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A new step on the path towards gender equality at CERN


Raphaël Bello is the Director for Finance and Human Resources.

This summer, the Management formally endorsed CERN’s work on gender equality, demonstrating the Organization’s firm commitment to diversity and inclusion

The Enlarged Directorate has endorsed CERN’s work on gender equality as constituting a Gender Equality Plan (GEP), as defined by the European Commission. A new webpage, developed by the Organization’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and EU Projects Offices, provides a summary of the growing catalogue of activities that CERN has put in place to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As of this year, instituting a GEP or equivalent is a requirement for an organisation to be eligible for funding under the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme.

The European Commission defines a GEP as a set of commitments and actions that aim to promote gender equality in an organisation through a process of structural change. It must provide for sufficient dedicated resources and expertise in gender equality, and it must be informed by the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated personnel data, with annual reporting. Awareness-raising and training activities on gender equality and unconscious gender biases must be included for staff and decision-makers, and it must take the form of a publicly available document endorsed by the top level of management. It is a sign of CERN’s commitment to D&I that CERN had already fulfilled all of these criteria, with the exception of the final step, before they were made a formal requirement for Horizon Europe funding.

CERN appointed its first Equal Opportunities Officer in 1996, and our D&I programme was established in 2011. Since then, many actions and activities have been launched that go a long way towards fulfilling the requirements for a GEP: most recently, the 25 by ’25 initiative. With the Enlarged Directorate’s endorsement this summer, followed by publication on a dedicated webpage, CERN’s gender equality actions now constitute a GEP for the purposes of Horizon Europe.

The CERN Directorate is very pleased and supportive of the fact that CERN is playing its part in this important area. Diversity is key to this organisation’s success, and we encourage you all to familiarise yourselves with the work being done. You’ll find a summary here and, if you’re interested in learning more about Horizon Europe’s gender equality requirements, you’ll find all you need to know at the European Institute for Gender Equality’s webpages.