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Diversity and Equal Opportunity

GRI 3-3, 405-1 / SDG 5, SDG 10

In CEZ Group, we perceive diversity as a principle that enables people to fulfil their potential irrespective of individual differences. We believe that providing equal opportunities and promoting diversity and inclusion is a natural way of doing business innovatively and sustainably. We treat all employees equally in dignity and rights, regardless of position.

We reject discrimination of any kind. All our actions and activities are regularly monitored, evaluated, and transparently communicated. The Diversity and Inclusion department is dedicated to raising awareness of diversity and inclusive environments, stereotypes, prejudices, or work–life balance in different life situations (e.g., parenthood, informal care...) and what we can offer employees in given situations.

CEZ Group has had a long history of promoting diversity. In 2014, we were one of the first signatories of the European Diversity Charter in Czechia. Following the Diversity Charter, we are committed to maintaining a workplace environment open to all, irrespective of their gender, race, skin color, nationality, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, cultural background, or trade union membership.

We are also actively committed to implementing Sustainable Development Goal 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. We support equal opportunities for women and their full and effective participation in decision–making at all levels of private and public life.

In May 2021, the Board of Directors approved CEZ Group’s strategy VISION 2030—Clean Energy of Tomorrow. The strategy reflects our ESG ambitions and goals: regarding diversity, we have set a long–term goal of achieving a 30% share of women in management.

Subsequently, the Board of Directors of ČEZ, a. s., adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Policy, binding for all CEZ Group companies. The policy declares a culture of diversity, inclusion, respect, trust, equal opportunities, and workplace dignity. The policy outlines a comprehensive approach to the company’s diversity goals. It integrates diversity and inclusion into the company’s activities, encompassing recruitment, management and remuneration, development of employee potential, different types of flexible working and work–life balance. The policy protects vulnerable groups of employees and provides them with opportunities. It includes measures to improve employment conditions for employees over 50, employees with disabilities, parents of young children, LGBTQ+, and informal caregivers.

The Diversity and Inclusion policy has been also reflected in collective agreements with trade unions. One of the outcomes is the adjustment of the rights of registered partners to the level of married couples above and beyond the scope of Czech law, promoting equality of LGBTQ+ at the workplace. Registered partners are now able to take paid or unpaid leave in the same cases as spouses. Another practical outcome focuses on employees with disabilities. Their personal benefits account is increased by CZK 3,000, and they can take up to two days of paid leave to claim their PWD (person with a disability) status. The collective agreement also includes the  principle of non–discrimination and equal pay.

In 2023, we collaborated with Society E, an organization that focuses on the topic of living with epilepsy. We offered employees an educational webinar on epilepsy in the work environment and a first aid presentation course. We also offer an online information brochure "Even with epilepsy it is possible".

We were among the top–ranked companies in the Equal Opportunity competition – employer of the year 2023. This competition evaluates the working conditions that companies provide for employees with disabilities.

We offer employees from ČEZ, a. s., who have retired, the benefit of joining Senior Clubs. Employees of selected subsidiaries can benefit from the CEZ Group Seniors Endowment Fund. Its purpose is to support and improve the quality of life of retired employees of CEZ Group companies, such as organizing cultural events or gatherings for seniors.

During the year 2023, we ran a series of educational webinars for employees on the topic of informal care. As part of this year–long project, employees were able to obtain information regarding informal caregiving and discuss their experience as informal caregivers. At the same time, we prepared a practical guide for these employees, the Informal Care Guide, which summarized all relevant information. We also organized in the form of a questionnaire an anonymous survey to find out more about their needs. We will gradually implement the results of the survey. In the collective agreement, we offer all employees more days off in the event of the death of a family member above and beyond the scope of the Czech Labour Code.

By joining the Pride Business Forum Memorandum 2017+ in April 2022, we are committed to creating an open environment for LGBTQ+ employees. In 2023, we continued to raise awareness among our employees through the projection of the documentary The Law of Love on the unequal status of same–sex marriage followed by a discussion with Pride Business Forum representatives or a webinar on adolescent sexuality and gender identity. We invited our employees to events as part of the Prague Pride 2023 human rights festival and offered them tickets to the Fun and Run charity run, an event against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. We also offer a free–of–charge counselling center S Barvou Ven specializing in consultancy in sexual orientation, gender identity and coming–out. We were given the 2023 LGBT+ Friendly Employer Award in the Big Step Forward category for our significant progress, particularly in the areas of internal policies and equal benefits adopted in our collective bargaining agreement.

In 2023, the CEZ Foundation financially supported the LGBT+ Community Center operated by the non–profit organization Prague Pride as a place of acceptance and support for all who need it, regardless of age, orientation, or identity.

In May, as part of the European Diversity Month, under the theme of Building Bridges, we traditionally prepared lectures, workshops, discussions, meetings, and events for our employees in both face–to–face and online environments to show how diversity and an inclusive work environment can have a significant positive impact on each of us.

We continuously update specialized interactive guidelines summarizing all relevant information fostering an inclusive workplace (Guide to flexible forms of work, Guide for parents including information on the fact that employees on maternity leave under the Czech Labour Code can take up to 28 weeks of paid leave, 2 weeks of paternity leave and parental leave up to the age of 3), guidelines for employees taking maternity and parental leave and summary information for managers of employees whose subordinate is taking maternity or parental leave). We communicate the topics of diversity and inclusion and the support given to our employees on our specially thematic internal website. We actively promote diversity and inclusive workplace through our living library Energy of Stories – sharing testimonials of our D&I Ambassadors. We have revised our rules for enabling remote working and its approval in order to strengthen face–to–face interaction in the workplace, but also to allow work flexibility under specified conditions.

In 2023, our activities to promote diversity and inclusion included various plans and public commitments. We launched online diversity and inclusion awareness training for all employees of ČEZ, a. s., and selected subsidiaries. In 2023, employees of ČEZ, a. s., and selected subsidiaries spent 5,324 hours on diversity and inclusion training.

We continue to support our employees in establishing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). The aim of the ERGs is to represent common interests in support of various areas of diversity in the CEZ Group. In 2023, Employee Resource groups were established to support LGBTQ+ employees and employees with disabilities. We currently register an incentive to establish an Employee Resource Group bringing together parents and informal carers.

We support organizations focusing on gender equality, supporting women in society and LGBT+ people (e.g., OPIM, Business for Society, Pride Business Forum Foundation). We also actively participate in events organized by these organizations, engage in public discussions, and share good practice.

Through the CEZ Foundation, we support charitable organizations promoting racial and ethnic equality and assistance in excluded localities (e.g., People in Need, Adra). In 2022, we became a signatory to the UN Global Compact, which aims to develop and promote adequate methods in the business community and to share new experience in the areas of human rights, labor, and the environment.

The energy industry has a long history of being predominantly male. Achieving gender equity thus requires a strong and proactive effort. This includes focusing on inclusive corporate culture, recruitment practices and processes, career development, leadership training, mentoring, retention and engagement efforts, and compensation parity. CEZ Group supports women at work and their career advancement in multiple ways.

In VISION 2030—Clean Energy of Tomorrow, we have set a long–term goal of achieving a 30% share of women in management. In line with our principle of equal opportunity, gender–neutral job advertising is implemented, and the principle of balanced gender representation is incorporated into the recruitment process. Whenever practically applicable, both men and women are represented and balanced equally during recruitment on both sides: in the candidates’ pool for a position and the evaluation committee in all rounds of the selection procedure. We aim to encourage women to start a career in the energy industry. Having a balanced gender representation in the recruitment process gives a fair chance to all suitable candidates. At our company, we value diversity and equal opportunities for all employees. Through our recruitment campaigns and other supporting initiatives, we strive to highlight that women in the energy industry are a normal and natural part of our teams. In 2023, we launched a recruitment campaign aimed at bringing women into the energy sector. In the recruitment campaign, we present success stories of our female colleagues working in various positions and projects. In this way, we want to motivate and inspire other women who are interested in a career in the energy sector, while promoting an inclusive and respectful work environment.

We offer flexible working hours, company kindergartens, and day camps for children.

We also care about our employees–parents who take care of children. For employees caring for children, we have organized a series of educational webinars focusing on their role as parents, seminars on information and cyber security for children on the internet, and guiding children towards financial literacy. As part of our family benefits, we provide a discount on babysitting or housekeeping services.

We pay special attention to employees who are on maternity or parental leave. We have revised our approach to these employees–parents of young children as part of the Counting on You project.

CEZ Group implements a number of programs for women aimed at developing their managerial skills. Women in Focus is a development program for women in management positions that focuses on their personal and professional growth. The program is based on workshops with inspiring mentors and role models and enables women to share their experience with each other. In 2023, a program for women from CEZ Group who have the skills, ambition, and energy to lead people was implemented – Women Hub. The goal of the Women Network initiative is to gradually connect female managers at all management levels in CEZ Group. It is an opportunity for networking, inspiration, support, and mutual sharing. All development activities for women, which aim to support and promote opportunities for professional growth, are under the purview of Michaela Chaloupková, a member of the Board of Directors, CSO and Director of the Administration Division.

To support women in our organization, we have set up the Women Power communication platform. This platform is intended for all women at CEZ Group who want to be inspired by contributions with the common theme of women's position in society and equal opportunities for women and men.

We continue our commitment to equality for all and in September 2023 we became a signatory to the UN's Global Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) initiative, which supports companies in creating equal opportunities and empowering women. In doing so, we have made a public commitment to strengthen diversity, equal opportunity and fair treatment of women and men in accordance with the principles set out by the United Nations. We are partners with Business & Professional Women CR, an ambassador of the WEPs initiative. This is a natural continuation of our activities in this area based on the international Diversity Charter.

In December 2023, we became a signatory to the Charter against Domestic Violence. Domestic violence has serious impacts on the mental and physical health of victims, their human dignity and often directly threatens their lives. Research confirm that it also disrupts victims' working lives and can negatively affect attendance, performance, and relationships at work, potentially leading to loss of employment. Together with other companies, we have joined as one of the first signatories, committing to adhere to the established standards to provide maximum assistance to the victims, to create a safe environment, to mitigate the negative impact of violence on working life and, last but not least, to offer effective assistance to the victim.

GRI 405-2

In CEZ Group, we understand that fair wage and competitive compensation is essential for attracting and retaining talented people. Our key objective is to recognize and encourage high performance, professional development, and behavior that match our strategy and values. We determine remuneration respecting non–discrimination, objective and gender–neutral criteria. We respect and strive to comply with the principle of equal pay and equal working conditions for equal or equivalent work.

The principles of equal pay form an integral part of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy, and they were incorporated into collective agreements and internal documentation concerning reward practice. In 2022, a new rule was introduced, ensuring that the salary of employees returning form parental leave is in accordance with the principles of equal pay.

The company received certification by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for its participation in the project 22% to Equality. In the project, an analysis of fair remuneration was conducted by LOGIB – an international analytical tool for equal pay of men and women.

The conditions and criteria for determining bonuses for employees are set out in the Collective Bargaining Agreements or internal regulations of CEZ Group companies. Bonuses are set for employees based on collective and individual performance indicators. Employees are also participating in the company's economic result through the performance indicator (EBITDA). Its fulfilment affects the bonuses of all employees.