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 people equally in dignity and rights. We reject discrimination of any kind. All our actions and activities are regularly monitored, evaluated, and transparently communicated.
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 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, 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 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: to get married, to accompany their partner to a medical facility, to attend a birth, and to take parental leave. 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.
The company’s supportive approach to employees who are also informal caregivers has been recognized through a project called I Care, and I Work. In this project, employees can participate in webinars on health, social and financial issues, discussing topics relevant to their experience as informal caregivers. They can also take advantage of individual counselling. Employees in difficult life situations can use anonymous chats for support.
We offer employees who retired the benefit of joining Senior Clubs. They can also benefit from the CEZ Group Seniors Endowment Fund. The fund organizes cultural events or seniors’ meetings.
In April 2022, we joined the Pride Business Forum Memorandum and committed to creating an open environment for LGBTQ+ employees. We raise awareness among our employees through public discussion with LGBTQ+ ambassadors. We also offer a free-of-charge helpline S Barvou Ven specializing in consultancy in sexual orientation, gender identity and coming-out.
In the event of unethical or illegal behavior contrary to the Code of Conduct, employees can use the Whistleblowing Hotline to report the incident. In 2022, there were zero harassment and discrimination incidents reported; one case reported in the previous year was investigated and closed with the conclusion that it was not a case of harassment or discrimination.
In May, we offered a series of lectures, discussions, and online events to celebrate the Month of Diversity.
In October, we organized training for HR business partners focused on the employment and treatment of people with disabilities.
We created specialized interactive guidelines summarizing all relevant information fostering an inclusive workplace, and we communicate topics and support given to our employees on our internal website. We actively promote diversity and an inclusive workplace though our living library Energy of Stories – sharing testimonials of our D&I ambassadors.
In December, we issued a guideline summarizing options of flexibility at work to support work-life balance and wellbeing of our employees.
In 2022, our employees spent 9,600 hours on diversity and inclusion training.
In 2022, the company’s efforts in diversity and inclusion were awarded a Silver Certificate – Strategy in Diversity by Business for Society, the largest platform for sustainable business in Czechia. The diversity index is assessed by DISA – Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Assessment methodology and reflects collective innovative best practice of sustainable companies within the Diversity Charter.
In 2023, our activities to promote diversity and inclusion will include various plans and public commitments. We will launch diversity and inclusion awareness training for all employees in ČEZ, a. s., and selected subsidiaries. Further, we plan to launch an educational campaign focusing on unconscious bias. We will continue to support our employees in establishing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), gathering especially LGBTQ+ or parents.
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 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. Women empowerment in CEZ Group stands on three pillars: our goals are to attract, retain and advance women.
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. In 2023, we will also launch a recruitment campaign to attract women to work in the energy sector.
We offer flexible working hours, company kindergartens, and day camps for children. In 2022, a group of employees participated in the Working Mum program empowering them in combining their professional and parental role. We maintain contact with employees on parental leave and offer them support when they return to work. They can keep in touch with the company through special website access and company magazine. They can also take advantage of workshops and courses while on parental leave and after return to work. To ease their adaptation, parents have the option of self-study online courses starting 6 months prior to their return to the workplace. All employees on parental leave will be able to retain full access to the internal website.
In addition to existing activities, CEZ Group launched new programs for women to develop their managerial skills. Women in Focus is a development program for women in management positions and 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. Women Hub is a program for women from CEZ Group who have the skills, ambition, and energy to lead people and are currently working as specialists or experts. In the autumn, the Women Network initiative was launched. The aim of the 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 and Director of the Administration Division.
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. A gender pay gap analysis was repeatedly conducted to identify and eliminate any inequalities. The last analysis was concluded in December 2022, and the results will serve as a basis for monitoring of progress and effectiveness of actions taken after the previous analysis. The results of the analysis address any currently existing pay gap and serve as inputs for development plans and budget preparation in the affected departments. Contractual salary adjustments will be supported by training and diversity guidance to empower managers to provide fair distribution of salary increase and eliminate inequalities.
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.