives us at Forschungszentrum Jülich. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, we conduct research into the possibilities of a digitized society, a climate-friendly energy system, and a bio-based economy. We work on behalf of all people and therefore assume responsibility for ensuring that the findings of our researchers can be applied to benefit a diverse society.

Recruiting and retaining people from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences is an important prerequisite for success in our work. We seek to attract creative individuals who love to think in unconventional ways: thinkers who are excited about bringing forward our missions. We believe that excellence is fostered when diverse voices and perspectives come together. Further, we believe that innovative thoughts come to light in a climate of mutual respect and collegiality, where people are willing to question themselves and to learn from one another.

Timeline with main D&I milestones for FZJ. 1956: Forschungszentrum Jülich is founded.  1988: Prof. Dr. Jaqueline McGlade is the first woman to direct a research group.  1990: FZJ first network for women in science is established. 1998: Implementation of FZJ´s first Gender Equity Strategy. 2000: FZJ hosts its first Girls’ Day, with the aim of inspiring more young women to consider careers in science. 2002: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Dzwonnek is the first woman to be appointed Vice Chairperson of FZJ’s Management Board. 2003: The daycare center “Kleine Füchse” is opened. 2008: Prof. Dr. Katrin Amunts is the first woman to lead one of FZJ’s scientific institutes 2013: The Center establishes gender goals. 2017: FZJ develops a new mission statement incorporating diversity and inclusion. 2019: JuDocs is created to support doctoral researchers and ensure excellent standards of supervision. 2021: FZJ launches a project to further improve its diversity and inclusion capabilities. 2022: The board of directors approves the implementation of FZJ´s first Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

We want our employees – in all areas and functions – to feel they are essential to our professional community. We want them to feel safe and supported, because we are convinced that it is only under these conditions that excellence can be pursued.

In a world where our differences bring us further apart, committing to diversity and inclusion should be more than a statement. Diversity and inclusion are continuous commitments that require willingness to recognize our shortcomings and willingness to change at all levels within our organization. Today more than ever we strive to embody the openness, fairness and cooperation that should be guiding values for the scientific community as a whole.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Journey

For many years, FZJ has offered services to support our diverse employee community. Our resources for caretakers and parents include remote work and flex-time arrangements, as well as an on-campus kindergarten in Jülich. International Advisory services and cross-cultural trainings are some of the offerings available to our international and culturally diverse community. Our resources for the promotion of well-being and belonging include counseling services, employee networks, and change of name policies. Further, trainings, assessment matrices and individualized consultations are available to our managers to ensure bias-free hiring processes.

Diversity

We understand diversity as the richness that emerges from our collective differences: be it differences that pertain our disciplines and fields of expertise or differences that stem from our lives and experiences. We recognize that our employees, with their individual stories and identities, might have had access to different opportunities and might be affected by systemic disadvantages that impact their well-being, opportunities, and sense of belonging.

Inclusion

At Forschungszentrum Jülich we like to think about inclusion as a conscious act that requires constant commitment, openness, and high degrees of awareness. It means committing to cultivate excellence by making our policies and processes as bias-free as possible to allow true talent to emerge. But it also means recognizing the essential need for our research to identify and incorporate the unique needs of a diverse society to shape change for a more equitable future.

Our Community

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Over 7.300 Employees

  • 4% trainees and students
  • 22% technical employees
  • 13% administrative employees
  • 39.5% women
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    2748 Researchers

  • 24% women
  • 35% of our Postdocs are women
  • 20 % women in leadership positions in science
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    804 PhD Candidates

    • 32.5% women
    • 42% international
    • 10+ partner universities
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    111 Countries

    • 36% of our researchers have an international background
    • 50% of our Postdocs have an international background

    FZJ 2025 D&I Action Plan

    In August 2020, the Board of Directors approved a project aimed at developing and implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy for Forschungszentrum Jülich. The five priorities below form the primary structure of our plan for advancing diversity, equity and Inclusion within our organization. More detailed information can be found in our 2025 Action Plan (PDF).

    Cover of the D&I Action Plan. The page features a fingerprint with lines of different colors representing diversity.
    Promoting Inclusive Leadership Styles
    Making Our Commitment to D&I Visible
    Tackling Discrimination
    Fostering a Culture of Belonging
    Improving the Inclusivity of Internal Processes

    FZJ 2022-2025 Gender Equality Plan

    Cover of the gender equity plan depicting individuals from different backgrounds

    FZJ’s mission is to effectively contribute to solving the grand challenges facing society and thus to help shape change. In this regard, FZJ has a particular responsibility to ensure that women are equally involved in shaping this change and that the research findings can be equally utilized by all genders. The promotion of women in science and in leadership positions is therefore an important strategic goal that we will aim to achieve using tailored measures in five specific fields of action. Download our Gender Equality Plan (PDF compact or PDF detailed document) to learn more about our goals and activities.

    Reconciling career and care work
    Gender balance in leadership positions
    Recruitment and career development
    Gender dimension in research and innovation
    Measures against sexualized violence, discrimination and harassment

    Employee Representatives

    Cornelia Schlebusch

    Gleichstellungsbeauftragte / Equal Opportunities Officer

      Building TZJ /
      Room 13.302
      +49 2461/61-84007
      E-Mail

      Lars Bieker

      Vertrauensperson der Schwerbehindertenvertretung

        Building 14.5 /
        Room 246
        +49 2461/61-4624
        E-Mail
        • Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
        • Fundamental Electrochemistry (IEK-9)
        Building 02.11 /
        Room 1.05
        +49 2461/61-1581
        E-Mail
        • Safety and Radiation Protection (S)
        Building 04.3 /
        Room 137
        +49 2461/61-9848
        E-Mail

        LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR DAY TO DAY Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ACTIVITIEs

        Contact

        Dr. Alice LeriD&I Project Manager und Teamleiter des D&I Project OfficeBuilding 15.3 / Room 2015+49 2461/61-85542
        Antonia IllichLeitung Büro für Chancengleichheit (BfC) Head of Equal Opportunities Bureau (BfC)Building 04.7 / Room 324+49 2461/61-2005
        Logo of the diversity Charter
        Logo of APS Idea
        Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

        By signing the Diversity Charter in 2021, the Center joined a network of German organizations committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

        The Center has joined the APS-IDEA Network in 2020. The purpose of the network is to support physics departments, laboratories, and research organizations in developing and implementing strategies aimed at improving diversity, equity, and inclusion.

        In 2023 the Center was presented the Total Equality Award as recognition of its commitment to gender equity and gender mainstreaming.

        Last Modified: 20.11.2023