Equal Opportunities and Diversity

At the Fraunhofer IST, teams are formed in as balanced a way as possible. We make use of the creative potential of diversity - with regard to gender, different age groups, cultures and specialist fields - and thereby improve the quality of our work results. We consider diversity to be an enrichment for the work at Fraunhofer. The equal treatment of all employees is not only a matter of course for us - it forms the basis for good collaboration and, as a consequence, ultimately for the success of our institute.

We believe that a strong status for women in science and attractive, family-friendly working conditions are important building blocks in the equality structure. Through a series of measures, we ensure that equal opportunities are promoted and strengthened.

Practiced fairness for all

Equal opportunities in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft do not only apply on paper. The concrete implementation of our demands for the equal and fair treatment of all employees is anchored in various structures within the Society.

All Fraunhofer Institutes also have local contact persons for questions relating to equal opportunities, the Equal Opportunities Officers. They are involved in organizational, personnel and social measures that affect the equality of men and women and the compatibility of professional and private life at the workplace. Their task is to monitor the implementation of equal-opportunity concepts and to ensure that they are adhered to.

Avoiding the gender pay gap: All contracts and salary grading at our institutes are based on the TvöD (public service wage agreement). This collective agreement guarantees equal and fair remuneration for all employees, based on their experience level and area of work.


Career advancement for women

STEM cannot be allowed to be a male domain. The same applies to science. In order to strengthen the status of women in science and scientific professions, we are actively involved in the “Fraunhofer TALENTA” support program, which provides qualification offers and development opportunities for women at all career levels. At the Fraunhofer IST, two young female scientists are currently participating in the TALENTA program.

Find out more about the “Fraunhofer TALENTA” support program.

In order to increase the awareness among young people at an early stage that scientific and technical professions are not only something for men, we regularly participate in the Future Day, thereby offering girls and boys, in a balanced ratio, the opportunity to look over the shoulders of the researchers at the Fraunhofer IST for a day.

In portrait: Women in science

Dr Kristina Lachmann heads the groups Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Processes and Medical Technology and Pharmaceutical Systems at the Fraunhofer IST. In this video you can see how her career at the institute progressed from student assistant to head of the two groups, how she balances her private life with two small children and her work as a group manager, and what advice she gives to young colleagues who are still at the beginning of their scientific careers. 

Family and a career in science are not a contradiction in terms



Child and career? We are actively committed to make this happen.

In order to ensure that science and family life are compatible, we offer our employees family-friendly working hours and various part-time and teleworking models, thereby ensuring a good balance between career, family and leisure.

Quotas for crèche and daycare places

Through our cooperation with a daycare center close to the Institute, we are able to offer our employees childcare places for their children.

Mobile-with-Child Office “MoMiKi”

Sometimes parents experience childcare shortfalls which they have to bridge, for example when they have important appointments to keep or work which needs to be finished urgently. The offer is also suitable as support for parents returning to work after parental leave. The “MoMiKi” is a trolley with a diaper-changing surface, filled with items which are suitable for the care and entertainment of small and larger children, e.g. pens, toys, diapers, wet wipes, socket covers. This trolley can be temporarily taken to the workplace or into a meeting room in order to care for a child when necessary.

pme family service

Through pme Familienservice GmbH, Fraunhofer offers its employees advice and support in emergency situations, e.g. if childcare is unavailable or if a family member needs nursing care. 

Planning security for your career

In a phase of life in which career decisions and starting a family coincide, a certain degree of planning security is essential. As a non-university scientific institution, fixed-term employment contracts are the rule at Fraunhofer at the beginning of a career. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has, however, formulated guidelines for an employee-friendly term-limitation policy, which we consistently implement at the Institute. This includes, for example, a perspective discussion, at least six months before the planned end of the contractual relationship, in which a swift, transparent decision is made concerning the extension of a fixed-term contract or the offer of permanent employment.

Charta der Vielfalt

Logo der Charta der Vielfalt

In portrait: Women in science