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Diversity in practice

The IPB has held the Total-E-Quality Award continuously since 2010, having once again received it for the years 2016 through 2018.

Continuing to promote equal opportunities in natural science disciplines, thereby enabling the equality of women and men as well as the balance between career planning and family, is very important to the IPB. We are pleased that many of our employees have a multicultural background. The resulting diversity of people with their ideas, views and talents offers great potential, forming an ideal basis for new creative approaches to solutions and discoveries in top-level research. We are a multicultural research institution. Diversity as an everyday reality is successfully practiced by us. The “Equal Opportunity and Diversity Circle” intends to boost the promotion of various key topics:

Equality of women and men

Certain life phases such as periods of child care are taken into account, and are firmly anchored in our target agreement for the plan for the equality of women and men based on the Equality Implementation Agreement (AvGlei).Naturally we also consider times in which the applicant provided family nursing care according to the Family Nursing Care Act (FPfZG), and if applicable other personal life circumstances or life phases.

In May of 2015 the IPB was notified by the President of the Leibniz Association that the institute is among the 20 Leibniz institutes in the leading group according to the survey “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality in the Leibniz Association”. This special honor recognizes the commitment of those responsible for equal opportunities and serves as an incentive for intensifying further enduring activities in this field. Contact persons are our Equal Opportunity Commissioner Andrea Piskol and her deputy Petra Schäfer.

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Women in management positions

Promoting the academic careers of female research associates up to their appointment to a professorship, given the corresponding scientific qualifications are obtained and this is part of their personal career planning, is of special importance to us.

Currently the IPB employs four scientific workgroup leaders, still at the beginning of their careers, who are highly motivated and have chosen this academic career path. They have successfully participated in mentoring programs with the support of the IPB: the Leibniz mentoring program of the WGL for outstanding female scientists, the Schering Foundation’s “Young Leaders in Science” and the mentoring program of Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) for female doctoral candidates. The IPB has a long and successful tradition of supporting new scientific talent up to the appointment to a professorship and ensuring a seamless transition. A W3 appointment of a junior research group leader at the IPB to the MLU in 2015 is the most recent example.

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Training/continuing education

Employee appraisal interviews on the topic of work and career planning are held regularly in the area of scientific support. Information on continuing education programs is made available to all employees, in particular also including continuing education programs aimed especially at women. Training and continuing education events can of course be chosen by personal initiative.

In-house seminars for a larger group of participants have gained attractiveness in recent years. In science, the possibility to attend conventions, meetings, workshops and similar events is part of the fundamental measures for further qualification, formation of networks and  growth of knowledge. Continuing education programs offered by the state of Saxony-Anhalt or private providers can be used in addition to open up other professional perspectives. The internal continuing education offerings of the MLU are open to all IPB employees as well.

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Opening up professional perspectives

The institute regularly takes part in the “Day of Professions”. We also run targeted advertisements in the student calendar “Future-Plan”.

Student internships are very popular and actively promoted in some areas. By request the IPB offers institute tours for students, simultaneously informing them about the possibility of vocational training at the institute and in general about the stages of a scientific career.

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Work/family balance

Establishing awareness for the respective needs of the employees is an important basis of the family-friendly institute policy. These are often very different and depend on the respective family-related living situation (children, relatives in need of care, longer-term illness and so on). A friendly and open working atmosphere, tolerance, acceptance, support and flexibility as well as raising awareness among others (superiors and employees) form the foundation of the institute philosophy. The IPB has been a member of Dual Career Mitteldeutschland since October of 2010.

Professional integration of both life partners in the central Germany region is the network’s central mission. Our goal is to gradually improve the balance between career planning and family. This includes among other things setting up a parents’ room and paying an advance on childcare costs for preschool children. All employees also have the option of flexible and family-friendly working hours. Part-time employment is always possible, also for limited time periods.

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Integration Management & Health Circle

We have set the goal of maintaining and promoting the health of our employees. Operational Integration Management helps overcome the inability to work early on, prevent repeated inability to work, and keep experienced employees in the workplace. It is part of Health Management. Operational reasons that led to the inability to work are determined. Services or measures that help prevent or reduce recurring time missed due to illness are subsequently discussed. Employees and the institute jointly find possibilities to establish a healthy working environment in order to maintain the working capacity of the employees over the long term.

The goal of the Health Circle established at the institute is to provide lasting support for the employees through concrete measures for individual and workplace-specific health promotion. An adequate budget was made available for this by the IPB starting in 2013. Physiotherapy treatment at the IPB facilities, Pilates, yoga and back health courses have been permanent offerings for the employees since then. The two IPB Health Days were successfully conducted, respectively with the participation of a health insurer, TÜV Rheinland (occupational medicine support at the IPB), Plasmaservice Halle and a physiotherapy practice. Presentations on topics such as the health care proxy and living will, nutrition, stress management and more are also organized as part of the Health Days. The members of the Health Circle, Operational Integration Management and Staff Council have been actively trained on the topic of health promotion among other things. Additional Health Days and a renewed employee survey at the given time are planned.

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IPB is a research institution in which diversity is actively lived out on a daily basis. We are very happy that our employees have different cultural backgrounds. The resulting diversity of people with their ideas, views, experiences and talents offers great potential and thus represents an ideal basis for imaginative solutions and new discoveries in cutting-edge research. We promote our employees regardless of nationality, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation, because we see the diversity of our employees as a rich treasure for a creative working environment.

Diversity Principles

As a member of the Charter of Diversity, we will actively implement the 6 principles of the Charter in order to continue to counter discrimination and prejudice in the future.

The principles of the Charter of Diversity are as follows:

  1. Cultivate an organizational culture that is characterized by mutual respect and esteem for each individual. We create the conditions for supervisors and employees to recognize, share and live out these values. The managers and superiors have a special obligation in this respect.
  2. Review our human resources processes and ensure that they reflect the diverse skills and talents of all employees and our performance standards.
  3. Recognise the diversity of society within and outside the organization, value its potential and use it profitably for the company or institution.
  4. Make the implementation of the Charter the subject of internal and external dialogue.
  5. Provide public information annually about our activities and progress in promoting diversity and appreciation.
  6. Inform our employees about diversity and involve them in the implementation of the Charter.

At the IPB, all employees are responsible for facing up to and implementing these diversity principles on a daily basis.


IPB's diversity management pursues three primary goals:

1. The realization of equal opportunities

It is of particular concern to us to realize equal opportunities and thus to provide every employee with equal access and chances of success regardless of his or her individual starting position. We are committed to constantly improving the structural framework conditions necessary for this.

2. Promotion

We promote the diverse potential and talents of all employees in order to further improve the scientific expertise and excellence of the individual and ultimately of the entire institute.

3. Protection against discrimination

We ensure compliance with the General Equal Treatment Act and combat all forms of discrimination. In order to achieve sustainable results, it is important for us to combine the two main trends of diversity management, namely equity and business perspective. While the equity perspective focuses on human rights abuses and anti-discrimination measures, the business perspective aims to promote creativity by increasing the satisfaction of different employees, thus increasing productivity and motivation. In order to combine both perspectives in a meaningful way, we can draw on existing structures and measures such as our Equal Opportunities Officer, Integration Management & Health Circle , Equal Opportunities and Diversity Circle.

Responsible for Implementation

The Board of Directors of IPB is responsible for diversity management in close coordination with the Equal Opportunities Officer and the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Circle.

Fields of action

Needs analysis while respecting data protection:

  • Analyzing personnel key figures as an objective basis for personnel policy
  • Set up an anonymous Ideas and Concerns Box with the aim of revealing problem areas
  • Conduct staff talks

Measures and offers already taken as well as new and to be intensified ones:

  • Training and awareness-raising measures
  • Career promotion instruments, e.g. mentoring programs
  • Language courses
  • Diversity-sensitive welcome structure
  • Accessibility (map of barrier-free access to the institute)
  • Diversity-conscious communication and public relations work
  • Multi-religious meditation room
  • Parent-child room
  • To promote diversity-based leisure activities, especially for international scientists: Provide premises, e.g. Diwali festival, sporting activities (e.g. table tennis tournament), cooking together, etc.


In order to guarantee the quality of the working environment in the future and, if necessary, to improve it, diversity management at IPB is designed for the long term. We want to continue to provide a non-discriminatory working environment characterized by mutual respect in which all employees feel comfortable. To this end, we will expand existing measures and incorporate new aspects.

In addition, a critical review of the measures carried out at regular intervals should make a readjustment possible. This self-assessment will take place every 3 years in conjunction with the reapplication for the total E-Quality predicate.

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Information about the General Equal Treatment Act

Here you can find information about the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), the complaints office and definitions.

1. Contents

The main objective defined in the AGG is to prevent or eliminate discrimination due to:

  • Race
  • Ethnic background
  • Gender
  • Religion or ideology
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Sexual identity

The law is intended to help prevent discrimination in the workplace. Here the ban on discrimination not only applies to the employer but especially also among employees.

Note however that not all unequal treatment constitutes a disadvantage or discrimination!

2. Forms of discrimination

  • Direct or indirect discrimination
  • Harassment/sexual harassment
  • Instruction to discriminate

Discrimination is when an employee due to

  • ethnic background (skin color, ancestry, nationality etc.),
  • religion,
  • ideology,
  • disability,
  • sexual identity (including: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people),
  • gender, or
  • age

is treated less well than another in a comparable situation.


Direct discrimination means a person has received or would receive less favorable treatment than a comparable person.

Indirect discrimination refers to seemingly neutral behaviors, regulations and rules that apply to everyone. In practice however these have the effect of discriminating against certain groups.

Harassment means unwanted behaviors that intimidate, offend or humiliate a person due to a characteristic and create or intend to create a hostile environment. Sexual harassment is a specific form of harassment.

The offense of sexual harassment is based on the offense of harassment with the addition of unwanted behavior of a sexual nature with the intent or effect of violating the dignity of the person in question.

3. Obligations of the employer

The employer is obligated to take all required steps to protect against discrimination, including preventive measures. Informing and educating the employees about the problem of discrimination in the workplace is a preventive measure.

4. Rights of the person concerned

  • Right to complain
  • Right to refuse performance
  • Compensation and damages
  • Ban on disciplinary treatment

Violations of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) may have consequences under public services and employment law.

The ombudsman according to the AGG is Ms. Andrea Piskol.

The ombudsman has to review the content of the complaint and notify the complainant about the result of this review.

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This page was last modified on 10.09.2019.

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