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ESRF policy in Gender Equality

As a French « Société civile » with an international vocation, whose governance includes 20 partner countries and whose workforce includes more than 30 nationalities, the ESRF has been a melting pot of diversity since its creation. Diversity of its staff in particular, whose variety of nationalities, expertise and backgrounds contributes to its rich resources and excellence. Diversity that helps nurture exchanges promotes creativity and allows everyone to express their uniqueness within the institution.

Gender diversity and professional equality between women and men is one of the key elements of this mixture.

The ESRF’s policy related to gender diversity and professional equality between women and men has so far resulted in signing a first three-year agreement on professional equality between women and men on 18 September 2012, and in the implementation of a Unilateral Action Plan for professional equality between women and men on 8 December 2017.

Adopted on 5 September 2018, the law 2018-771 called «Loi Avenir Professionnel» now enforces companies with 50 or more employees to calculate and publish each year the result of their «Professional Equality Index» evaluated on 100 points, through the measurement of 5 indicators including specific ones related to pay gaps, individual salary increases or promotion. The ESRF therefore carried out the exercise for the year 2018, recording a score of 79/100, then for the year 2019, recording a score of 86/100, and for 2020, recording a score of 87/100 (reminder: 75/100 is the score below which corrective actions must be implemented).

With the opening of a new negotiation, governed by articles L.2242-1 and L.2242-17 of the French Labour Code, the Management and the representative unions within the ESRF wished to pursue and improve the actions already initiated to support equal treatment between women and men. In that regard and before starting the negotiation, they wished to have a shared diagnosis of the comparative situation of women and men within the company. This diagnosis, entrusted to an external organisation chosen by mutual agreement, was returned to the Economic and Social Committee on 24 September 2020, in the form of a «Professional Equality Diagnosis».

Based on this assessment, the parties to this Agreement have agreed to focus their actions on the following five themes:

  • Recruitment
  • Classifications
  • Promotion and learning
  • Remuneration
  • Private life / Work life relationship

For each of these themes, the following elements have been defined:

  1. An assessment based on the Professional Equality Diagnosis
  2. Goals to be achieved
  3. Actions to be implemented
  4. Monitoring indicators


The monitoring indicators will be analyzed at the end of each year for which the agreement applies, and the achievement of the goals - at the end of the agreement.

Link to the PDF version of the full report on Gender Equality 2021/2022/2023.