Some of the staff at EUMETSAT showing their support for International Women’s Day!

In case you missed it – this week we’ve been showing videos on our social media channels featuring some of our staff, who we tasked with answering questions on the topic of gender balance.

Because we wanted to represent as many people as possible, we chose 10 people (five men and five women) of different ages and nationalities across various departments within the organisation to take part. It was fascinating to compare the answers we received and we noticed how different some of them were in respect to which area the individual worked in, or how long they’d been at the company.

Today, 8 March is officially International Women’s Day and we’re very pleased to end the week with our final video, illustrating how we as an organisation can better achieve gender balance in the workplace. While this day is always something close to our hearts, we really wanted to explore this topic a bit deeper and find out what our staff think about the working environment here.

We asked our 10 members of staff the following questions:

  • What does #BalanceforBetter in the workplace mean to you?
  • What do you think the percentage of women to men working at EUMETSAT is?
  • Has the gender balance at EUMETSAT improved during your time here?
  • Can you think of any other ways we can achieve a better gender balance at EUMETSAT?

To accompany each question/answer, we also chatted to the Head of Human Resrouces at EUMETSAT, Raffael Clerici.

Raffael Clerici, Head of Human Resources at EUMETSAT

Raffael was kind enough to give us an overview of how things really are across the whole organisation. As somebody who has a very good insight into the recruitment activities, different department figures and outreach efforts we thought he’d be the perfect person to give his own feedback on the questions we asked our participants to explain better how EUMETSAT encourages and maintains a gender-balanced organisation. You’ll find a quote from him below each of the videos:

Question 1 – What does #BalanceforBetter in the workplace mean to you?

A well balanced workforce has a strong, positive impact on the performance of the organisation.

In addition, it creates a much better working environment and as a result of that everybody is generally more motivated.

Question 2 – What do you think the percentage of women to men working at EUMETSAT is?

Based on the latest figures, we have 32% women. It is however interesting to see that if we look at the age range of employees that are 35 years or younger, the percentage of women is actually 53%.

So, the future for achieving a better gender balance actually looks quite bright IF we are able to retain women at EUMETSAT during their whole career, which is exactly where we as an organisation have been spending a considerable effort lately.

First of all, we have started to examine our organisational culture to determine what type of core values the organisation needs to carry us into the future. This will of course allow us to shape our culture to be conducive to the needs of tomorrow’s workforce, be it female or male. In addition, in June we will be presenting to our internal council a proposal for an on-site childcare facility, which would significantly mitigate the difficulties of finding good childcare within the vicinity of EUMETSAT.

Question 3 – Has the gender balance at EUMETSAT improved during your time here?

As I joined EUMETSAT quite recently, I don’t think that my insight for such a short time frame would be representative.

However, as I explained in the last question I am very happy to see that we are improving diversity along generational dimensions.

Question 4 – Can you think of any other ways we can achieve a better gender balance at EUMETSAT?

 

It is still a challenge to motivate young women to pursue careers in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) profession, as is evident from the relatively low enrollment rates at universities.

Making STEM professions more attractive for women is a key challenge for society, and I am sure that we can contribute to this development.

A big thanks to Raffael and to all the staff that helped us honour International Women’s Day.

While it’s not quite 50/50 yet, the gender gap at EUMETSAT is decreasing each year and we’re seeing more of a gender balance in different areas. As Raffael stated in his last quote, women are still under-represented in the STEM world and like some of the participants of our videos have mentioned, things need to change from a very early stage in ones own personal development, starting with encouragement at home to pursue and be interested in these under-represented fields to making these subjects more accessible at school and university in order to continue to see more change in the future.

We’d like to end this post with a quote from J.K. Rowling that perfectly sums up the topic of gender balance:

We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at EUMETSAT and here’s hoping we see a balanced future, across all organisations soon!

Adopting the #BalanceforBetter pose

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Posted by Natalie Lunt

2 Comments

  1. Great article! Loved the J.K Rowling quote, sums it up very nicely!

    Reply

    1. Natalie Lunt 11 March 2019 at 13:54

      Thanks Chris 🙂

      Reply

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