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Diversity and inclusion

The EPO fosters diversity and inclusion. Almost 6 300 staff from 34 countries are living proof that a successful organisation is one that leverages the diversity of its workforce.

We provide fair and equal opportunities for all staff, regardless of nationality, belief, sex, origin, health and sexual orientation or identity. Equal pay for women and men has been our practice since we opened our doors in 1977.

The EPO has an inclusive work environment and culture, and promotes this diversity in all activities, whether conferences, e-learning materials, awareness campaigns, networking or other events

The EPO marked International Women's Day with a panel discussion on the theme "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". EPO staff from across the Office joined Jane ní Dhulchaointigh, European Inventor Award winner in 2018, to exchange views on topics including sustainability, women in STEM, leadership, work-life balance, the importance of female role models and the pandemic's impact on women.

Globally, more women should be given the possibility to pursue leadership roles. With this programme, which we launched on International Women's Day 2019, we hope to instil confidence in women and encourage them to reach for new professional challenges.
The EPO has also implemented training on fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, as well as awareness-raising activities that are based on our code of ethics and our core values of diversity and respect.

We are also playing our part in raising the next generation of female scientists and engineers and helping to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and maths. For several years now, the Office has been a regular participant in Girls' Day, a career orientation and guidance event organised throughout Europe.

  • myAbility Talent Programme

    The EPO has been involved in the myAbility Talent programme since its introduction in Munich in 2019, helping highly qualified students and recent graduates with disabilities and chronic illness access the job market.
    Learn more

LGBTQ+ at the EPO

Recognising and embracing the differences that exist between us is the cornerstone of our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) programme, which focuses in particular on sexual orientation and identity. Over the years, we have been unwavering in our support for LGBTQ+ issues, which we demonstrate through

  • our strong presence at Sticks&Stones in June, Europe's largest LGBTQ+ career fair
  • expressions of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, for example by flying the rainbow flag in Munich and The Hague during Christopher Street Day festivities.

D&I at the EPO is about building a workplace where everyone feels welcome and respected, and where everybody can be their authentic self.