Equal opportunities officer

Currently, the central equal opportunities officers at the supporting universities are each taking on this job on behalf of the Faculty:

Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU)

University of Potsdam (UP)

Birgit Hendrischke
Birgit Hendrischke
Equal Opportunities Officer BTU
phone: +49 355 69 2324
Christina Wolff
Christina Wolff
Equal Opportunities Officer UP
phone: +49 331 977-1840

Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane (MHB)

Lilith Bechinger
Lilith Bechinger
Student Equal Opportunities Officer MHB
Clara Eich
Clara Eich
Student Equal Opportunities Officer MHB

Status of Equality Measures

Among the students, the proportion of women has reached approx. 50% and is even greater in some subjects. These subjects include medicine and health sciences. Despite great efforts being made, the number of women among the professors has only reached 24%, and in medicine is even lower.

From: “Equal Opportunities in Science and Research” by the Joint GWK Science Conference, 22nd update of the data material (2016/17) on women in universities and non-university research institutions.

The proportion of female professors at the UP is a little above the countrywide average, at approx. 29%. The numbers have improved in general of late, but still, the number of women who leave the research field on the path towards a professorship is above average. There are various reasons for this: one aspect is the ability to combine work and family life, and the other is the instability in this career path. Investigations have also shown that women in science take on a greater proportion of administration and teaching tasks (“Teaching load could put female scientists at career Disadvantage” Nature, Trend Watch, April 13th 2017) and thus have less time for their own research works.

The current figures also show, however, that the numbers of female scientists available to the Faculty are constantly rising. As the faculty is in the unique situation of appointing the majority of its professorial chairs for the first time, the current proportion of women at the “habilitation” (or equivalent) stage of qualification could be reflected here and a higher number than the average achieved. Here, a proportion of women among the newly appointed professors of 30-40% is desired, that is, 6 of the 16 chairs would be taken by women.

The Faculty Council has taken the following equal opportunities measures to increase the likelihood of gaining women for the professorial chairs:

  • A professorial chair has been offered as W1 with Tenure Track.
  • A questionnaire has been developed allowing the candidates, regardless of the key figures regarding their qualifications, to present other aspects such as engagement in governance, the establishment of good scientific practice, in cooperative projects, teaching or the communication of science.
  • The positions are being advertised internationally, meaning that suitable candidates from other countries are also able to submit applications.
  • In addition, active recruiting strategies, supported by the appointment systems at the supporting universities, are being applied.
  • During the appointments phase and after it, close collaboration with the corresponding equal opportunities offices. At the UP as at the BTU, diverse provision has already been made available, say, to combine work and family life and help ensuring equal opportunities at all stages of the process.

Furthermore, the faculty has made contact with the “G3 Consortium for Modern Medicine” (https://www.g3gesund.de). This network wants to adapt medicine not only to different genders but also to different stages of life. Medicine, surgical interventions, therapeutic approaches etc. have very different effects for children, young adults or older people. Gender and ethnicity also play large roles here. To date, most processes and medicines have been tested on male adults. The faculty wants to work together with this network to develop courses and research projects making use of its knowledge and contacts.

As the faculty is still being set up, there is currently no non-central equal opportunities officer. This situation will change with the appointment of new colleagues. The faculty is expected to select a non-central equal opportunities officer in the course of the year from among its new employees and coopted researchers. Further measures can then be planned, implemented and anchored in a decentralised equal opportunities plan as per § 7 Abs. 3 BbgHG.

Joint faculty
The University of Potsdam, the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane and the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg