12. November 2021

Stifterverband certifies Helmholtz Centre Berlin for strategies in dealing with diversity

HZB is the first non-university research institution to complete the Diversity Audit “Vielfalt gestalten”

Award of the diversity certificate © HZB
from left to right: Volker Meyer-Guckel, Deputy Secretary General of the Stifterverband, Jennifer Schevardo, HZB Project Manager Diversity Audit, Jan Lüning, scientific director at HZB. © HZB

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is the first non-university research institution to have undergone the Stifterverband's diversity audit "Vielfalt gestalten". The certification attests to the HZB's opportunity-oriented concepts and measures for diverse groups of people.

Regardless of whether employees come from abroad, have a migration background or work part-time, regardless of their age, gender or ideology—all employees should be able to participate equally in everyday work with their abilities. To ensure this, the HZB went through an 18-month process. In the process, the existing concepts to promote diversity were expanded and corresponding measures were implemented. These concern both organisational structures and personnel management. Services for employees and diversity-sensitive communication are also part of the diversity strategy.

"The Diversity Audit has given us important impetus and pushed forward issues that we have been dealing with as an organisation for a long time," says Thomas Frederking, Commercial Director of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. "We have updated our Code of Conduct, organised selection and recruitment processes in a more diversity-sensitive way and are currently revising the processes for conflict management. We have also taken a close look at our work and leadership culture and will establish corresponding guidelines. Many HZB employees contributed ideas during the diversity audit, which we are particularly pleased about."

"We are very glad that the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is the first non-university research institution to receive the Stifterverband certificate 'Shaping Diversity'. After all, dealing with diversity remains one of the major development tasks in the entire scientific landscape," explains Volker Meyer-Guckel, Deputy Secretary General of the Stifterverband. "More and more institutions are realising that a diversity-friendly culture strengthens employee satisfaction and performance. The innovative power of an institution can be increased through different perspectives and experiences of all employees."

Since 2013, the Stifterverband has offered the diversity audit "Shaping Diversity" to universities as a service. Since then, more than 50 universities have successfully participated. Originally developed for universities, the audit was piloted for non-university research institutions in cooperation with the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin.


Dr. Jennifer Schevardo
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Department Personnel and Social Matters
Phone: +49 30 8062-43064 / -13470
Email: jennifer.schevardo(at)


Press release HZB, 11 November 2021