Together for Gender Diversity
Conference to foster gender diversity at the EPO
5 June 2018
The European Patent Office hosted a conference on gender diversity at its Munich premises to celebrate the Charta der Vielfalt's 6th Diversity Day with its staff.
In a time of worldwide reports of gender inequality in the work environment, the EPO took this opportunity to visibly reaffirm its commitment to diversity and inclusion and highlight its stance as an equal opportunity employer.
"Together for Diversity" is a multi-phased and participative programme built on the input of EPO staff. Everyone was invited to share their views on the EPO's gender diversity culture in an online survey ahead of the conference. In addition, the EPO facilitated group discussions with its staff to learn more about attitudes, possible unconscious bias, challenges and opportunities.
The results of these initiatives were revealed during a conference on Germany's Diversity Day and addressed in a panel discussion with:
- Rosa Riera, VP Employer Branding and Social Innovation at Siemens AG,
- Professor Sylviane Muller, Distinguished Class CNRS Director and European Inventor Award finalist,
- Isabella Lenarduzzi, Managing Director of the Gender Equality Consultancy, JUMP,
- Roberta Romano-Götsch, Chief Operating Officer Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO and
- Sebastian Bauer, Director Ethics and Compliance, EPO.
EPO President Benoît Battistelli remarked, "Supporting gender diversity is a journey that the EPO has been on for some time. As an organisation, we‘ve maintained a solid record on this topic - but there's always more that can be done, especially when the subject is as important as gender diversity."
"At the EPO, we already know that diversity - of any kind - can be great for an organisation. Our Office benefits from the dedication of staff that come from 35 countries. And we draw strength from our many different cultural backgrounds. Today's conference will strengthen a culture of inclusion where everyone feels welcome and acknowledged, independent of nationality, personal beliefs, gender or sexual orientation," he added.
More than 200 staff members from the EPO's offices in Berlin, The Hague, Vienna and Munich took the opportunity to listen, learn and network on the topic of Gender Diversity.