Gender Equality Plan (GEP) 2022
Gender Equality Plan enacted by:
AcrossLimits’ Top Management
AcrossLimits Ltd is a dynamic company primarily based in Malta, offering European solutions for technology, innovation, funding, networking, commercialisation and more. The company’s experience with EU opportunities makes it the go-to partner for specialist consultancy services for clients all over Europe.
The company has a core team consisting of the Managing Director, General Manager, project managers, content writers, and an IT and marketing team. The company also collaborates with a network of experts around the world, who are professionals in their field and participate in European projects when their expertise is needed.
This Gender Equality Plan (GEP) was created for AcrossLimits Ltd by its management. At present, AcrossLimits Ltd has already committed to following the five main thematic areas covered by GEPs and has practices in place which are aligned with Maltese Legislation. The extent of these practices will be discussed throughout this document.
Previous to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AcrossLimits Ltd operated exclusively from an on-site office. The company always believed in encouraging employees to be independent and proactive, and nurtured an open-door culture, where employees were encouraged to communicate with management about any queries or issues. In 2020, AcrossLimits Ltd’s management decided to permanently transition the company to fully remote working, and these values also transitioned and were adapted to fit this change.
2. Thematic Areas
The principles covering the recommended five areas of the GEP, as highlighted in the Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans document, can be found below.
2.1 Work-life balance and organisational culture
The provision of good working conditions for all staff which allow both men and women to have the flexibility for a healthy work-life balance to reach optimal performance levels. AcrossLimits Ltd offers the below to all employees:
- Fully remote working;
- Annual leave;
- Sick leave;
- Option to work reduced hours, where possible;
- Flexible working time arrangements, including how departmental processes, procedures and practices impact on staff with caring responsibilities or full-time reduced workers;
- Workload management, including how different tasks are allocated and distributed;
- Advice and support on work-life balance
In addition to the above, AcrossLimits Ltd follows all regulations as outlined in the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Cap. 452 of the Laws of Malta) and subsidiary legislation (Organisation of Working Time Regulations – SL 452.87), and subsidiary legislation (Work Place (Minimum Health and Safety Requirements) Regulations – SL 424.15).
2.2 Gender balance in leadership and decision making
In the diagram below one may see the number of males and females who form part of AcrossLimits Ltd. The company has a core team of full-time and full-time reduced hours’ employees, as well as a global network of experts who participate in projects when their expertise is needed.
Women and men are given equal opportunity in the decision-making process, as participation and tasks are solely based on the individual’s role within the context of the project and their relevant qualifications.
As can be seen below, AcrossLimits Ltd has already achieved an almost 50/50 gender balance, with 55% female employees and 45% male employees making up the core team (as of May 2022).
2.3 Gender equality in recruitment and career progression
Gender balance in recruitment and career progression ensures equal opportunities at the stage of recruitment and subsequent career progression for any staff.
- AcrossLimits Ltd’s main recruitment strategy includes word of mouth and internal recommendations, as well as posting calls on social media.
- The selection process is based on the relevance of qualifications to the role, and whether the potential employee is happy to accept the terms of the role.
- AcrossLimits Ltd also prefers to receive a standardised curriculum vitae in Europass format, further equalising the interpretation of curriculum vitae.
All new employees are given the same terms, introduction and relevant training when joining the company. In terms of career progression, any employee is judged based on their performance in their current role, their understanding of the company and the way they conduct themselves with all colleagues.
AcrossLimits Ltd follows the principles that are highlighted in the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Cap. 452 of the Laws of Malta) and subsidiary legislation (Equal Treatment in Employment Regulations – SL 452.95).
2.4 Integration of gender dimension into research and teaching content
AcrossLimits Ltd is committed to ensuring that all its processes and communication are gender neutral in both intention and the language used. The purpose of gender neutral language is to encourage employees to give due consideration to the issue of gender sensitivity in language whenever writing or speaking.
2.5 Measures against gender-based violence including sexual harassment
AcrossLimits Ltd believes in non-discriminatory treatment based on the grounds of religion or religious belief, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, political orientation and racial or ethnic origin. As a fully remote company with employees who communicate solely through video calls, email and business platforms, the focus is to encourage respect, trust and camaraderie amongst colleagues.
AcrossLimits Lts follows principles highlighted in the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Cap. 452 of the Laws of Malta) and subsidiary legislation (Equal Treatment in Employment Regulations – SL 452.95), the Equality for Men and Women Act (Cap. 456 of the Laws of Malta), and the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act (Cap. 540 of the Laws of Malta).
3. Challenges and Objectives
The challenges related to gender equality and diversity were identified and discussed by AcrossLimits Ltd’s Managing Director and General Manager. The company was founded in 2001 and, since then, management has been directly involved in all aspects of the company, including marketing, HR and recruitment, making it possible for them to pinpoint the challenges and objectives found below.
3.1 Challenge 1: Encouraging employees to use all their annual leave in order to have a better work-life balance
|Thematic Area||Goal||Challenge||Target Date||Person Responsible|
|Work-life balance & organisational culture||Encouraging employees to use all their annual leave||To push employees to book leave is challenging due to everyone working remotely||End of 2022||Managing Director, General Manager|
Action Plan: To regularly remind employees to make use of their annual leave to ensure a proper work-life balance.
3.2 Challenge 2: Using gender neutral language across all communication
|Thematic Area||Goal||Challenge||Target Date||Person Responsible|
|Integration of gender dimensions||Using gender neutral language across all communication||Ensuring all employees implement gender neutral language across all communication||End of 2022||All staff|
Action Plan: Circulating this gender equality plan amongst all employees and also sharing the document Gender-Neutral Language in the European Parliament, whilst encouraging all employees to read and implement the contents. This is to ensure that all internal and external communication (emails, calls, recruitment efforts, website content, social media content etc) are gender neutral in both their intention and the language used.
4. Data Collection
4.1 Challenge 1: Encouraging employees to use all their annual leave in order to have a better work-life balance
Use the company’s HR management system to monitor the leave taken and download reports related to this challenge.
4.2 Challenge 2: Using gender neutral language across all communication
Take random samples of different external communication channels (newsletters, social media, vacancy posts, brochures etc) and check them for the use of gender neutral language.