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NIVA's work for gender equality and against discrimination

NIVA's work for gender equality and against discrimination is anchored in the strategy until 2030 and contributes to inclusion and counteracts exclusion in society.

"NIVA has a working environment characterized by respect and equality. We treat everyone equally regardless of gender, age, disability, religion, ethnic and cultural background, and other significant personal factors."

Part 1: Status of gender equality (§26 1st paragraph)

Gender balance, temporary employees, parental leave uptake, and part-time work (2023)

By the end of 2023, there were 196 women and 126 men employed at the institute. 25 employees were in temporary positions, primarily consisting of PhD students (7) and Postdocs (8). There is a nearly equal gender balance among temporary employees (10 men and 15 women).

On average, women have taken about 7 weeks more parental leave than men.

Regarding part-time work, it is equally distributed between women and men. Part-time work is usually due to parental leave, disability benefits, or having a secondary position at the institute. No employees at the institute are involuntarily part-time workers.

Salary comparison and gender distribution at NIVA 2023

The table below shows the percentage of women's earnings compared to men's for all employees at NIVA as of 31.12.2023.

We do not have irregular supplements or bonuses, nor significant overtime payments, therefore these are not reported.

The table below shows that NIVA does not have gender-based salary differences in the reporting period.

Beskrivelse av stillingsnivå/-gruppe



Andel kvinner


Forskjeller avtalt lønn/fastlønn (%)

Nivå/gruppe 1



58 %


95 %

Nivå/gruppe 2



43 %


92 %

Nivå/gruppe 3



49 %


103 %

Nivå/gruppe 4



65 %


104 %

Nivå/gruppe 5



73 %


98 %

Nivå/gruppe 6



67 %


100 %

Nivå/gruppe 7



20 %


100 %

Table 1: Gender distribution and fixed salary at various job levels/groups (2023)


Part 2: Statement on NIVA's work for gender equality and against discrimination according to the duty to promote equality (§26 Part 2)

Principles, procedures, and standards for gender equality and against discrimination

NIVA has outlined guidelines in policy documents and has zero tolerance for all forms of discrimination, harassment, and violence. Procedures and guidance for reporting and handling conflicts, bullying, and harassment have been developed. As part of the safety round, specific questions related to harassment, discrimination, and differential treatment are asked. This is not an anonymous survey, allowing us to implement targeted measures if unwanted conditions are uncovered.

How we work to ensure gender equality and non-discrimination in practice

A working group consisting of HR and employees has worked during 2023 to evaluate and further develop measures and the institute's work related to gender equality and discrimination. We still use the recommended description (1 investigate risks and prevent, 2 analyze causes, 3 implement measures, 4 evaluate results) and have assessed the personnel areas described in the law (recruitment, salary and working conditions, promotion, development opportunities, facilitation or opportunity to combine work and family life, as well as other relevant aspects of the business).

The work is also reported to NIVA's board, the working environment committee, and to the unions in the human council.

Part 3: Results from the work of uncovering risks and preventing gender equality, and investigating causes

Gender distribution of positions and areas as of December 2023

In NIVA's board, 2 out of 8 representatives are men, and the top management group consists of 3 men and 7 women. NIVA is now in a situation where there is an overrepresentation of women at the board and top management levels. When selecting this year's board representative, it was important to have a male employee representative on the board, which we also succeeded in achieving.

Regarding research leaders, 5 out of 12 leaders are women, which is a positive development. NIVA has a total of 176 researchers, of which 53% are women. The number of employees with a PhD is 136, distributed among 74 women and 62 men. For the higher research categories, the proportion of women is 51%. Historically, men were mainly researchers, but this has evened out in NIVA.

In the categories of researcher 3 and research assistant, there is a predominance of women. We see that in these recruitment processes, there is a predominance of female applicants.

We also have an almost equal balance within the field of system development/environmental informatics. There is mainly an overrepresentation of women in the laboratory (analysis work) and administration, while in IT operations, there is an overrepresentation of men. This situation reflects that there is also a gender imbalance among qualified applicants in these areas elsewhere in society.

Combination of work and family life

NIVA has a life-phase-oriented personnel policy and emphasizes flexibility and facilitates a good balance between work and leisure time. NIVA also has an open and supportive attitude towards men taking more leave than the minimum level in the public scheme. At the same time, our employees are highly dedicated and have a high level of personal ownership of the profession and projects. This can make it difficult to delegate tasks and projects to others, especially if these are exciting tasks one wants to keep oneself.

Since women overall take more leave related to childbirth and care for young children than men, this can be perceived as a dilemma and hindering career development. An important measure is therefore to ensure that employees have the opportunity to (re)establish a project portfolio after longer parental leave.

As a measure, a better overview has been created for managers on how employees should be followed up before, during, and after parental leave. So that employees do not experience that parental leave is career-inhibiting.

Regarding salary development, the institute's salary policy ensures that employees, both women, and men, on longer parental leave receive an average share of individual supplements during salary negotiations.

Gender balance in recruitment and career development

NIVA has clear procedures and guidelines when we recruit and a thorough job specification that is used in the job advertisements. Selection should ensure that this happens based on objective criteria such as competence and characteristics of the candidate. HR is responsible for ensuring that the process is objective and in accordance with applicable guidelines and legislation. We see an overrepresentation of female applicants in all job categories.

We aim for a balanced gender distribution in the institute and focus especially on good gender balance when recruiting leaders. We therefore work consciously to identify internal leadership candidates and offer leadership training to recruit more female leaders in the research leader role.

Career development and promotion are also assessed according to known, gender-neutral criteria.

NIVA's work for inclusion and countering exclusion in society

NIVA is a research institute with very high and specialized expertise. The opportunity to offer work experience is therefore limited to specific tasks within the laboratories and operations.

Much of the institute's work on inclusion revolves around providing internships to foreign candidates who have not had their education approved in Norway, or who need practical experience while learning Norwegian. NIVA collaborates with NAV to provide internships and work training.

NIVA's employees have long tenures; the institute's average retirement age is 67 years.

138 employees at NIVA originate from approximately 35 different nationalities, and support for language training is an important initiative. NIVA provides financial support for Norwegian courses, as well as four hours per month for the first two years to participate in Norwegian language instruction.

An initiative established in early 2023 was language lunches. For those who want to improve their Norwegian, groups with different proficiency levels are set up to meet with a language host to practice together.

This is what we have achieved

Equal distribution of women and men in the top research categories: 51% women

NIVA's goal regarding the number of individuals in work training

NIVA has celebrated Pride for the first time

Language lunch at NIVA was launched

Part 4: Goals and Action Plan for 2024 - 2025

Goal 1: More female research leaders.


  • Communicate externally and internally using female leaders as role models, communicate about/from female leaders from NIVA.
  • Be conscious of gender balance when selecting participants for internal leadership courses.

Goal 2: Parental leave should not hinder career development.


  • New procedure for follow-up before, during, and after parental leave.

Goal 3: Increase efforts by valuing diversity and actively including.


  • Continued work on procedures and guidelines in Norwegian and English. Gender-neutral terms in documents and digital platforms.
  • Communication training and awareness-raising to strengthen interaction and understanding of cultural differences.
  • Celebration of Pride.

Goal 4: Increase and highlight NIVA's contribution to reducing exclusion.


  • NIVA shall continue to cooperate with NAV to provide internships and work training.


Goal 5: Maintain a high retirement age.


  • Value, develop, and involve employees regardless of age.