Colorful shapes

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the Max Delbrück Center, we are deeply committed to upholding the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We aim to create an inclusive organizational culture that celebrates the uniqueness of every individual, embracing diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences, and bringing out the best in everyone. We firmly believe this is not just our responsibility but a great strength.

Diversity as the multitude of perspectives and skills that arise from individual backgrounds, experiences and individual characteristics.

Equality is about providing opportunities for all employees, i.e. ensuring equal opportunities for participation, involvement and individual development.

Inclusion actively shapes our organization in order to create an appreciative, safe, respectful working environment with full belonging and accessibility for all employees.

© Felix Petermann, Max Delbrück Center

The Max Delbrück Center has been a signatory to the Diversity Charta since Sep 2023 and, by signing it, has committed itself to an organizational culture characterized by mutual respect and appreciation. You can find the full text in the Charta document. For more information visit the pages of Diversity Charta.

Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity stands as one of the most cherished aspects of our vibrant community. Our highly international environment embraces members from over 70 nationalities, fostering a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere that encourages cross-cultural understanding, support and collaborative engagement among members.

To ensure a smooth transition to the new work and life environment, we provide extensive support to our international colleagues, including the services of our Welcome and Family Office, informative onboarding sessions.

Gender equality and sexual identity inclusion

At the MDC, we actively strive to create an environment that is welcoming, respectful, and empowering for individuals of all gender identities and sexual expressions. We aim to create a space where everyone can feel valued and free to be their authentic selves. This is a driving force shaping our institution's policies, practices, and initiatives to ensure a safe and supportive community for all.

The Gender Equality Plan (2021-2027) formulates key principles, objectives, and measures to promote equal opportunities for all members of our community, regardless of their gender identity. 

Highly qualified female candidates for executive-level positions and professorships are actively recruited. A collection with links to search databases is provided to support members of recruitment committees in finding potential female candidates.

At the Max Delbrück Center we collectively shoulder the responsibility of providing all staff a workplace free of harassment, bullying, and discrimination. To this end, the Guideline against discrimination, bullying and harassment has been in force since 01.01.2020.

We also recommend the guidelines issued by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency.

The Gender-Inclusive Language Guideline ensures the use of language that does not discriminate against a particular sex, social gender or gender identity.

Active LGBTQ+ community at the MDC fosters a strong network of community members and diverse allies. Two years in a row, a highly successful scientific symposiums were organized, delving into the intricate interplay between sexuality and gender in the scientific community.

The Gender Equality Officer and her team play a pivotal role in promoting equal opportunities at the Max Delbrück Center. She actively engages in all personnel, social, and organizational planning, decisions, and gender equality measures, offering valuable guidance and support to female and male employees alike.


Health and wellbeing

At the MDC, a strong emphasis is placed on prioritizing the health and wellbeing of all community members. This comprehensive approach encompasses not only physical and mental health but also addresses the social aspects of the working environment. The MDC collaborates with other institutions on campus, striving for synergy and collective wellbeing.

Barrier-free access, inclusion and participation

We aspire to dismantle barriers and promote equal opportunities for all, fostering a culture of empathy, mutual understanding and support.

Marion Posselt-Hofmann, Disabilities Officer at the MDC, is committed to promoting the rights of disabled employees.

Family-friendly solutions

We are committed to offering a range of practical solutions that facilitate a seamless integration of work and family life, such as adaptable work organization, flexible working hours, and comprehensive support for child and elder care. Since 2009, the MDC has been assigned the certificate “Audit Career and Family” by the Hertie Foundation.

Freedom from discrimination 

MDC is committed to an environment free of discrimination and violence. To achieve this, nurturing a culture of respect, inclusion and participation for all community members is vital. In order to build respectful and trusting communication, MDC provides numerous counseling and contact points that staff can trustingly turn to for help and guidance when facing interpersonal challenges. 

Leadership culture

The guidelines were jointly developed at the Max Delbrück Center. They set out six leadership principles: 

  • Excellence requires leadership 
  • Leadership is performance 
  • Courage to innovate 
  • Promoting diversity and thinking diversely 
  • Trust through honesty and appreciation 
  • Taking responsibility and acting responsibly.

The guidelines are part of the project "Development and Establishment of an MDC Leadership Culture" launched in 2020. The guidelines were approved by the Board of Directors.

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