Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) statement

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Statement of the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy (hereafter Nordic Folkecenter)

Nordic Folkecenter is a Danish NGO founded in 1983, which purpose is to promote a 100% renewable energy powered society, free of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Nordic Folkecenter’s aim is to achieve this goal by mean of a democratic and inclusive process, by which citizens are not only end users with no decisional power, but an active part of the transition.

Nordic Folkecenter is based in the North-Western part of Denmark (Ydby, Hurup Thy) and has two sister organizations in Africa (Mali Folkecenter NYETAA in Mali and JEEP Folkecenter in Uganda), with some more being planned in other locations. Despite sharing the name “Folkecenter” and some values, the sister organizations are independent from Nordic Folkecenter, although collaborations are present; this means that the present paper, although probably shared in most of its parts, reflects the views and organizational decisions of Nordic Folkecenter only and not of the sister organizations.

Nordic Folkecenter is a no profit institution which is governed by a board of directors, acting on a voluntary basis. The members of the board are representatives from industry, municipalities, academia and from the support group of Nordic Folkecenter and are appointed by elections. More details on the board of directors, its composition and its function can be found in Nordic Folkecenter’s Status (available in Danish and as an unofficial English translation). The board appoints a director, who is the daily responsible for the activities in Nordic Folkecenter. Nordic Folkecenter is committed to supporting gender equality in all aspects of its activity, to the highest degree possible. The employees at Nordic Folkecenter represent a talented and diverse workforce. It directly employs 14 people (+ 1 volounteer) with different monthly involvement. In September 2022 the overall staff profile was:

Gender%Senior managementAdministrationProfessional staffProject personnelTechnical & Support staff

Nordic Folkecenter recognizes the non-binary nature of gender and selects its staff based on competencies. The table above is therefore indicative, as no gender questions are raised during the selection process.

Recruitment, selection process and flexibility at work

When recruiting for new talent, Nordic Folkecenter will:

  • Seek to recruit from as wide a talent pool as possible, and will actively ensure that its recruitment is inclusive;
  • Not discriminate directly or indirectly against any applicant or candidate to employment in relation to gender, race, political view, sexual orientation or religion;
  • Select candidates based on merit – ensuring the candidate with the talent, skills, competencies and experience most suited to the post is selected;
  • Ensure transparency of recruitment procedures;

In advertising for roles, Nordic Folkecenter will:

  • Ensure that job descriptions and advertisements do not directly or indirectly exclude any potential applicant or include any unnecessary requirements that would unfairly exclude an applicant;
  • Ensure that advertisements reach any interested candidate, disregarding from gender, race, political view, sexual orientation or religion;

In the selection process Nordic Folkecenter will:

  • Ensure the selection personnel is briefed on the agreed principles of equality and diversity;
  • Use an agreed and objective system of rating candidates;

During the everyday operations, Nordic Folkecenter will:

  • Allow for flexible working hours, to allow a better work-life balance for all genders; flexible working hours should be agreed previously with the team, to make sure the work output of the center is not compromised and to make sure other colleagues can cover vacancies;
  • Allow for remote working, especially for team members having small children. The amount and frequency of remote working should be agreed with the management;
  • Ensure that salaries are not gender-discriminated: salaries will be position-related and not gender-related. Nordic Folkecenter already follows the state guidelines for salaries, which are already gender-neutral, and it will keep on acting in this way;
  • Make sure that any advance in career and/or new positions in the team are properly advertised among the team as gender-neutral positions (i.e. anyone with the qualifications requested can apply);

Training & Organizational Development

  • Nordic Folkecenter encourages professional development and training of its staff. Each employee has equal access to training and development opportunities regardless of race, political view, sexual orientation or religion;

Addressing the Issue of Unconscious Biases among Employees and of Unwanted Discrimination

Nordic Folkecenter understands that some situations can lead to misunderstandings, unconscious biases and unwanted discrimination, especially when organizations have different generations working in them; behaviors which once may have been accepted may result offensive by younger representatives, which eventually can lead to hidden or visible conflicts. At Nordic Folkecenter we select people based also on their open-mindedness, but still uncomfortable situations may occur. We are sure that no one in our team wants to offend other members and to make sure everyone is aware of the potential frictions that these behaviors may lead to, it has been decided that the following actions will be undertaken:

  • A gender committee will be established. The committee will be composed by one member per gender and will directly report any issue to the Director. The function of the committee will be to identify any possible problem, by being the entity to which any employee, volunteer or trainee can refer to. Specific hours will be allocated each month, during which anyone in the team feeling uncomfortable with specific situations will have the chance to explain their problems. Besides gender-related issues, the committee will also be in charge of any situation which may lead to any kind of discrimination. After the problems are identified, the committee will try to solve the issues by first taking specific action (e.g. addressing directly to the person/people who generated the problem) and, if that will not result to be sufficient, by involving the Director in the definition of a solution. After each issue is solved, new guidelines for the team will be released, so that the situation will not repeat in the future. Access to the committee by the team members will be on an anonymous basis, to make sure the problem is tackled as a general problem and not as a person-specific issue. Should there be the need to act in a non-anonymous way, the committee will first ask for permission to the person reporting the issue. No action will be taken without the person’s approval;
  • A yearly questionnaire will be released: the questionnaire will be anonymous and it will allow the members of the team to express any discrimination feelings they may have perceived. The questionnaire will also ask the team to provide suggestion for solving the problem(s) presented, as in this way it is believed that there will be a better chance to apply the correct measures. The questionnaire will be reviewed by the gender committee together with the Director and action will be taken to resolve any issue which may appear;
  • Nordic Folkecenter will actively look for resources to increase our understanding on gender-related problems: we are aware that our knowledge on the topic may not be at the highest level, which is why we will look for resources (through funding programs) which will allow us to properly form employees or to get external expertise on the topic;