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Gender equality and the fight against discrimination: INRAE is the 1st public research institution to be awarded dual Equality-Diversity accreditation

PRESS RELEASE - By awarding INRAE the Diversity and Equality at Work certification, jointly known as the "Alliance standard", AFNOR has acknowledged the Institute's commitment to promoting diversity, eliminating discrimination and defending gender equality in the workplace*. This commitment extends and strengthens the actions the Institute has carried out in those areas for a number of years now, in compliance with the European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers certification – HRS4R – it was awarded in 2010. Through the proactive approach the Institute initiated in 2018 with the support of the French Ministries of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, National Education and Youth, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, INRAE is the first public research institution to earn this dual Alliance standard.

Published on 20 January 2020

illustration Gender equality and the fight against discrimination: INRAE is the 1st public research institution to be awarded dual Equality-Diversity accreditation

After a more than two-year process, whose final stage consisted of hearings at AFNOR on 19 December 2019 and 16 January 2020, the dual Alliance standard was granted to INRAE. In light of the conclusions of the assessment carried out and the outcomes of a Quality of Life at Work survey, priority was given to seven discrimination criteria, i.e.  gender, disability, age, family situation, union involvement, origin and religion.

Implemented at four pilot centres in 2017, this approach was based on key drivers such as increased awareness, training and communication. In real terms, it took the form of the publication of an initial comparative assessment of the situations of men and women along with setting up an Equality/Diversity Committee and an outsourced call centre to respond to reports of discrimination and/or sexual or sexist abuse. This proactive policy also strengthened measures that had already been firmly established by the Institute for the sustainable inclusion and retention of disabled workers in its work force and is designed to place women at the highest rungs of the job ladder. At the same time, work has continued on making HR systems secure.

We are proud of this certification, which demonstrates our openness as a group to diversity and the values of caring, solidarity, general interest and respect within INRAE. With 12,000 staff and an unequalled wealth of skills, INRAE wants to take on a new way of carrying out its collective efforts based on outstanding human resource management, explained Philippe Mauguin, INRAE's Chair and CEO.

We are convinced that diversity and equality in the workplace are key to strengthening creative and innovative abilities at both the individual and group levels, which is why the Institute has made them pillars of its support and research strategy.  A new pathway has opened before us: sustaining this certification into the future by involving all the parts of the new entity that is INRAE, added Catherine Beaumont, Head of Equality and Non-Discrimination and President of INRAE's Val de Loire Centre

An action plan for those areas will be implemented in early 2020 with all the new INRAE units. This strong commitment by the new Institute will be re-assessed during the monitoring and renewal audits in 2022 and 2024, respectively.


Key dates

July 2017

INRA commits to certification

February 2019

Release of the equality-diversity assessment

July 2019

Application submitted to AFNOR


AFNOR on-site audit

Autumn 2019

Call-centre launched

19 Décember 2019

Audit hearing at the Diversity Commission

16 January 2020

Audit hearing at the Equality in the Workplace Commission*

*The decision was made to initially have four pilot centres certified (e.g. Ile de France-Versailles, Occitanie Montpellier, Val de Loire and Head Office) by ensuring that the populations of those centre's units were representative of staff across the 19 INRAE centres in terms of occupations, fields, and professions.

**INRA was the first EPST (Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment) to gain European HRS4R certification. IRSTEA gained its certification in 2019.

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