Women in Education and Research
Highly qualified women with foreign degrees still want to be employed at a high level in Germany. But all too often, the reality is otherwise - this from a study conducted by the HU Berlin, the TU Hamburg-Harburg, and the RWTH Aachen as part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) together with the European Social Fund (ESF). The study shows that highly qualified migrant women with foreign degrees have had difficulty entering the labour market: the move to Germany often means interrupting their careers or even accepting employment far below their level of qualification.
More information regarding this study can be found here.
Forward-looking policy must create the preconditions necessary for women to be represented in all fields and at all levels, particularly in managerial positions. Different perspectives and approaches of both women and men must be utilized - in the interest of progress in areas such as education, research, industry, and society as a whole. This is one of the BMBF's central tasks.
Excellence, quality, and equal opportunity are the integral parts of future-oriented policy.
Continuous attention to gender-specific aspects is a strategy aimed at achieving equal opportunity for women and men in all areas of politics. The focus on equal opportunities is to be included as a universal guiding principle in all political decisions, measures, and activities. This is to be taken likewise into account in the development of programmes and measures, in the allocation of funding, and in implementation and evaluation procedures.
Key strategic areas are:
The BMBF's Equal Opportunities in Education and Research Division has the task of implementing these key strategic areas with the help of its own budget. The Division
- is part of the BMBF's Strategies and Policy Issues Directorate-General,
- has the task of supporting equal opportunities in all fields of work in the BMBF,
- analyzes the need for action in education and research,
- supports strategic measures and projects, and
- works closely with all the BMBF's specialist directorates-general and divisions, as well as with all stakeholders in this area.
There are more women than ever working as professors at German institutions of higher education. According to the Federal Office of Statistics, around 7,945 women professor were employed as teachers and researchers in 2010. The number of women chairholders has increased from 8 to 19 per cent since 1995, although the numbers vary considerably between individual disciplines: in linguistics and cultural studies, around 30 per cent of professors are women. In engineering, women make up only around 9 per cent of professorships, and around 12 per cent in mathematic/natural sciences.
Gender mainstreaming is based on the recognition that there is no such thing as a gender-neutral policy. In other words, politics and government always have specific effects on women and men.