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Diversity and Equal Opportunities

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.

In order to implement these efforts, the Equal Opportunity Officer 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 Hoffmann.


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 varying origins, religions, age groups, genders, orientations and disabilities, as well as other factors – 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.