Every day, 1149 employees, students and trainees from 53 countries on four different continents work at Fraunhofer IIS to create solutions for a smart future. However, this spectrum of nationalities is just one aspect of diversity at our institute. Diversity means that all employees, in all their individuality – that is, in all their differences of social and cultural origin, gender or age – belong to us and the culture of Fraunhofer IIS.
Dr. Peter Dittrich
stellvertretender Institutsleiter Fraunhofer IIS
Diverse teams bring a variety of useful perspectives and are key to creativity, innovation capability and higher problem-solving ability. Decisions that are made in such teams are more viable, as they better incorporate different needs and application contexts in research and development. Fraunhofer IIS is committed to equal opportunity, work-life balance, inclusion and international HR. Our offer of childcare during the summer vacation, our Children’s Day on the “Buß- und Bettag” school holiday and the 30 language courses we offered in 2021 are just a few examples. Our goal across the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is to attract young women to careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
To this end, we systematically employ programs to attract and develop talented young women. The well-established josephine® mentoring program is just such an initiative. It is aimed at young female students in STEM disciplines, who are given the opportunity to discuss their individual potential and career options with an experienced female scientist as a mentor to provide them with invaluable guidance. A student who was a mentee in the first round of the program and is now an employee with us and herself a mentor describes her experience thus: “The conversations with my mentor and the seminars that were offered really helped me to become aware of and strengthen my abilities and to find the right career entry point for me.” In addition to a collective kick-off event, a networking get-together and the concluding event, the mentees also have access to exclusive workshops and seminars. Six new student employees and two new full-scale employees were brought into the Fraunhofer IIS fold in 2021 via josephine®. The fourth round of the program will take place in 2022.