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Equal Opportunity

The Promotion of Gender Equality at the UoC

According to the CEWS Gender-Equality-Ranking 2013, women are well represented on many levels at the University of Cologne (UoC). In 2012, 58% of the undergraduate students and 47% of the graduate students were female. With respect to habilitations (the highest academic qualification in the humanities in Germany), the percentage of women rose from 8% in 1990 to 25% in 2012. This trend also applies to the percentage of female professors: while in 1990 only 5% of the professorships were chaired by women, in 2012 it had risen to 23%. From these data, it would seem that a PhD the highest degree that many women achieve academically. It is for this reason that the advancement of women at the post-doc-level as well as the appointment of more female professors are primary foci of UoC gender equality policies. The statistics show that there is a strong need for more gender equality measures within the faculties and the different disciplines.

With the establishment of the Pro Rectorate for Planning, Finances and Gender and the Center for Gender Quality Management in 2011, equal opportunity policies have been institutionalised at the UoC on the management level. The UoC gender equality management scheme requires that all faculties specify goals with respect to gender-related issues and provide a roadmap of measures and activities. This process is supported by a monitoring and controlling system that includes internal and, where necessary, external evaluations. In addition to this, the university has introduced an equal opportunities prize (the Jenny Gusyk Prize; named after the first female student of the university) for structural improvements to advance gender equality in the faculties. Moreover, the Gender Commissioner has far-reaching powers and a substantial budget to identify and counteract structural disadvantages for women.

The gender equality strategy of the UoC encompasses a wide range of issues including the advancement of women’s careers with a focus on the advancement of women in STEM subjects, the implementation of transparent and quality-based selection and recruitment procedures as well as more support of gender equality in teaching.

Since 2001, the Female Career Center (FCC) has been one of the key features of the UoC’s commitment to the advancement of women. It provides regular training courses in vital areas such as networking, presentation, interview technique etc. aimed at female students, graduate students as well as academic staff. Since 2009, this range of seminars has been complemented by in-house training for women in leadership positions in science, academia and administration. The Cornelia Harte Mentoring (CHM) schemes combine one-to-one mentoring with general skill training and networking. The main objectives of these programs are the dissemination of life and work experience and the setting up of networks between female mentors and mentees. Additionally, female junior researchers are offered grants to cover costs for the care of children and the elderly, equipment as well as re-entry positions for PhD candidates and postdocs.

A special focus of the activities is the advancement of women in STEM subjects in the form of, e.g. info days for girls for  the subjects of physics, chemistry and medicine, mentoring schemes for female students and young researchers in the natural sciences and in medicine as well as networking activities for postdoc students.

In order to increase the amount of female professors (especially in the natural sciences and medicine), the UoC has implemented structures for gender-sensitive recruitment procedures, including active recruitment instruments for women as well as seminars for recruitment commissioners to raise awareness. These activities have been complemeted through the implementation of quotas for the recruitment of female professors within the framework of the gender management scheme in cooperation with the faculties (see above). The establishment of the Center for Gender Studies in Cologne (GeStiC) in 2012 demonstrates the strong commitment of the UoC to the integration of gender studies into academia and teaching.

The UoC aims to become even more family friendly by providing a wide range of advisory services for academics and university members via the Dual Career & Family Support. This is complemented by a comprehensive child-care infrastructure for the children of employees and students. The UoC day-care facility Paramecium (http://www.uni-koeln.de/zentral/kita-paramecium/) was opened in 2011. It also offers a back-up service for events, meetings etc.

In recognition of its excellent gender equality scheme, the UoC has been granted funding within the framework of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s Programme for Women Professors and by the state of NRW that began in 2008 and will continue until 2014. In 2013, the UoC was classified as being in stage 3 of four of its gender equality scheme by the DFG.


Promotion of gender equality at the UB

will take full advantage of the successful measures of the University of Bonn and will amplify efforts to promote reconcilability of job and family, particularly for female scientists.

Reconcilability of family and career as a researcher

To fulfill the most basic needs, day care centers are organized centrally at the University of Bonn. The facilities are open to students and scientists at all levels. In addition to its already existing day care centers, the University plans to establish a day care facility specifically tailored to the needs of researchers from the Excellence areas. The new nursery is scheduled to open in the 2012/13-winter term, and will provide day care especially for children under the age of 3 years, for whom there is a severe lack of facilities in Bonn and the surrounding region. Within the next three years the University of Bonn will build a new child care facility at the campus Endenich that bundles the need for childcare of all scientists working in priority research areas. To promote scientists with children, SupraTec and the University of Bonn have agreed on the following measures:

 · The administrative service will advise scientists with children to find suitable childcare facilities and will provide additional organizational support, together with the already established University Bonn service unit for parents.

· For scientists with small children who wish to attend meetings outside Bonn, in case of illness or in other urgent cases, SupraTec will implement a ‘nanny-service’ with an ‘on demand option’ to cover for the time of absence of the parent. For that purpose we will cooperate with the company PME Familienservice, which is located in Bonn and already cooperates in ad hoc childcare with the University of Bonn for several years.

 · At the postdoctoral and junior scientist level, part-time positions, flexible working hours, and home office will be possible for both women and men with children.

 · We will organize all SupraTec-related organizational or plenary meetings at family-friendly hours, allowing scientists with children to attend.

Measures to specifically promote female scientists at UB

In 2006 the University of Bonn has set up the Maria von Linden program, named after its first female professor. The program’s main objective is to specifically promote and motivate young female scientists to aim for a career in science. The program is based on MeTra, a permanent mentoring and training program for female scientists early in their career. MeTra offers workshops to reinforce academic key qualifications, career management and options for personal training and also serves as a platform to network women in science. The Maria von Linden program grants financial support to female scientists at the level of junior group leaders that is combined with organizational assistance through the University of Bonn service unit for parents and the Dual Career agency. To further sustain these measures the University of Bonn decided in 2011 to expand the service unit for parents and to apply for the audit ‘family-friendly university’. This measures will be promoted further by:

 · offering coaching to female students to know their options in or outside academia in the final year of the SupraTec PhD-program. SupraTec will organize a Summer School for female PhD students and postdocs on mentoring, networking, and improving soft skills.

 · extending SupraTec BIGS PhD student’s stipends for up to a year in case of pregnancy.

 Additional specific measures of SupraTec to support women in science are:

 · provide organizational support for incoming international scientists and their families in cooperation with the International Office and the University of Bonn Welcome Centre.

 · individual re-entry grants for women after maternity leave to complete their PhD or ‚Habilitation’.

 · SupraTec will set up an information program about women’s career options in academia and industry and establish, together with the university’s press office and the gender equality office, a public relations campaign to promote gender equality in science.