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Our Commitment To Gender Equality

Gender Equality Plan

Our plans to promote gender equality

Main Author: Irene Kalesi
Signed by: Panos Chatzakos

 

Introduction

This document aims to showcase TWI Hellas’s Gender Equality Plan (GEP). It refers to the current state of TWI Hellas as a research organisation focused on a broad spectrum of technological fields from Advanced Robotics and AI to Digital Engineering and Additive Manufacturing. Additionally, the document specifies the TWI Hellas targets towards improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as the respective actions that lead to their fulfilment.

TWI Hellas supports the EU’s decision to promote and strengthen gender equality in research. Therefore, the research organisation embraces the much-needed shift in research that can have positive scientific and societal results. TWI Hellas commits to defending diversity across its employees’ knowledge, backgrounds and perspectives. Living in a male-oriented scientific and technological world, gender equality can be achieved only if men and women have the same opportunities and are assessed based on their skills and potential. Since its founding in 2019, TWI Hellas has been trying to attract bright technological minds regardless of gender or background. Still, the European Commission’s gender strategy has further motivated us to renew our gender equality vows and upgrade them to reach higher grounds of diversity.

Finally, at TWI Hellas, there has been no tolerance for any type of violence, harassment or inappropriate behaviour, and we intend to continue respecting our employees’ values, beliefs and individuality. Our six values provide a point of reference for the way we expect our people to operate and behave:

  • Team-work. Building effective working relationships, we accomplish more together
  • Innovation-and-expertise. Championing new ideas and sharing knowledge to solve industry problems
  • Taking-responsibility. Putting safety first and delivering our objectives
  • Customer-focus. Building trusting relationships with our customers
  • Adaptability. Engaging positively with change to meet the needs of the business
  • Inclusion. Valuing the contribution from every individual, creating value for our customers

The current situation

Established in 2019, TWI Hellas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TWI based in Athens, Greece. We specialise in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital, and cloud engineering. The organisation also develops state-of-the-art technologies for analogue electronics design simulation, automations and additive manufacturing.

We aim to provide fertile ground for our bright-minded professionals to research, experiment and innovate to empower operators, especially those that work in harsh environments (offshore, subsea, nuclear, etc.) and domain experts, such as engineers with deep and relevant industry domain knowledge, to achieve more with less and in an intrinsically safe manner. Moreover, our team is working on innovation management while devoting time and energy to product development aiming at the market for commercialisation purposes.

Initially, TWI Hellas started with a few employees (5 male ones), and until 2020, around 10 professionals were added to the team, primarily male ones. In 2021-2022, the total workforce increased to 26 people, with a 600% increase in hiring female professionals. Out of the 26 employees,19 (73.08%)  are male, and 7 (26.92%) are female. The female employees are distributed in the purely technical, marketing, project management and leadership departments. Additionally, 46.7% of the total workforce is in their 30s, and 53.3% is in their ’20s.  

Therefore, the aim is to build a working environment that provides opportunities for professionals to boost-start their careers. So, we have actively recruited women in top management positions and the lowest grades for a gender-equal environment. Yet, these figures can actively improve in order to bring gender balance in more areas of the organisation. Besides hiring more female candidates, we need to keep helping them forge new career paths to rise to higher levels according to their experience, knowledge and overall potential.

 

Methodology

Even though the organisation was founded in 2019 and the Gender Equality plan comes into the picture in 2022, as mentioned above, the goal of creating a more gender-balanced environment has been gradually centralised. So, the general purpose has been turned into a systematic approach based on comprehending, planning, implementing and monitoring actions and processes to identify and fight imbalances.

Reminder: In order to achieve a balanced environment, TWI Hellas does not overlook people who do not identify as either male, female or belong to the LGBTQ community.

 

Regulatory Framework

This GEP is a proactive strategy that legitimises and shields every process that aims to achieve gender equality at TWI Hellas. Adjusted to European and national laws, the GEP announces a set of initiatives and actions that focus on equality of women and men, discrimination banning, equality treatment, workplace harassment and social responsibility of organisations.

 

Operational regime

The TWI Hellas Gender Equality Plan is the result of initiatives that will be incorporated into the organisation’s work and monitored by the Gender Equality Board (GEB) with the support of the Project Leaders, legal and accounting professionals. TWI Hellas’ Regional Director has approved the plan.

 

Objectives

The TWI Hellas GEP aims to achieve the following:

  1. Create a balanced gender environment by adopting diverse, progressive perceptions
  2. Increase team diversity in order to boost research quality and generate more innovations
  3. Support female work, career growth and further education in the workplace and help researchers, managers, and office assistants grow in their respective fields
  4. Diversify the decision-making process where women and men equally contribute their opinions
  5. Build industry bridges by facilitating women to commercialise their research, enter the business world and provide products and services  
  6. Become an innovation hub that attracts ingenious and skilled female professionals from Greece and abroad to fight the brain drain
  7. Assist in the process of fulfilling the technological needs in Greece and Europe

 

TWI Hellas’s gender equality targets

Work-life balance and organisational culture

  • Parental leaves
  • Flexible Working time arrangements
  • Support for caring responsibilities
  • Reintegration of staff after career breaks
  • Advice and support on work-life balance

Gender balance in leadership and decision-making

  • Adaptation of more processes that are unbiased and promote female leadership when fulfilling decision-making positions
  • Creation of a more transparent decision-making environment
  • Provision of support to female employees to pursue leadership positions and strengthen their decision-making skills.
  • Education of all employees with gender equality training sessions, especially in high levels of seniority, for a deeper understanding of gender dynamics in the working environment.

Gender equality in recruitment and career progression

  • Formation of codes of conduct during the recruitment and onboarding process
  • Provision of unbiased training for the workforce
  • Adoption of respectful, unbiased written and oral language
  • Active scouting of women and detection of women in under-represented positions/fields
  • Increased accountability for employers/employees regarding decisions around not considering/shortlisting women for working positions
  • Re-advertising of available job openings when the candidate pool has no women in it

Integration of the gender dimension in research work

  • Commitment to incorporating gender equality in R&D development
  • Establishment of processes to ensure that sex and gender are considered during the design of research
  • Provision of support for researchers to make sure that the workforce takes into account the gender perspective
  • Awareness-raising initiatives about gender equality through conferences and training

Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment

  • Policy against harassment and insults to dignity
  • Active use of inclusive language concerning gender equality
  • Inclusive social practices

Overall equality status (Women / Men)

Organisational dimensions

Current (2022)

3 years (2025)

5 years (2025)

10 year (2032)

Total Workforce

  33% / 67%

40% / 60%

45% / 55%

50% / 50%

Research Workforce

  15% / 85%

25% / 75%

35% / 65%

50% / 50%

Other Workforce

  63% / 37%

60% / 40%

55% / 45%

50% / 50%

 

Ongoing GE reporting

TWI Hellas will work on monitoring and documenting the changes that need to be accomplished regarding gender balance over time.

The different aspects that will be under focus are:

  • Gender equality in the workforce as a whole
  • Gender equality according to each employee’s personal growth plan (starting from junior to senior positions)
  • Equal opportunities in project management and research publications
  • Equality in salaries between men and women