Gender Equality Policy

Original Publication Date: 6 May 2013

Last Revision Date: 8 March 2024

Document Version: 2.3

  1. Introduction and Statement of Values

The Mediterranean Institute of Innovation, Communications, and Technology (MIICT) is firmly committed to fostering a workplace and learning environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. We embrace gender equality, diversity and inclusion as fundamental to our mission of driving innovation and progress. We are thus dedicated to gender equality and fostering an inclusive environment that empowers all individuals. The MIICT recognises that a truly equitable and inclusive environment is essential for excellence and fuels innovation and is therefore essential in unlocking the full potential of everyone interacting with MIICT, leading to better outcomes for everyone.

This Gender Equality Policy underscores our values and our determination to:

  • Promote Fairness: Ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities within MIICT, regardless of their gender identity or expression.
  • Create an Inclusive Culture of Belonging: Actively build a workplace and community environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and comfortable being their authentic selves.
  • Unleashing Potential: Recognize that a diverse workforce fosters creativity and drives breakthroughs.
  1. Definitions

The following terms are essential to understanding the scope and applications of this policy:

  • Gender Identity: A person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, a blend of both, or neither. This may or may not align with their sex assigned at birth.
  • Gender Expression: The external ways a person expresses their gender identity, including through clothing, mannerisms, appearance, or behaviour.
  • Discrimination: Unfair or unequal treatment of an individual or group based on their gender identity, gender expression, or other protected characteristics (which may include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, etc.).
  • Harassment: Unwelcome conduct based on gender or other protected characteristics that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. This can include verbal, physical, or visual forms of harassment.
  • Sexual Harassment: A specific form of harassment involving unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or other sexually-charged conduct.
  1. Scope of the Policy

This Gender Equality Policy applies to all members of the MIICT community, including:

  • Employees: Full-time, part-time, temporary, and contract staff.
  • Contractors and Vendors: Individuals or companies providing services to MIICT.
  • Visitors: Individuals present on MIICT premises or participating in MIICT-sponsored events.

This policy extends to all areas of MIICT’s operations, including:

  • Physical Community:  Laboratories, offices, and common spaces.
  • MIICT Events: Conferences, workshops, social gatherings, or any activities officially organized by MIICT.
  • Online Platforms: Virtual classrooms, MIICT websites, social media pages, and other digital spaces managed by MIICT.

MIICT expects all individuals to uphold the principles of this policy and contribute to a respectful and inclusive environment for everyone.

  1. Recruitment and Promotion

MIICT is dedicated to ensuring fair and equitable practices throughout our recruitment and promotion processes. We are committed to:

  • Merit-Based Selection: Hiring and promotion decisions will be based solely on an individual’s qualifications, skills, experience, and their potential to contribute to MIICT.
  • Diverse Candidate Pools: Proactively seeking out and considering a diverse range of qualified candidates for all open positions.
  • Eliminating Bias: Implementing measures to minimize unconscious bias in the hiring process, such as using standardized interview questions, diverse hiring panels, and potentially blind resume reviews.
  • Transparent Promotion Practices: Clearly communicating promotion criteria and providing equal opportunities for professional development to all employees.

MIICT recognizes that creating a diverse workforce at all levels strengthens our institution. We actively encourage applications from qualified individuals regardless of gender identity or expression.

  1. Equal Pay and Benefits

MIICT is committed to providing equal compensation and benefits to all employees, regardless of gender. We strive to ensure:

  • Pay Equity: Conducting regular reviews to identify and address any unexplained gender pay gaps. We maintain transparent compensation structures based on job responsibilities, skills, and experience.
  • Non-Discriminatory Benefits: Ensuring that all employees have equal access to benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, parental leave, and professional development opportunities.
  • Flexible Benefits: Where possible, offering flexible benefit options that recognize diverse needs and family structures.

MIICT believes that fair compensation and benefits are essential to attracting and retaining a talented workforce, and to fostering a workplace culture where everyone feels valued and supported.

  1. Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

MIICT understands that employees have commitments and responsibilities outside of the workplace. We aim to provide flexibility and support to help employees balance their work and personal lives. This includes:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Exploring options for flexible work schedules, remote work, and compressed workweeks, taking into account individual needs and job requirements. MIICT supports remote working arrangements, allowing employees to work from wherever they choose, provided job responsibilities can be effectively fulfilled. Remote employees will be treated equally to on-site employees in terms of opportunities and access to resources.
  • Support for Caregivers: Offering resources and support for employees with caregiving responsibilities for children, elderly family members, or dependents with disabilities. This may include flexible schedules and access to leave policies that are inclusive of diverse family needs.
  • Encouraging a Supportive Culture: Promoting a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable requesting flexibility and where work-life balance is valued and respected.

MIICT believes that supporting work-life balance enhances employee well-being, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

  1. Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment

MIICT maintains a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment of any kind, including those based on gender identity, gender expression, or other protected characteristics. We are committed to providing a workplace and learning environment free from:

  • Discriminatory Behaviour: Any unfair treatment, exclusion, or disadvantage based on gender or protected characteristics.
  • Harassment: Unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on gender or protected characteristics and creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. This includes sexual harassment.
  • Retaliation: Any adverse action taken against an individual for reporting discrimination or harassment, or for participating in an investigation related to such reports.

 Reporting Procedures:

MIICT strongly encourages any individual who experiences or witnesses discrimination or harassment to report it immediately.

Reports can be made to:

All reports will be taken seriously, investigated promptly, and treated with confidentiality to the extent possible.

MIICT will take appropriate actions to address any confirmed violations of this policy. These actions may include disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment.

  1. Training and Awareness

MIICT believes that ongoing education and awareness are critical in promoting gender equality and preventing discrimination and harassment. We will provide:

  • Mandatory Training: All employees will participate in regular training on this Gender Equality Policy, as well as on topics of diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias;
  • Additional Resources: Offering a variety of resources and educational materials on gender equality, available through the MIICT’s intranet and resource library;
  • Open Dialogue: Encouraging open conversations about gender equality, diversity, and inclusion through workshops, seminars, and other events;
  • Leadership Commitment: Ensuring that MIICT leaders actively promote gender equality and serve as role models for inclusive behaviour;
  • Encouraging Uniqueness Culture: Promoting and Sharing personal growing activities.

MIICT is committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels informed, empowered, and equipped to challenge discrimination and promote respect.

  1. Monitoring and Accountability

MIICT is committed to continually evaluating and improving the effectiveness of this Gender Equality Policy. We will:

  • Regular Reviews: Conduct periodic reviews of the policy to ensure it remains relevant, addresses emerging issues, and aligns with best practices.
  • Data Collection: Collect and analyse relevant data (while respecting privacy) to track progress on gender equality goals, such as representation in different job categories, salary data, and the use of flexible work arrangements.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Establish channels for employees and students to provide feedback on the policy’s implementation and suggest improvements.
  • Accountability: Hold individuals accountable for upholding the principles of this policy. This includes managers and leaders, who play a crucial role in modelling inclusive behaviours and addressing any instances of non-compliance.

MIICT recognises that achieving gender equality is an ongoing process. We are committed to transparency, continuous assessment, and adapting our practices to ensure a truly equitable environment for all.

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