FOI Gender Equality

This webpage is describing and clarifying the ongoing FOI work on gender mainstreaming, in relation to the European Commission’s requirements of a Gender Equality Plan. Read more about FOI´s work with gender mainstreaming in different perspectives. You find the formal document at the bottom of this page.

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FOI:s work with gender mainstreaming in different perspectives

Work-life balance and organisational culture

FOI promotes an inclusive and sustainable working life according to our policy. This is emphasised in the strategy, FOI 2025, where a healthy work climate consisting of trust and responsibility, with mutual kindness and respect, represent an essential component of our organisational culture. On a yearly basis, FOI conducts salary survey based on the discrimination ground gender. Once a year employee interviews, including questions about work-life balance, are carried out resulting in individual action plans.

FOI is facilitating the possibility of combining work with parenthood. Our working time agreement makes it possible for our employees to combine working life with parenthood.

Gender balance in leadership and decision-making

Attracting, retaining and continuously developing a high level of competence is the basis of FOI's operations. All employees' different knowledge and experiences are important to reach FOI´s goals. Actively working with issues related to gender equality and inclusion strengthens the ability to reach these goals now and in the future. Gender balance in leadership supports diversity in thoughts, experiences, knowledge, ideas and perspectives. At FOI this is especially important regarding Managing Directors (all positions) and project leaders within the research activities.

The gender balance within FOI is accounted for annually to the Swedish government and is presented in the FOI annual report [3].

Gender equality in recruitment and career progression

FOI is working with a competence based recruitment process. This means a structured process based on a thorough analysis of the requirements for the specific recruitment. To work thoroughly with the analysis of the requirement profile helps to define if the requirements are relevant in relation to the work description, which avoids indirect discrimination and ensures a gender-neutral assessment. The interviews and possible tests are also structured based on the requirement profile, which helps to focus on the candidate's actual skills and leads to a reduced risk of discrimination. Material to support the recruiting manager to prevent discrimination in recruitment and promotion is listed in the FOI guidelines regarding recruitment.

Integration of the gender dimension into research content

A gender perspective must always be taken into account in research activities conducted at FOI. This means that women and men’s conditions have to be considered if relevant in all research projects.[4] In 2019 FOI introduced a mandatory analysis of the gender dimension in the contents of the research that is reported in the project plans. Guidelines for the analysis is published on FOI internal webb.

Measures against gender-based violence including sexual harassment

FOI has a zero tolerance regarding discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment – this is clearly stated in FOI’s policy for a sustainable work environment. On FOI:s internal website there is information about where to turn for help. Employee surveys at FOI include questions about discrimination and sexual harassment.

FOI does not accept that employees are exposed to threats, hatred, online hatred or violence at work. FOI maps and investigates the risks of threats, hatred, online hatred and violence that may exist in connection with the work and takes the general measures needed to prevent such situations. The risk assessment for the specific operations for employees takes place as close to the work as possible and is carried out by the personnel manager together with the relevant employees at unit meetings or when it is deemed necessary based on the situation.

Commitment of resources and gender expertise to implement it

Each manager at FOI is responsible for the work environment at their units and departments – this includes issues related to gender equality. The department of Human Resources (HR) has the role of the support function regarding work environment, and each department has its dedicated HR-person who supports the work in progress at the departments and units. On a central level HR works with specific actions linked to the area each year, and represents FOI, together with the Director-General, in a Council for Gender Equality where also other defence authorities in Sweden are participating. At the Director-General’s Management support Office a dedicated resource supports the perspective of gender in research within the assignments to our clients as well as follow-up of gender indicators.

Sex/gender disaggregated data on personnel and students and annual reporting based on indicators

Gender data regarding number of employees, PhD and sickness absence, is monitored, analysed and reported within the framework of the authority’s annual report. In addition, data regarding the gender distribution within different divisions, managers and project leaders is monitored and analysed within the operational planning. The purpose is to, if necessary, take the measures in e.g. operational planning. The employee surveys monitor soft values like employee satisfaction regarding inclusion and work-balance. The result is dealt with, discussed and necessary plans are formulated within FOI departments.

Awareness raising/trainings on gender equality and unconscious gender biases for staff and decision-makers

FOI includes the gender dimension in the training of project leaders. The training comprise elements such as awareness of dealing with unconscious bias and case discussions on implications for research. Gender equality elements are also included in training of managers. As part of the general awareness raising of all staff there is also educational content on Gender dimension in research placed on the FOI internal web. Continued training activities during coming years is foreseen – for both managers and employees.

From 2022, the European Commission has applied a new requirement for receiving funding under the Horizon Europe programme. For some categories of legal entities (including public bodies and research organisations), having a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) has become an eligibility criterion to all calls for proposals [1].

In FOI policy for sustainable working environment, support for gender equality is part of a broader ambition to strengthen diversity and inclusion. FOI has chosen to work with gender mainstreaming in accordance with the national strategy to reach the goals declared for Swedish gender equality policy [2]. The gender perspective must be included and taken into account in FOI´s daily work, since equality can be created when and where decisions are taken, resources are distributed and norms are created.

Last updated: 2023-08-14