Diversity wird definiert als „die Praxis oder Eigenschaft, Menschen mit unterschiedlichem sozialem und ethnischem Hintergrund, unterschiedlichem Geschlecht und unterschiedlicher sexueller Orientierung einzubeziehen oder zu beteiligen.“ Die RISC Software GmbH (RISC) hält sich in ihrer Unternehmensphilosophie an diese Definition und ist bestrebt, Chancengleichheit zu schaffen, unabhängig von Geschlecht, Alter, Behinderung, kulturellem Hintergrund und mehr.
Aus der Erkenntnis heraus, dass es im Bereich der Informationstechnologien an Vielfalt mangelt, hat RISC aktiv eine langfristige Strategie eingeschlagen, um zunächst durch mehrere Forschungsprojekte den Anteil weiblicher Mitarbeiter im Unternehmen zu erhöhen. Mit den Projekten FUTURISC und FEMpowerED@RISC ist es gelungen, die Sichtbarkeit von „Frauen in der IT“ allgemein zu erhöhen und die Frauenquote bei der RISC Software GmbH von 20 % auf aktuell 31 % aktiv zu steigern. Mit der Umstellung auf eine umfassendere Sichtweise der Gleichstellung der Geschlechter geht RISC einen weiteren Schritt in Richtung einer umfassenderen, inklusiveren Sichtweise der Vielfalt. So strebt RISC danach, von einer binären Perspektive auf das Geschlecht wegzukommen, um die Einbeziehung aller Geschlechter anzustreben und eine wertschätzende Umgebung zu schaffen, die alle Aspekte der Definition von Vielfalt berücksichtigt.
Darüber hinaus verfolgt RISC die langfristige Etablierung und Entwicklung einer Diversity-Strategie im Unternehmen durch die Schaffung eines unternehmensweiten Bewusstseins für Themen rund um Gender und Diversity. Aufgrund dessen wird ein Kernteam für Gender und Diversity unter der Leitung von zwei Gleichstellungsbeauftragten und mit dem Engagement der Personalabteilung, des Marketings und der Geschäftsführung eingerichtet. Dieser Gleichstellungsplan wird als Grundlage und Leitfaden für alle damit zusammenhängenden Aktivitäten dienen und sicherstellen, dass die wichtigsten Leistungsindikatoren eingehalten werden und die Themen Gleichstellung und Vielfalt bei RISC gut etabliert sind.
Es wird ein inspirierendes Arbeitsumfeld angestrebt, das die Mitarbeiter*innen unabhängig von Geschlecht, Alter, Behinderung und kulturellem Hintergrund wertschätzt. Regelmäßige Sensibilisierungsmaßnahmen sollen ein respektvolles Umfeld für alle Mitarbeiter*innen sicherstellen. Um Chancengleichheit nicht nur bei RISC zu schaffen, sondern auch dazu beizutragen, die Zahl der Frauen in MINT-Berufen zu erhöhen, wird RISC aktiv an Outreach-Programmen mit anderen Unternehmen und Forschungseinrichtungen teilnehmen. Darüber hinaus wird RISC eng mit Universitäten zusammenarbeiten, um Studentinnen zu ermutigen, MINT-bezogene Berufe zu ergreifen.
Gender Equality Plan – RISC Software GmbH
31stJanuary 2023 – Gender Equality plan in Textformat (EN)
Authors Christina Hochleitner, Isabell Ganitzer, Cornelia Staub, Elisa Neuhauser, Yvonne Marneth, Dominik Falkner, Joachim Mairböck
Responsible for the content
RISC Software GmbH
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “diversity” is defined as “the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders and sexual orientations.” (Oxford University Press, 2023) Within its company philosophy, RISC Software GmbH (RISC) adheres to this definition and strives to create equal opportunities, independent from gender, age, disabilities, cultural backgrounds, as also outlined by the HEAD wheel (Gaisch, 2020) and aspires to achieve this demographic diversity.
Realizing that there is a lack of diversity in the field of information technologies, RISC has actively taken on a long-term strategy to initially increase the number of female employees in the company through several research projects. The projects FUTURISC and FEMpowerED@RISC succeeded in increasing the visibility of “women in IT” and actively increased the quota of women employed at RISC from 20% to currently 30% (average in 2022). Shifting to a more inclusive outlook on gender equality, RISC is taking a next step to a broader, more inclusive take on diversity. Thus, merging from a binary perspective on gender, RISC strives to aspire inclusiveness for all genders and further establish an appreciative environment that considers all aspects of diversity.
Furthermore, RISC is pursuing the long-term establishment and development of a diversity strategy in the company throughthe cr eation of company-wide awareness to topics related to gender and diversity. Therefore, a core team (internally called “Gender and Diversity Task Force”) focusing on gender and diversity, led by two Gender Equality Officers and with engagement from Human Resources (HR), Marketing, Management, and employees from different departments, was established. This Gender Equality Plan serves as the basis and guidebook for all related activities, reassuring key performance indicators are upheld and the topics of gender and diversity are well established at RISC. Because of the growing awareness, know-how and changing needs this plan is considered as a working document which is continuously adapted according to current conditions and needs.
The goal is to establish an inspiring working environment, appreciative of employees, independent of gender, age, disabilities, and cultural backgrounds. Regular awareness activities will assure a respectful environment for all employees. RISC aspires to partake in creating equal opportunities not only at RISC, but also help increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and STEM professions, as well as encourage female students to further pursue STEM-related careers.
2 Objectives of the Gender Equality Plan
Diversity is a key element for successful teams. Several studies indicate that diversity in teams increases creativity and innovation as well as problem solving and facilitates higher employee engagement, well-being and productivity. Therefore, the following objectives will be pursued to achieve diversity and gender equality:
- Objective 1: Work-life balance and organizational culture
- 1.1 Work-life balance and reconciliation of work and family life
- 1.2 Appreciative corporate culture
- Objective 2: Gender balance in leadership and decision-making
- 2.1 Establishment of Gender Equality Officers and Gender and Diversity Task Force
- 2.2 Fostering female leadership
- Objective 3: Gender equality in recruitment and career progression
- 3.1 Gender-sensitive recruiting
- 3.2 Fostering female internships and scientific theses
- 3.3 Gender-sensitive career planning
- 3.4 Training and education opportunities
- Objective 4: Integration of the gender dimension into research content
- 4.1 Gender and diversity in research teams
- 4.2 Gender and diversity in research projects
- Objective 5: Prevention of gender-based discrimination, including sexual harassment
- 5.1 Creation of company-wide awareness for the topics gender and diversity
- 5.2 Creation of anonymous contact points
The topics gender and diversity will be addressed in an ongoing and iterative process, guaranteeing that all necessary activities are undertaken to assure all gender-related objectives are achieved. Furthermore, short and long-term topics addressing gender and diversity will be formalized as Objectives and Key Results (OKR), to assure the subject is embedded in RISC’s company vision and strategy.
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is an agile framework that enables strategy implementation based on agile principles. Depending on the implementation of the framework, an annual goal is derived from a vision (Midterm Goal – MOAL) which describes an outcome on the part of the stakeholders. An outcome is defined, among other things, by a noticeable change in the behavior and attitude of a group of people (e.g. acceptance of diversity issues, …). Subsequently, a MOAL is broken down into quarterly goals. This is done within the framework of objectives, which describe a qualitative target image in an agreed time frame, e.g. 3 months. The achievement of an objective is monitored by measuring key results. Key results are quantitative measurements of outcome and in their entirety represent the hypothesis that if the target values of the key results are achieved, the objective should also be fulfilled.
Therefore, the here described iterative process will feed into the definition of RISC’s MOALs and OKRs concerning gender and diversity. Hence, it will be assured that the topic, goals and measures will be further developed and monitored throughout the year and gender and diversity are an essential part of the company vision.
Definition phase: Within this phase, a gender analysis to define the current status quo is conducted. This analysis will be periodically repeated as part of the evaluation / analysis / monitoring phase. Goals, measures, and indicators are defined by the Gender Equality Officers together with the Gender and Diversity Task Force and integrated in the gender and diversity strategy. Feedback and input are collected throughout the company. As part of the iterative process, goals, measures, and indicators as defined in this document are updated. The goals will be defined according to the SMART objectives: specific, measurable, accepted, realistic, time-based and respective objectives and key results (OKR) are established in accordance with the overall company strategy to measure the accomplishment of the goals.
Planning phase: Based on the previous phase and the defined objectives and key results (OKR), appropriate measures for the forthcoming period are planned.
Implementation phase: The planned measures are implemented within a predefined period.
Evaluation / analysis phase / monitoring
phase: The success of the implemented measures is monitored and any data needed to evaluate the defined OKRs is collected. On a yearly basis, the defined OKRs are reviewed and adapted and new ones are defined by the Gender Equality Officers together with the Gender and Diversity Task Force. This assures that the topic of gender and diversity is anchored in RISC’s overall Vision. The results of this phase are communicated within RISC (e.g., periodically at company meetings) and serve as a base for the next iteration.
Figure 1: Gender Equality Process at RISC Software GmbH.
4 Results of the Gender Analysis
It is the overall goal of RISC to further establish gender and diversity awareness and related activities within the foundations of the company. Therefore, as continuous activity according to the process described in section 3 and in accordance to RISC’s overall vision, medium- to short-term goals, so-called MOALs are defined for each year. For 2023 the goal states that RISC knows where it stands in the area of gender & diversity and what measures it will take in the future. Accordingly, objectives and key results are defined by the Gender Equality Officers together with the Gender and Diversity Task Force.
To develop the present Gender Equality Plan, RISC has conducted extensive internal contextual and gender analyses as a basis for all further activities. The data collected and included in the analyses was defined by in a collaboration between Gender Equality Officers, Gender and Diversity Task Force and Management. As additional support, external advice from experts in the field of gender and diversity, as well as internal workshops conducted on these topics and recommended literature (e.g. (Wroblewski and Englmaier, 2022)) were taken into account.
In addition, the objectives and achievements of the previous two FFG-funded FEMtech projects FUTURISC and FEMpowered@RISC, as well as the currently ongoing FEMtech project RISCversity have been considered as the basis for the formalization of the Gender Equality Plan. These projects included awareness measures in form of workshops, information and outreach campaigns, as well as several installments such as gender-sensitive onboarding processes, gender-sensitive recruitment processes and gender-sensitive corporate language guidelines. Therefore, these processes were reflected and further iterations were proposed.
To get a detailed overview of the current status regarding gender and equality at RISC, the following sections describe the results of the gender analysis in more detail. In 2022, RISC Software GmbH had 48 full-time and 34 part-time employees from 8 different nationalities. Of these, 9 employees have completed an internship. The average full-time equivalent in 2022 was 63,54.
There are different types of management positions at RISC Software GmbH: Management, Unit Management and Project Management. As part of the previous FEMtech projects, we have already implemented many measures and successful activities to increase the number of female managers. For example, since 2019, we have filled the first female leadership role in unit management. The other 4 unit managers and the general management are male. Currently we have 17 active project managers in the company, 2 of them are female.
It is important that employees regularly participate in further training to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and to support their career development. It is pleasing to note that 63 employees participated in further training in 2022. It is particularly positive to see that 29 of these are female, as this indicates support for career development for women in the company. This can help to reduce gender inequality in management positions.
5 Key Elements of the Gender Equality Plan (Measures)
It is an important goal for RISC to offer its employees an appreciative working atmosphere and individual development prospects. By promoting employee qualifications and satisfaction, existing core competencies in the various research areas can be deepened and expanded. A key value of RISC is the promotion of equal opportunities, which is why active measures are implemented to create gender-balanced ratios and working conditions. The proportion of women at RISC is currently (at the end of 2022) about one third, being slightly higher than in non-university scientific and technical research in Austria with 27%. Building upon this promising foundation, the goal is to create equal opportunities for all genders in non-university scientific research and, amongst others, to implement targeted measures to promote the careers of women in research and technology.
The specific measures that contribute to achieving the objectives listed in chapter 2Objectives of the Gender Equality Plan are described below.
5.1 Objective 1: Work-life balance and appreciative organizational culture
Work-life balance and reconciliation of work and family life
Work-life balance and enabling family and care commitments are supported proactively by long-term perspectives and appropriate working conditions. The working environment is sought to be as flexible as possible to include a vast variety of personal living conditions, such as care commitments, caring leave, commuting, pursuing a degree or voluntary work.
In addition, flexible working time models, called Flexitime working, home office, sabbatical and largely flexible vacation planning make a significant contribution to the work-life balance and the reconciliation of career and family. Furthermore, the possibility of taking parental leave for both parents is actively supported. Changing of agreed working hours per week is easily possible on a monthly basis. Meetings, especially internal meetings, are sought to be scheduled in line with family-friendly times. Respecting the need of commuting to work and potential difficulties with care commitments, flexible working hours, individual work from home agreements as well as a second office in Linz to allow for shorter and more sustainable commuting options. For employees of RISC, monthly food subsidies can be redeemed via App. They can be collected at any day of the week (except Sunday) at any daytime, independent from the location at restaurants as well as at supermarkets. Therefore, the most possible flexibility for different employment models as well as working times has been achieved.
Appreciative organizational culture
For RISC, employee satisfaction plays a central role, which is why the corporate culture is characterized by openness, appreciation, and tolerance. RISC is made up of a heterogeneous international employee base, which is why mindfulness of gender and diversity-related topics is crucial for an inclusive working environment and supporting and enforcing respectful interactions will become even more important in the future.
An appreciative working atmosphere is ensured by the fact that employees at all hierarchical levels communicate respectfully with each other. Suggestions from employees can be addressed to any level, including management. The Gender Equality Officers ensure that the employees are being heard. Anonymous feedback can also be provided directly to the management through RISC’s SecureReveal System (www.secureveal.com).
RISC Software GmbH sees a responsible approach to risks as an essential component of appropriate corporate governance. The risk policy therefore corresponds to the endeavor to sustainably achieve the strategic and operational corporate goals and thereby enable the company to recognize risks and opportunities at an early stage, to evaluate them and to control them through appropriate measures. Particular importance is attached to ensuring appropriate, effective risk management and risk controlling. The systems are continuously developed and adapted to changing conditions. For this reason, a risk management system is being developed on an ongoing basis to ensure structured handling of opportunities and risks.Mutual support and teamwork are other key factors in providing a constructive working environment. In addition, the flat organizational structure facilitates short decision-making paths and a rapid transfer of responsibility.
Numerous company-wide measures are implemented to promote cohesion among colleagues. These include team-building activities and annual employee events (summer parties, ski days, company outings, etc.) as well as regular leisure and sports activities such as cooking together, climbing, bouldering, hiking, yoga, games evenings or regulars’ tables. To respect care commitments, meetings are sought to be scheduled at family-friendly times.
Respectful and inclusive communication
Gender equality has a high priority within the company values of RISC. This includes actively communicating these values externally and internally. Gender equal, inclusive and respectful communication includes imagery, spoken and written language and other media – online and offline, where all interest groups should be equally represented and addressed. It is extremely important to RISC, that prejudices or socially constructed rolemo dels are not reproduced in corporate communications.
RISC has an internally published guideline for gender-sensitive language. This guideline is continuously adapted to new developments in gender-sensitive language and brought to the employees periodically. As major contact point and communication channel, special emphasis is placed on the values communicated through RISC’s website. This guideline is to be applied to all internal and external communications. This implies that communications through potential partners and other stakeholders must employ gender-sensitive language. Furthermore, employees have the possibility to have their texts and media checked before publication by an internal service point (communication department). All publications must comply with these guidelines and will be reviewed upon re-publication (e.g., company reports, brochures, project descriptions).
Furthermore, emphasis is placed on introducing employees to gender-sensitive language in various internal event formats. E.g., at events like “GmbH-Frühstück” (which is a companywide internal meeting for general information, held about once a quarter, where breakfast is provided for all employees) or “Lunch Lecture” (which is an internal event where specific research and technical topics are presented to provide a deeper insight into the work of individual employees and to stimulate professional discourse).
5.2 Objective 2: Gender balance in leadership and decision-making
Establishment of Gender Equality Officers and a Gender and Diversity Task Force
RISC has nominated two internal Gender Equality Officers to ensure the successful implementation of the planned measures. They will participate in various further training measures on the topic of gender and diversity and subsequently act as contact persons for gender-sensitive topics. In addition, the further development of the company-wide Gender Equality Plan and its implementation is planned, and various measures will be taken for generation management and to further sensitize employees to relevant topics. As experts in the field of gender and diversity, the Gender Equality Officers are contact points for all gender-relevant issues.
In addition, RISC has established an internal Gender and Diversity Task Force. Supporting the two Gender Equality Officers, it consists of employees from Human Resources, Communications, Management, and at least one employee from each of the departments. Representatives of all departments are included in the Gender and Diversity Task Force to create transparency, consider issues from all employees and involve a wide array of possible backgrounds and perspectives. Therefore, the Gender and Diversity Task Force aims to reflect the multitude of diverse backgrounds of RISC employees. The aim of the task force is to ensure that the interests of all departments are considered, that the topics of gender and diversity are treated with equal importance within all departments and that decisions can be made efficiently by involving the management level. In addition, information relevant to gender and diversity can easily be communicated to the departments and a natural multiplier effect can be achieved.
Fostering female leadership
Continuing education opportunities are offered to all employees, with a special focus on gender equality and the career advancement of women. In the FEMtech project FemPowerED@RISC (FFG Success Story), RISC implemented measures to strengthen the potential of female employees and integrated a mentoring concept into the onboarding process. Measures for targeted professional development for female employees and the encouragement of women to take on leadership roles were also implemented. Fostering equal opportunities is a high priority
in daily work. Regarding career opportunities, no form of discrimination, due to, e.g., age, gender, or ethnic origin, is tolerated.
Women are and will be encouraged to take on management positions and (project) leader held on leadership issues such as (senior) project management, employee leadership, conflict management, (project) controlling, or R&D applications. The aim is for more female employees to successfully take the step into managing research and customer projects as well as taking part in technical decisions as leading experts in their field.
5.3 Objective 3: Gender equality in recruitment and career progression
To sensitize both existing and potential employees to gender and diversity in recruiting, a guideline for gender-sensitive recruiting and employer branding is developed by the Gender Equality Officers and Gender and Diversity Task Force in close collaboration with management and HR. For example, Gender-sensitive language and communication is already implemented in the formulation of job advertisements, ensuring any discrimination to be excluded in advance. With equal qualifications, there are no gender-related differences.
Furthermore, women are specifically encouraged to apply at RISC, especially for management, leading and expert positions. This is personally encouraged by employees at job fairs and other student-related events. To further promote diversity among RISC employees, international applicants will be encouraged to apply and funding opportunities to ease relocation to Austria will be sought.
Fostering female internships and scientific theses
To support the training of highly qualified personnel in Upper Austria, RISC offers the opportunity to do internships and thus gain valuable experience in research work. Students are also supported in writing scientific theses on current research questions in the fields of industry, logistics and medicine.
Several internships focusing on endorsing female interns within STEM professions will be offered. Research programs such as FEMtech offer funding for female interns in the STEM-field. Female internships assist in conveying the company-wide signal for the targeted career promotion of women in research and technology. Especially, female students and young female technicians are given the opportunity to get to know RISC and to start a career supported by mentors. Since the low percentage of women in technology, and especially in software development, already begins in computer science-related studies and thus in vocational training, it is an important goal to introduce young people and especially young women to the fields of activity of technicians and researchers by presenting typical job descriptions of employees of the company.
An attractive training of young researchers is ensured by integration in research projects and by an onboarding and mentoring process. This includes, firstly, a selected key researcher, who accompanies the induction phase and provides specialist support. Secondly, there is an administrative mentor who explains all company-specific processes. Thus, the mentor ensures good integration in the company right from the start.
The individual professional career is supported by numerous qualification measures. Annual employee interviews with department leads are established to discuss career opportunities in detail. Furthermore, the employee’s current situation is discussed in detail and interests in terms of (research) topics and projects are considered. Training possibilities as well as the possibility (if desired) of completing a degree, certification or attending a conference to expand professional expertise are also part of the interviews. Employees are supported in writing and completing scientific theses, dissertations, and postdoctoral theses in connection with their research activities. Female employees are particularly encouraged to take on leadership roles, e.g., on topics or projects.
The supervision of internships has proven very successful in recent years, as it provides future employees a good insight into the work at RISC. For interns, this opportunity represents a kind of career springboard, since RISC supports interns who wish to subsequently write a scientific thesis (bachelor’s and master’s thesis or dissertation) on an exciting topic and thus continue the joint work and benefit from the respective levels of knowledge and experience.
To ensure the highest possible level of transparency, the company devised a career model that is available and visible for all employees. . The flat hierarchy, open and appreciative communication as well as annual appraisal interviews enable direct exchange and individuallyadju stable career paths.
Customized training and education opportunities
Technological progress and a wide variety of challenges allow our employees to take on varied tasks, work on exciting projects, and immerse themselves in promising areas of research, thus constantly expanding and deepening their knowledge. Thanks to its economic continuity and long-term existence, RISC offers its current and new employees stable and secure jobs. Instead of relying on temporary employment, RISC aims to retain its personnel in the long term and to support the achievement of individual development goals.
To further increase and maintain the professional and scientific excellence of its employees in the long term, therefore ensuring its own competitiveness, RISC offers its employees a comprehensive range of training and education opportunities. Training and education to ctreate awareness of gender and diversity are offered to all employees on a yearly basis. Further participation in gender-relevant trainings, e.g., offered by the Johannes Kepler University Linz or other universities are highly encouraged.
These measures are already firmly anchored in the company and are constantly being developed further by those responsible. Accordingly, each employee receives a certain number of “credits”, which can be used to finance further training measures and/or in the form of time compensation (e.g., attendance at a lecture at the university). In addition to the opportunity to participate in two to three company-wide continuing education programs each year, employees are also free to make their own suggestions and requests regarding continuing education and to participate in them in consultation with their supervisors. To ensure an exchange of experiences and quality assurance, employees are invited to give their feedback in a short questionnaire after participation. To guarantee that the individual development goals defined in the annual employee appraisals are achieved, targeted training and education measures are planned together with the supervisor.
RISC takes measures to promote individual interests and to support its employees in achieving their goals. If possible and relevant for the research work, employees are enabled to set individual technical focuses, to deal with new scientific topics and to try out newly developed methods.
In addition, the internal scientific discourse of the employees of all research departments is promoted with the monthly “Lunch Lecture” events. These internal appointments include a previously determined subject-specific lecture and a subsequent joint discussion. They act as a meeting point for knowledge transfer and joint problem solving. Current and relevant topics, such as the use of the internally published guideline for gender-appropriate language and other gender-relevant topics are also presented and discussed. Further, female networking is encouraged through RISC-internal FEMclub meetings (see also Section 5.5).
|3.1. Gender-sensitive recruiting
|Guideline for gender-sensitive and
diversity-sensitive recruiting and employer branding
|HR, Management, Gender Equality Officers, Gender
and Diversity Task Force
|Continuous monitoring of the recruiting process to assure interest
in our positions from applicants with diverse backgrounds. External review of
|3.2. Fostering female internships
and scientific theses
|Offering of internships, particularly for women
and diverse backgrounds, making use of initiatives such as FEMtech
|HR, Communications, Management, Department
Leads, Gender Equality Officers
|Conduct outreach activities and participate in job fairs and
networking events particularly targeted at women’s career opportunities
|HR, Communications, Gender Equality Officers
|Create training and mentoring opportunities
particularly for young employees in their respective fields (e.g. by Pair
Programming, Code Reviews, etc.)
|HR, Communications, Management, Gender
Equality Officers, Department Leads
|3.3. Career planning
|Annual employee interviews to discuss performance, training,
career possibilities, topical and research interests.
|Management, Department Leads, HR
|Establishment of a transparent, gender-sensitive
payment model based on the Austrian IT collective agreement.
|Management, HR, Gender Equality Officers
|Establishment of a performance-oriented career model with
promotion criteria independent of gender or demographic diversity
|Management, HR, Gender Equality Officers, Gender and Diversity
|Continuous data collection on demographic
diversity of employees and equity of salaries between male and female
employees to facilitate evaluation and measurement current status and
|3.4. Customized training and education opportunities
|Establish company-wide annual personalized training possibilities
(e.g. Mentoring through participation in the Software Engineering Group).
|Organize annual workshops on gender and
diversity to create awareness to the topics
|Management, HR, Gender Equality Officers, Gender
and Diversity Task Force
|Establish “Lunch Lectures” to present company-relevant topics,
such as gender and diversity
|Management, Gender Equality Officers, Gender and Diversity Task
5.4 Objective 4: Integration of the gender dimension into research content
Gender and diversity in research teams
The consideration of gender aspects also concerns RISC specific topics, such as the treatment of gender and diversity in research activities. Diverse compositions of project and research teams assure to cover a wide range of topics and potential consequences for both, research topics up to end-users. This diversity is not limited to gender, but also includes age, sexual orientation, disabilities, ethnical, religious, or social backgrounds, as well as professional field of expertise (e.g., by increasing the number of key researchers at RISC with diverse backgrounds), as indicated in the HEAD-Wheel (Gaisch, 2019). Thus, it is sought to create diverse and interdisciplinary teams within RISC but also in professional collaborations.
Gender and diversity in research projects
Gender and diversity aspects are also addressed in the content-related research work of RISC. If possible and relevant, any differences in terms of gender, age, ethnic groups, etc. are examined in the research projects, topics and use cases. Diversity-relevant differences are included in the research design and in the selection of data. For example, in the medical field different genders, body types, or age groups are considered when developing patient models (e.g., research project Surface 3D). When collecting data and compiling datasets, a balance regarding gender and age of the patients is sought. Wherever relevant, gender anddiversity are also considered in the data material of the research activities.
Secondly, the research topics treated within RISC hold topics potentially relevant to gender and diversity (e.g., the potential of discrimination by algorithms). Therefore, anti-bias workshops on identifying these topics across all research activities will be conducted.
|4.1. Gender and diversity in research
|Composition of research teams based on skills
and diversity, according to the HEAD Wheel.
|Management, Department Leads, Gender Equality
|Continuous monitoring of demographic diversity of research teams
|Gender Equality Officers
|4.2. Gender and diversity in research
|Creation of awareness of gender-relevant
topics in research, e.g., through workshops or involvement of Gender Equality
Officers in the proposal process
|Established, Workshops planned starting 2023
|Management, Department Leads, Gender Equality
Officers, Gender and Diveristy Task Force
|Continuous monitoring of gender and diversity relevant research
|Gender Equality Officers, Gender and Diversity Task Force
5.5 Objective 5: Prevention of gender-based discrimination, including sexual harassment
Creation of company-wide awareness for the topics gender and diversity
The planned measures include annual gender and diversity workshops for all employees of RISC, special management training on the topics of gender and diversity, and general monitoring of the development of measures. Further trainings for the Gender Equality Officers as well as specialized trainings for management will be conducted.
Using multiplier effects through informal communication by the members of the Gender and Diversity Task Force as well as the Gender Equality Officers will help to create company-wide awareness. Internal events, such as lunch lectures and presentations at company meetings will additionally help create awareness for the topics. Further measures are planned and implemented at the discretion of and in consultation with experts (e.g., workshops on the promotion of women in the company or in the individual research departments).
Other measures include the use of gender-sensitive language or the communication of the topics as part of the on-boarding process. These measures have been described in previous sections.
Creation of anonymous contact points and safe environments
RISC has zero tolerance for any form of sexual harassment or other forms of harassment. Any reason for concerns can be anonymously reported to either the Gender Equality Officers, directly to the management or anonymously through RISCs SecureReveal System (www.secureveal.com). Any report will be handled confidentially and with utmost care.
In RISC, personal coaching possibilities have been implemented. If one has problems in the company, at work, interpersonally or privately, one can turn to a trusted person with whom these problems can be openly discussed. The conversation remains between the two people and serves to obtain advice and an outside opinion.
To promote internal networking and exchange between female employees and to be able to openly address relevant topics, the regularly held RISC FEMclub was introduced. Current personal concerns can be addressed openly, and everyone can be sure that the topics discussed will be dealt with confidentially. In addition, suggestions can be made and specific areas are identified in which gender equality can be further promoted at RISC. Further, concrete ideas and actions can be implemented to promote gender equality. The RISC FEMclub will be revised, adapted to the latest standards, and expanded to include the dimension
|5.1. Creation of company-wide awareness for the topics gender and diversity
|Organize annual workshops on gender and diversity to create awareness to the topics
|Management, HR, Gender Equality Officers
|Develop gender and diversity awareness measures in collaboration with gender and diversity experts
|Management, HR, Gender Equality Officers, Gender andv Diversity Task Force
|5.2. Creation of anonymous contact points and safe environments
|Establishment of confidential and anonymous contact points
|Management, Company Compliance Officer, Gender Equality Officers
|Promote internal networking amongst female employees through the RISC FEMclub as a safe environment
|Gender Equality Officers, FEMclub Organizers
|Further develop the RISC FEMclub to also include the dimension of diversity
|Planned for 2023
|Gender Equality Officers, Gender and Diversity Task Force, FEMclub Organizers
6 Internal and external Communication Strategy
RISC Software emphasizes gender-sensitive language that does not detract from reading comprehension. This is also incorporated in our Gender Equality Plan.
Gender-sensitive language includes:
- spoken language
- written language
- figurative language (especially imagery)
- all other media – online and offline
Since gender-equitable language in German is a far greater challenge than in English and German is also the corporate language at RISC Software GmbH, there is a guideline for gender-equitable language in German and also a chapter for gender-equitable language in English (see guideline attached).
As part of gender equality measures, public
relations activities are planned. The aim is to further increase the visibility of RISC as an attractive employer for women in technology and people with diverse backgrounds and to make the promotion of gender and diversity visible to external parties. Presentations in educational institutions are held to directly address potential new female employees, with the aim of further increasing the quota of highly qualified women in the company and cooperations with higher education institutions are planned.
RISC will also take an active part in encouraging diversity in STEM professions, particularly in non-university research. Therefore, existing networks, e.g., within Upper Austria or locally in Hagenberg will be used and further extended. RISC will actively contribute to mentoring programs for students and young professionals and collaborate to create a strong network for female IT professionals. To achieve these goals, RISC employees will support educational institutions such as universities or companies through teaching and outreach activities. As RISC is also engaged in creating modern and flexible working environments, collaborations in this direction – with a particular focus on gender and diversity – such as in the project “Digitales Arbeiten in der Krise” by ÖGUT will also be supported in the future.
The company aspires to develop, communicate, and disseminate a company-wide guideline for communication and public relations regarding diversity and gender-equitable values to anchor them in the corporate culture. The developed guideline will be taken into account for all printed and online matters. If necessary, furthermore handouts for the outreach activities regarding gender will be produced.
The activities regarding equality will be improved through participation and exchange within the framework of experience exchange rounds between companies and (research) institutions and allowing other companies to benefit from this. RISC is to take on a pioneering role and provide support for others in this regard. This should also promote networking and the exchange of female employees. Particularly in the local area (Softwarepark Hagenberg, research landscape Upper Austria, partner companies in Upper Austria), existing contacts are to be used. First, a company-wide guideline for communication and public relations regarding diversity and gender-equitable values is developed with the broadest possible participation of employees. Later, an exchange of experiences with other companies will take place.
7 Continuous Progress Monitoring
The achievement of the objectives of the RISC Gender Equality Plan as well as the evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures taken are subject to continuous progress monitoring. The progress monitoring is based on the context analysis and the data collected for the initial gender analysis.
The following list indicates the periodically collected gender and diversity data within RISC in order to provide a basis for decisions and measures undertaken to foster gender equality and diversity within RISC:
- Number of full-time and part-time employees in general and per unit, also divided by roles
- Absence of work
- Leading positions of employees
- Involvement of female employees in decision
- Participation in trainings
- Number of male / female applicants
- Number of male / female employees who have left RISC
- Share of research and innovation projects that
focus on a gender or equality issue
- Share of research and innovation projects that take the gender dimension into account as a cross-cutting issue
- Gender-related incidents
- Trained people in case of incidents
- Nationalities represented in the company
- Generations represented in the company
Each year, the Gender Equality Officers and the Gender and Diversity Task Force will discuss the status of objectives in the GEP, the OKRs and MOALs as well as the herein contained measures with the managing director and selected employees. In this way, deviations of key indicators can be identified, and countermeasures can be initiated to ensure that the objectives are achieved. In adapting with progress and changing circumstances, objectives will be revised, or new objectives added and, through OKRs, be embedded in the company strategy
The results of these meetings are recorded in form of meeting minutes and will lead to a progress report and the adaptation of the present GEP. To ensure transparency, the results of this regular monitoring will be communicated to all employees as part of the quarterly company assembly.
The results of the quarterly employee satisfaction surveys are an important indicator for RISC and enable it to derive targeted measures for the continuous improvement of working conditions and to address the feedback and wishes of employees. A separate question section on gender equality and diversity have been implemented as part of this survey.
8 Budget and Resources
At the beginning of each period, the Gender Equality Officers develop a draft allocating working hours for the Gender Equality Officers, the Gender and Diversity Task Force as well as training, awareness, and prevention measures to be implemented, which will be approved by the managing director. Employees are allowed to participate in selected meetings and activities (e.g., workshops, trainings, information events).). For the years 2022 and 2023, additional budget is provided by the “FEMtech Karriere” program of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (“Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft”, FFG), for the funded project RISCversity (project number 892247).
Gaisch, Martina, Preymann, Silke and Aichinger, Regina. 2020. „Diversity management at the tertiary level: an attempt to extend existing paradigms“, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 137-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-03-2018-0048
Wroblewski, Angela and Englmaier, Victoria. 2022. Leitfaden zur Entwicklung von Gleichstellungsplänen in österreichischen Hoschlu- und Forschungseinrichtungen. Studie im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums
für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung und des Bundesministeriums für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologien. Institut für Höhere Studien, Wien.
 Chartered Management Institute (CMI), 2019. The five business benefits of a diverse team [WWW Document]. URL: https://www.managers.org.uk/knowledge-and-insights/listicle/the-five-business-benefits-of-a-diverse-team/
(accessed 14 December 2022).
 Wroblewski, A., Striedinger, A., 2018. Gleichstellung in Wissenschaft und Forschung in Österreich. Bundesministerium Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung.