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Women in Academia

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.

Programme for Women Professors

In order to increase the number of women professors at German institutions of higher education, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) together with the Länder started the Programme for Women Professors in 2007. The continuation of the programme was agreed upon in 2012.

The first and second rounds of the program, each with a total budget of 150 million euros, were financed equally by the BMBF and the Länder. On the basis of a positive appraisal of their equality policies, universities and advanced technical and artistic colleges have the opportunity to receive funding for up to three tenure-track W2 and W3 professorships for women.

A professor helps her student Almost two thirds of all public German institutions of higher education have submitted their equality policies for appraisal in the first Programme for Women Professors (PP1) – four fifths of those with success. Meanwhile, 260 professorships are being financed; equality policies are being implemented. The programme was evaluated and the results were submitted to the Joint Science Conference (GWK) in March 2012. On the basis of this evaluation, the GWK agreed to continue the programme for an additional five years in June 2012.

The evaluation report can be found here (in German only) and the appendix here (in German only).

An overview of professorship currently receiving funding can be found here (in German only).

In December 2012, funding regulations for the second Programme for Women Professors (PPII) were announced. The two deadlines are 28 March 2013 and 28 March 2014.

The funding regulations can be found here (in German only).

Institutions of higher education that submitted successful equality policies in PPI must document their efforts and present a concept for further development in order to participate in PPII. Institutions that did not submit equality policies in PPI (or were not selected) must submit equality policies in order to participate in PPII. Documentation and concepts will be assessed by an appropriate expert panel in the summers of 2013 and 2014.

Stopping after a Doctorate

The valuable expertise of highly qualified women often remains unutilized.  We are still seeing a break following the successful complete of a doctorate degree:

Around 44 per cent of doctoral candidates are women, but this drops to 25 per cent at the post-doctorate level (habilitation).

In 2010, the number of women in leadership positions at research institutes outside of the higher education system totaled only 13 per cent. However, the numbers clearly vary between different research organizations: at the Max-Planck Society (MPG), the number of women in leadership positions is above average at 18.6 per cent. The Leibniz Association (WGL) meets the average with 10.9 per cent.

Both the Hermann von Helmholtz society (HGF) and particularly the Fraunhofer Society (FhG) are below average, with respectively 8.4 and 2.4 per cent of leadership positions going to women.

In addition to the Programme for Women Professors, the BMBF has initiated other measures to improve equal opportunities at institutions of higher education as well as research institutes outside of higher education. Improvement of equal opportunities has been included as a central goal of all large-scale initiatives of the BMBF: the Initiative for Excellence, the Higher Education Pact 2020, and the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation.

Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS)

The Center of Excellence Women and Science is the national hub for the realization of equal opportunities for both women and men in science and research in Germany.

CEWS serves as a think tank for this political field, offering impetus for new ideas, initiating processes of change in support of science, and actively creating and engaging in the necessary exchange between science and politics. CEWS offers comprehensive knowledge in the areas of sociological research on equal opportunity for men and women in science, policy consultation, knowledge transfer, and the monitoring and evaluation of equality measures in science. As a science and research-based service provider, CEWS makes its services available to women scientists, universities, research and scientific institutions, and political committees.

CEWS aims to increase the number of women in leading positions at universities and research institutions, to raise the efficiency of political measures aimed at equality and to introduce gender mainstreaming in all areas of science and research. The FemConsult database, which contains current profiles of several thousand women academics, is a central instrument for increasing the number of women in leading positions. Since 1 January 2006, CEWS has been part of the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.

Institutions of Higher Education

Every two years since 2003, The Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS) has issued rankings of institutions of higher education based on equality aspects, and this has become an established instrument of equal opportunities quality control within the higher education system.

Since 2009, the rankings have also been offered in relation to other equal opportunity evaluations, such as those of the Federal and State Programme for Women Professors, the Total-E-Quality Advisory Service (established in 2001), and the Family Friendly University Audit (established in 1998).

Research Institutions

Childcare Facilities at Research Institutions

Implementing equality also means improving the framework conditions for reconciling a academic career and a family. Meanwhile, all facilities of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres (HGF), the German Research Association (DFG), and increasingly the facilities of the Max Planck Society offer their employees childcare facilities.The BMBF has made this possible by authorizing the provision of budget funds for childcare facilities on a cost neutral basis.

Additional information

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© 08/29/2015 00:01 Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung