Recruiting Women to the IAEA

- Recruitment Brochure: "Women and the IAEA" » [pdf]

The Search for Women in Science

Recruiting Women to the IAEA

The IAEA is working hard to increase the number of women staff in the scientific and engineering fields. As part of its commitment to increase the number of women in the Professional categories, the Agency supports the equal participation of women and men in the Secretariat through a number of measures. These include:

  • Special attention to well-qualified women candidates in the recruitment process to ensure that in cases of comparable qualifications and suitability, women are given preference over men;
  • Reaching out to more well-qualified female applicants through Member State Points of Contact for the Recruitment of Women;
  • Steps to increase the representation of women at Agency conferences, seminars and workshops and to promote the involvement of women scientists in coordinated research programmes and technical cooperation projects;
  • A Focal Point for Gender Concerns to address specific gender-related concerns, seek recommended policy changes, monitor the progress made in the representation of women in the Professional and higher categories and report directly to the Director General;
  • Departmental Focal Point for Gender Concerns and an alternate in every Department to assist Department heads in their efforts to achieve gender equality within their areas;
  • A Joint Advisory Sub-Committee on Gender Concerns to identify the Agency´s challenges in increasing the representation of female staff members and to propose recommendations for promoting a more family-friendly work environment;
  • Career seminars for students at secondary or tertiary institutions are held to encourage more women to choose careers in nuclear science and technology;
  • Cooperation with other UN agencies, such as United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE), in the field of gender issues.

A "Family-Friendly" Work Environment

Daycare Centre at the VIC

Social norms often cause professional women to experience greater difficulties than men in relocating their families. In order to make the Agency a more attractive employer to families, one aim is to provide a supportive environment, which enables staff to combine work and family responsibilities. Arrangements now in place include:

  • Flexible working hours that allow staff, particularly mothers, to plan a more convenient working day;
  • Job sharing (or part time work) has been introduced and made available for staff in special occupational categories at both the General Service and Professional levels;
  • Staff members can take advantage of a work from home policy in certain circumstances;
  • Female staff are granted fully-paid maternity leave of four months. The father of a newborn child can also take unpaid leave for a similar period of time, in addition to four weeks of paid paternity leave;
  • Staff are allowed a specified number of days for family emergencies;
  • A Child Care Centre, located in the Vienna International Centre, provides support for parents working at the VIC. Its opening hours correspond with the Agency´s regular working hours;
  • New mothers are granted two 30-minute breaks per day for nursing;
  • Access to the local labour market for dependants who are not nationals of European Union countries has been negotiated with Austria;
  • A policy for the prevention of harassment and other forms of unfair or discriminatory treatment of staff is in place.

Apart from internal measures, the IAEA is also helping to improve the life of women and families, especially in developing countries, through its Technical Cooperation projects. Such programmes are, for instance, helping women gain access to fresh water, establishing radiotherapy centres to improve women´s health and improving the nutritional status of women and children. See how the IAEA is helping to take the edge off poverty.