Diversity and Equal Opportunities

As an independent, internationally oriented institution with a global approach to scholarship, the GIGA is highly committed to diversity, equal opportunities, and the reconciliation of work and family life. Learn more here about equal opportunities at the GIGA and our institutional culture.

  • Picture of hand holding transgender symbol
    © iStock.com / Bulat Silvia
    Picture of hand holding transgender symbol
    © iStock.com / Bulat Silvia

    Diversity and equal opportunities are a central part of the GIGA's self-image as an independent, internationally oriented institution with a global approach to scholarship. The promotion of gender equality and the reconciliation of work and family life are guiding principles in how the institute is managed, and are applied in all areas of its work. With a clear commitment to diversity, seen as a cross-sectoral issue, we aim at promoting and valuing diversity at the institute and using the resulting potential fully. The institute received the Hamburg Family Seal in 2013 (which was continuously renewed in 2015, 2018, and 2022) as well as the TOTAL E-QUALITY award in 2020 (renewed in 2023).

    In order to implement these efforts, the Equal Opportunity Commissioner and her deputy – both elected every four years by GIGA employees – actively support and advise the leadership. Dr. Maren Wagner currently holds this office. Her deputy is Lisa Sänger.


    By recognising and promoting the diverse potential of the GIGA’s employees, the institute aims to create a working environment that is both appreciative of staff and free of prejudice. In this context, diversity is understood as a holistic approach that takes into account many different dimensions – such as ethnic background, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, worldview, and social background – as shaping the identities of employees. These manifold perspectives and experiences among our staff, together with their different skills and talents, shape our diversity at the GIGA, which must be recognised and capitalised on. The measures that respect and protect this diversity include, among other things, the following:

    • the “GIGA Code of Conduct,” providing guidelines on cooperation and communication at the institute,

    • a works agreement on respectful cooperation and dealing with conflicts at the GIGA, which sets out complaint channels and procedures for conflict resolution, as well as

    • an open international recruitment strategy.

    With the “Diversity Charter,” the potential of the diversity of its employees is also publicly acknowledged.

    Reconciliation of Work and Family Life

    Family-friendliness at the GIGA means accepting diverse family models and finding flexible, individual solutions. In addition to childcare, the GIGA is also particularly concerned with supporting care for relatives. Core measures to help employees reconcile work and family life primarily concern flexible working hours and forms of work. Employees have the opportunity to set their working hours outside of the general flexitime framework, and to relocate their place of work (mobile working). Other measures include:

    • flexible part-time models and support for family-related reductions in working hours,

    • emergency childcare or holiday offers via a professional family service company, and

    • the possibility to bring children to the office in case of childcare shortages (basic equipment in terms of toys as well as a group work room, which can be used as a parent-child work room, are available).

    Gender Equality

    The GIGA understands gender equality and equal opportunities as one comprehensive concept that goes beyond equalising the number of women and men working at the institute. The overarching goal is the equality of women, men, and persons with non-binary gender identities with regards to different age groups, orientations, and cultural backgrounds. The GIGA is committed to the equality of all genders and the promotion of the under-represented sex. A central concern here is to increase the proportion of women in management positions and decision-making bodies. Equality of opportunity is an essential prerequisite for satisfied employees and successful work. For this reason, the GIGA decisively counteracts any form of disadvantage or discrimination. Among the GIGA’s measures to ensure equality of opportunity in the workplace are:

    • active recruitment of women to management positions,

    • an Equal Opportunity Fund, which supports, among other things, measures to promote the careers of women,

    • measures to reconcile work and family life as detailed above, and

    • individual support opportunities, for example through a mentoring programme.


    At the GIGA, we see inclusion as an integral part of our diversity efforts. We promote an inclusive culture and are committed to increasing the employment of persons with disabilities across all employee groups at the GIGA. Our activities, which are supported by the GIGA’s Inclusion Officer, Nadine Wiegmann, and the GIGA Works Council’s contact person for people with disabilities, Christine Berg, include:  

    • Participation in annual meetings of the Leibniz Association’s “Leibniz inclusive” network  

    • Raising awareness and making the topics of inclusion and participation visible, for example via the international “Purple Light Up Day” campaign on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities  

    • Special invitation to persons with disabilities to apply in our job advertisements and publication of these on portals specifically aimed at people with disabilities.

    Deputy Equal Opportunity Commissioner

    Lisa Sänger

    Lisa Sänger

    Communications Department

    T. +49 40 42825-558lisa.saenger@giga-hamburg.de

    Inclusion Officer

    Nadine Wiegmann


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