The F4E Women’s Network received the award during a ceremony organised by the EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings to celebrate best practices in the field of diversity and inclusion. The winner was announced on Thursday, 9 February 2023.
In the words of Carlien Scheele, member of the jury and Executive Director at EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality), the prize was awarded for “the change the initiative brought, its outreach, and impact.” The “cultural shift it called for, rolling out long-term initiatives, together with its clear co-design and in-house team engagement” made it stand out from all other nominees.
Alessia Vecchio, Head of F4E Administration and main sponsor of the Women’s Network, highlighted that through this network, “We are creating change by meeting, discussing, and listening to each other. We really hope we can make a difference both for men and women in F4E.”
Launched on 8 March 2022, the F4E Women’s Network is a rich and vibrant community of around 150 colleagues and a powerful voice on women’s issues, as well as a safe space to share experiences and raise awareness. It also offers the opportunity for personal and professional growth, with the ambition to have an impact beyond the network itself. While this learning takes place informally, it contributes to strengthening female colleagues’ leadership capability, which is a priority for F4E.
Further recognition for F4E
The F4E campaign for men “Breaking stereotypes: be your own you!” also received a certificate of excellence, together with the “Awareness Campaigns for the promotion of Diversity and Inclusion” by the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the “Speed networking event for women to foster Women in Transport”, by the EU Agency for Railways (ERA). F4E’s campaign aimed at breaking stereotypes around masculinity in the workplace by encouraging employees to make their own career, find their own work/life balance and share their emotions.
“Mainstreaming a gender equality culture and fostering women leadership”, submitted by the European Banking Authority (EBA), and the “Informal Task Force group”, project by the European Environment Agency (EEA), also competed for the D&I award. The 49 EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings of the EU Agencies Network (EUAN) employ over 11 600 staff members, making them the second largest employer in the European Union, after the European Commission. It is not surprising, therefore, that diversity and inclusion is one of the central pillars to their strategy to promote a healthy workplace environment, based on mutual respect and collaboration.