The Foundation for Innovation and Research – Malta

Gender Equality Plan
2022 – 2026


This Gender Equality Plan was created to ensure the quality performance of the Foundation for Innovation and Research – Malta (Foundation) members of staff based on the review of the policies and practices being used in Malta on a national level, that are in line with the Foundation‘s vision, Maltese legislation and with the requirements set by the European Commission. 

The Foundation for Innovation and Research – Malta is committed to follow Gender Equality Plan (GEP) in order to implement gender equality and non-discrimination principles in all areas of labour relations; attract talented and loyal members of staff, ensure their wellbeing at work, foster creativity and effectiveness while emphasising the strengths and diverse contributions brought up by the different genders and empower men and women to act and bring up the best of their abilities.

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of ethnicity, age, sexual orientation , or disability. 

Non exhaustive examples of discrimination  can possibly occur when : 

  • A person is treated or is subjected to unfavourable or less favourable behaviour, action, measures due to his/her identity features (for example, gender, age, nationality, disability, etc.) than is applied or treated to another person in similar circumstances ,such as  lower wages paid for the same work, unequal promotion criteria are applied, etc.;
  • There is unequal treatment, act or measures applied on grounds prohibited by law, (such as sex, race, nationality, ethnicity, etc.); or applied for  no good or justifiable and objective reasons for it, and/or  the means are not proportionate to the goal pursued .

GEP presented below outlines the steps to be taken by the Foundation to promote and achieve gender equality within its operations. 


The Foundation‘s vision is to foster an environment where gender equality is actively promoted, empowering individuals to reach their full potential regardless of their gender. The Foundation aims to create a diverse and inclusive workforce that thrives on the principles of fairness, respect, and equal opportunities.

The GEP focuses on the following key objectives:

1. Increase gender balance in leadership positions. The Foundation will actively work towards achieving a balanced representation of women and men in leadership roles, promoting diversity at all levels, and providing equal opportunities to career advancement.

2. Ensure equal access to opportunities. The Foundation will strive to provide equal access to resources, training, and professional development opportunities for all employees, irrespective of their gender.

3. Foster a gender-sensitive work environment. The Foundation will establish a culture of respect and inclusivity, where all employees feel valued, safe, and free from discrimination or harassment.

4. Enhance work-life balance. The Foundation will implement policies and practices that support work-life balance, including flexible working and childcare arrangements, parental leave, to enable employees to manage their personal and professional commitments effectively.

5. Integrate gender perspective in research. The Foundation will promote the integration of a gender perspective in its research projects and other activities, ensuring that gender considerations are taken into account in data collection, analysis, and outcomes and equal distribution of project activities and events participants by gender. 

The Foundation‘s GEP goals are created, implemented, reviewed, monitored, evaluated and communicated regularly by established Gender Equality Council to all members of staff to reach successful GEP implementation indicators. 


The implementation of the Foundations GEP is carried out by following the process of making analysis, creating strategy, planning and implementing the GEP and carrying continuous monitoring. The process formulates equality focused aims, based on analysis of issues at the Foundation, which offers measures and instruments for implementation to effectively tackle the gender equality related issues. Sustainable provision of resources, tools, measures and implementation structures for gender balance and equality is the core axis of the Foundation‘s successful and effective GEP outcomes.

Gender Equality Council

The Gender Equality Plan is created, communicated to all employees in order to be successfully implemented by all members of the Foundation and continuously monitored by the Gender Equality Council.

The Council is formed of IT and communications specialist, recruitment specialist, projects manager and compliance expert and chaired by the chair of the Foundation. The representation from recruitment, projects management including compliance and communications is vital.

All members of staff can report, raise concerns, discuss gender related matters with the members of Gender Equality Council by direct or anonymous communication to the Gender Equality Council‘s mail box at the Foundation‘s premises or by email genderequality@

Gender Equality Council meets regularly – twice a year or more often, if required to analyse the work progress, address gender related issues, suggest new tools and measures for GEP implementation. 

Actions and Strategies

The Foundation ensures that gender equality and non-discrimination principles are applied in all areas of labour relations, such as: 

  • hiring, 
  • creating equal working conditions and professional development opportunities, 
  • evaluating the work performance, 
  • adapting working conditions to people with disabilities, 
  • preventing discrimination and any kind of harassment, 
  • ensuring safe and effective ways to report discrimination and harassment, 
  • non-judgmental and effective complaint handling, 
  • planning and implementing the organisation’s equal opportunities policy and GEP.

The main focus of the Foundation for the year 2022 – 2026 is the effective and dedicated work to increase gender balance in the following areas:

1. Leadership and Governance

i. Conduct a gender audit to identify areas of underrepresentation and set targets for gender balance in leadership positions. 

ii. Implement targeted recruitment and promotion strategies to attract and retain a diverse pool of talented individuals. iii. Provide leadership training and mentoring programs to support women’s career progression.

2. Equal Access to Opportunities 

i. Develop transparent and unbiased selection processes for project assignments, training, and career development opportunities.

ii. Establish a mentoring program to support early-career researchers and professionals, with a particular focus on women. 

iii. Implement measures to eliminate unconscious bias in performance evaluations and promotions.

3. Gender-Sensitive Work Environment 

i. Develop and communicate a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment, and bullying, providing clear reporting procedures and support mechanisms. 

ii. Conduct awareness and training programs on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion for all employees. 

iii. Establish well functioning Gender Equality Council focused on gender equality and diversity initiatives.

4. Work-Life Balance 

i. Develop and implement flexible working arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible schedules, and part-time opportunities. 

ii. Offer parental leave policies that support both parents and enabling a smooth transition back to work on return from parental leave. 

iii. Assess the need for childcare facilities in partnerships with nearby childcare providers, according to the needs of the employees.

5. Gender Aspect Integration in Research 

i. Promote guidelines and training on integrating gender aspect in research design, data collection, and project outputs. 

ii. Encourage researchers to address gender-related research gaps and ensure gender balance in events. 

iii. Create a platform for sharing best practices and experiences related to gender integration in research.

Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation

To ensure the effectiveness of the GEP, the Foundation has established continuous monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The monitoring is carried out by the Gender Equality Council. Key actions include:

1. Regularly collect and analyse gender-disaggregated data on recruitment, retention, promotion, and training opportunities. 

2. Conduct periodic assessments of the work environment and employee satisfaction through anonymous surveys and focus groups that are later analysed by the Gender Equality Council to integrate and update the GEP.

3. Review and update the GEP periodically based on evaluation outcomes and emerging best practices.

Continuous Monitoring is focused on the main pillars of recruitment, career development opportunities, work and life balance and gender perspective integration into the research carried out.

Dedicated team working together in the Gender Equality Council are encouraged to participate in the Gender related initiatives, events and trainings to gain and develop new approaches and technics, learn about good practices from other entities and adapt it to the needs of the Foundation members of staff.

Gender Monitoring findings are compiled annually and published on internally shared platform accessible to all members of staff. It provides easy understandable and useful insights on the GEP developments and further directions.

The following aspects are being monitored and evaluated at the Foundation:

  1. Recruitment of gender balanced team, especially aiming for women and men balance in management and leadership positions.
  2. Provision of opportunities for internship for more or less the same amount of people of both genders.
  3. Provision of career development opportunities for more or less the same amount of people of both genders.
  4. Provision of flexible working conditions allowing the balance of work and private life.
  5. Participation rate in training on gender in the context of diversity

The Foundation annually carries out Working Environment Survey that indicates the wellbeing level, including analysis of psychological stress levels at work and focus on gender and diversity which is made available on internal platform for all people working at the Foundation for further discussions and suggestions for improvements.


The Foundation actively communicates its commitment to gender equality, internally and externally.

Supportive and appreciative organisation and communication culture is encouraged through clear messages, statements and positioning to all internal and external stakeholders. High importance is being given to add gender related aspects to research and projects activities carried out internally and internationally, by providing information, data, documents and tools to management and all staff members of the Foundation.

The main focus of communication is implemented through: 

1. Regular internal communications to promote awareness of gender equality initiatives, progress, and achievements. 

2. Publicly share the GEP on the Foundation’s website. 

3. Collaboration with external stakeholders, including other research institutions, to exchange knowledge and best practices in gender equality.

Resources and Timeline

The Foundation allocates dedicated resources, including funding, staff time, and training, to implement the GEP effectively. The plan will be implemented over a four year timeline, with progress reviewed every six months and reported to ensure accountability and transparency.

By implementing this Gender Equality Plan, the Foundation is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive work environment that values diversity and empowers all individuals to excel and contribute to the organisation’s success and creates welcoming environment to all.