Description of gender equality work at SMHI

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) works for the whole of society – for the public, for agencies and for businesses. Our goal is to contribute towards good social planning and a secure, sustainable society. This task is of crucial importance. SMHI’s research and development creates societal benefits, both within Sweden and internationally, through scientific knowledge about weather, water and the climate. We contribute towards the global Sustainable Development Goals in the UN’s Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

SMHI’s national and international work follows national legislation and EU legal regulations. We back the UN Global Compact’s ten principles for sustainable business – principles that we also encourage our suppliers and other partners to follow. We also strive to follow the national action plan drawn up by the Swedish Government for businesses and human rights. According to SMHI’s Code of Conduct, everyone at the agency should work to achieve a good working environment and to promote diversity.

Gender equality work

SMHI’s diversity and inclusion work – including gender equality issues – is based on long-term strategic work, and is formally drawn up each year as part of overall operational planning. SMHI has worked for many years to gradually integrate diversity and inclusion work into its overall operations, with good results. The gender equality aspect is included in the management’s strategic work and in the agency’s structured planning, implementation of activities and operational monitoring. SMHI uses “An inclusive approach – a strategy for diversity in the central government sector”, drawn up by the Swedish Agency for Government Employers, as a starting point for its gender equality work.

SMHI’s concrete working methods for diversity, inclusion and gender equality do not therefore generate any separate individual documents, but are an integrated product of SMHI’s entire management.

Dedicated resources

Everyone at SMHI – both managers and employees – has a shared responsibility for working to promote a gender equal workplace. SMHI’s operations are supported by the HR department, which consists of an HR manager and six HR specialists with in-depth expertise in inclusion and diversity issues.


Each year, SMHI produces staff accounts based on an analysis of staff data. The results of this analysis are integrated into operational planning. SMHI also takes part in the European Institute for Gender Equality’s annual Gender Equality Index survey. The survey monitors long-term work on equal conditions regardless of gender, among employees in the public and private sectors. SMHI remains at a good – and, over time, even – level compared with the state as a whole and the rest of the labour market. This is the result of a long-term, cogent employer policy that promotes gender equality. 


SMHI launches initiatives when needed or when issues come to the fore within operations. Most recently, during 2019–2021, SMHI worked on an initiative called Lika-Olika (“Same-Different”). The aim was to improve knowledge about diversity and inclusion within the organisation, and to promote a norm-critical approach. In the long run, this knowledge and approach will also be applicable beyond Sweden’s statutory grounds on which discrimination is prohibited. 
Each instance of new employment or manager appointment involves going through an induction package including SMHI’s core values, its Code of Conduct and the role of public officials.

Work–life balance

A good working environment with a balance between work and leisure – in order to contribute towards employees’ quality of life – is important to SMHI. Our success factors include excellent opportunities for development, gender equality, diversity, a high ratio of managers to employees, and flexible solutions for the individual.
With the exception of production staff, who have scheduled working hours, all employees at SMHI have non-regulated working hours in accordance with a local collective agreement. Non-regulated working hours means that work is carried out at a time and a location that meet operational requirements and the needs of the individual, in consultation between the manager and the employee. Non-regulated working hours improve flexibility for the individual and increase opportunities for both work and active leisure. 

Gender equality in leadership and mandates

The proportion of women in management positions at SMHI corresponds to the proportion of women in the organisation as a whole. For the last five years, women have made up around 45% of managers. SMHI’s management team currently consists of nine women and one man. 
Managers are appointed on the basis of factual grounds such as competence and skill. 

Gender equality in recruitment and career development

All recruitment within the Swedish civil service, including SMHI, is subject to specific regulation in accordance with the Swedish Public Employment Act and the Swedish Employment Ordinance. This means that government agencies recruit on the basis of factual grounds such as merit and skill, with the emphasis on skill. SMHI applies the same factual grounds to internal appointments. 

Actions to combat victimisation, harassment and sexual harassment

According to Swedish law, the Swedish Work Environment Act and the Swedish Discrimination Act, employees are required to work preventively when it comes to the working environment and discrimination. The law also obliges employers to investigate when any form of victimisation or harassment comes to the employer’s attention. 
SMHI works preventively against – and aims to be a workplace that is free from – all types of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.