© Philipp Scheffler/DWI


Photo of Dr. Jana  Gerlach
Dr. Jana Gerlach
Equal Opportunities and Diversity
Leibniz Association
Chausseestraße 111
10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 / 20 60 49 - 58

General guidelines

Gender equality in science is one of the Leibniz Association’s core objectives and has been anchored in its statutes since 2008. The association employs various tools to support the institutions in their efforts to achieve this goal.

To promote gender equality at its institutions the Leibniz Association passed general recommendations.

Equality plays an important role in Leibniz evaluation procedures. The institutions’ implementation of measures to promote equality is one of the aspects examined during the independent evaluation procedure. It is included in the evaluation report prepared by the Senate Evaluation Committee (SAE) on the basis of which it is decided whether the institution should continue to receive funding.

On 28 November 2008, the Leibniz Association was the first non-university science organisation to adopt the German Research Foundation’s Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. The institutions in the Leibniz Association report back to the Board on the individual steps they have taken to implement the guidelines.

Women in leadership positions

The aim of the Leibniz Association‘s gender equality activities is to guarantee men and women equal opportunities in realising their individual career ambitions on the basis of their qualifications. This applies to all levels of organisation.

At 43 percent, women already account for a comparatively high proportion of scientific staff in the Leibniz Association. Particularly amongst doctoral students (49 percent) and post-docs (45 percent) there has been a remarkable increase in the proportion of women. However, at the higher levels of qualification and salary up to and including leadership positions the percentage drops noticeably.

Thus the Leibniz Association has set itself the goal of raising the number of women in leadership positions continuously and quickly. In the context of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation it has committed itself to increasing the share of women in leadership positions to 20 percent by 2016. At the same time, it will implement the decision by the Joint Science Conference to execute a model for flexible target quotas at all levels of qualification. Finally, it is striving to ensure that a more appropriate number of women are represented on Leibniz committees by changing the nomination procedures.

Through the funding line “Promoting women for academic leadership positions”, one of the categories for the competitive allocation of funding from the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (SAW procedure), the Leibniz Association has created a tool for establishing research groups led by women.

Early appointments: The Leibniz Association is able to appoint highly-qualified female academics to tenured C3/W2 professorships at an earlier stage utilising funding from the Impulsfonds.

Promotion of junior female researchers

The Leibniz Association is committed to promoting young women researchers. And with no small success: just under half of doctoral students are female.

The Leibniz Association’s Mentoring Programme promotes highly-qualified women researchers in the post-doctoral phase and supports them on the path to leadership positions and professorships.

As one of the partners in the Nationaler Pakt für Frauen in MINT-Berufen (National Initiative for women in STEM professions), the Leibniz Association seeks to spark the interest of more girls and young women in working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Equal opportunities activities at Leibniz institutions

The equal opportunities officers at Leibniz institutions regularly share experiences via the Equal Opportunities Working Group (AKC). The Speakers’ Council consists of ten representatives of all five Sections and has drawn up guidelines on equal opportunities within the Leibniz Association (“Leitfaden für Chancengleicheit in der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft”). The guidelines provide an overview of the principles governing equal opportunities activities and concomitant measures. The Leibniz Association organises an annual “Equal Opportunities Workshop” on current issues.