The principle of equal opportunities and non-discrimination, including on the basis of gender, lies at the heart of international law and constitutes one of the fundamental values of the European Union. The postulate of gender equality is also present in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Legal regulations, however, are not the only reason for avoiding discrimination, including gender discrimination, in the forScience Foundation. Just as essential in the matter is our firm conviction that each and every person deserves respect and fair treatment and that individual identity, including gender identity, is a private matter, which – as long as it does not stand in conflict with the existing law – should not be judged or interfered with, be subject to discrimination or affirmation. As such, it must not be adopted as a criterion for decision-making, either. This belief has guided the forScience team since the beginning of the Foundation’s activity.

The Equality and Non-Discrimination Plan devised by the forScience team complies with the formal eligibility requirement for Horizon Europe funding and constitutes a step, however small, towards a fair and diverse society.

The starting point for the Equality and Non-Discrimination Plan was an analysis of the status quo within the forScience Foundation and an attempt to reconcile the demands of the European Commission regarding the scope of equality plans with the limitations resulting from the Foundation’s current structure and the character of its activity. The effect of these efforts is a public document which sets the objectives of the forScience Foundation with respect to equality (including gender equality) and non-discrimination as well as the time frame for the planned actions and the allocated resources. The Equality and Non-Discrimination Plan of the forScience Foundation assumes continuing awareness-raising of equality-related issues, which will in time enable more effective equality monitoring and more accurate interpretation of collected data. Progress in the implementation of the plan will be evaluated annually against set criteria and the results of the evaluation will make it possible for the forScience team to set new objectives, adapted to changing circumstances. The plan has been developed for the years 2023–2026. It is, however, an open document and, as such, will be reviewed and revised whenever necessary.