CEPS Sustainable Diversity Goals

Launched in September 2020, with support from the Open Society Foundation, the CEPS Sustainable Diversity Goals (CEPS SDGs) aim to improve and celebrate diversity at CEPS and in our research work.

From events organisation to research methodology and HR policies, the CEPS SDGs offer a framework to promote positive change. Through this initiative, CEPS is also fostering a large network of other think tanks, research and policy institutions, civil society and the private sector to exchange ideas and best practices on working towards an inclusive and diverse workplace. 

As a leading European think tank, organising more than 100 events every year in Brussels and online, it is CEPS’ responsibility to promote the diverse opinions and ideas that represent the incredibly rich society we live in. Gender balance and diverse panels are crucial to presenting different perspectives and enhancing debates.

This is why CEPS announced its commitment to gender-balanced events in a parity pledge on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021

A Parity Pledge for gender-balanced events


With this pledge, we want to make a strong commitment to gender equality and set ambitious targets to help promote equality and diversity in all policy events. We commit to taking an active role in transforming Brussels’ policy landscape to make women’s voices heard and female experts more visible. By giving a platform to women working in all fields of policymaking, we aim to inspire younger generations to pursue careers in all fields of research and encourage more women to become leaders.


At CEPS, we pledge:

  • To achieve 50-50 gender balance in panels for all of our events.
  • To ensure that the event time and format do not create unintentional barriers to women’s participation.
  • To encourage staff to continuously share their knowledge of female experts in different fields to increase the pool of women that could be invited to our own events.
  • To systematically track gender representation at all our events to achieve our gender parity goals and identify topic areas requiring more effort to achieve gender balance.
  • To publish our parity records on CEPS website every year to contribute to the overall knowledge about gender (in)equality at events and improve transparency on the issue.
  • Not to substitute women moderators for women speakers. Although essential for driving the discussion, moderators do not make up for women panellists as they cannot showcase their expertise on a subject matter.
  • To pay attention to the speaking time and order in which speakers are called upon. Female panellists should have the same amount of time to express their views as their male counterparts. The order in which panellists are asked to speak should not be based on gender. Moderators and panellists should be mindful of not interrupting their colleagues.
  • To be allies. Male colleagues are encouraged to forego their participation in an event or a meeting if women are not represented on the panels. When invited to participate in an external event, all colleagues should first ask whether women experts are foreseen on the panels. If not, colleagues can propose a female expert as a panellist. Male colleagues can also suggest a colleague as a substitute for their seat and reserve the right to withdraw if, finally, there is no female representation on the panels.