Bielefeld University is committed to the aim of a democratic gender culture and therefore to equal opportunities for men and women. Achieving gender equality is one of the key strategic goals of Bielefeld University. The responsibility in reaching this goal lies expressly with the University management as well as all University members, in particular those in decision-making roles.
To reach this goal, policy agreements were passed at an early stage aimed at promoting equal opportunity for men and women on both structural and personnel levels. In the meantime, these measures have become consolidated and are effective at all levels and in all areas. Equal opportunity is especially promoted on a structural level with a vice-rector position dedicated to it. Equal opportunity is also an indicator in the internal model of resource allocation. As a further incentive, there is an equal opportunity prize awarded for activities that promote gender equality. A number of scholarship programmes at the University are having an impact on equal opportunities in recruitment and personnel. The enormous range of policies is evident in the final report on the implementation of research-oriented gender equality standards submitted to the DFG as well as in the documentation relating to the female professor programme, and the information on the University's gender portal.
As an example of the University's approach to gender equality, three areas of particular relevance for collaborative research are outlined in the following:
1. An important point is the University's gender-sensitive approach to personnel development. The mentoring programme Movement provides a bundle of mentoring, training and networking measures for female students, doctoral candidates and post-docs at the University. In addition, the University facilitates a broad range of professional training and development measures to graduates, research and technical staff, teaching staff and management as well as one-to-one coaching and team coaching. These measures benefit women in particular and are continually tailored to their needs.
2. As a research institution at Bielefeld University, the very successful interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (IZG) is open to students, researchers and teaching staff working in this field. Since 2007, the University has also offered an MA in " 'Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Research and Applications' " which lasts four semesters.
3. At Bielefeld University, the compatibility of work, study and family is an integral part of the organisational culture. As one of its strategic concerns, the University seeks to institutionalise this. The University also offers students and staff with children or dependants a regular advisory service. A central family portal on the University website pools all of these resources. Apart from around 150 nursery school places for children of students, the University also has 116 places for children of employees of the University at its staff nursery school. Flexible opening hours and other services are geared towards the demands of an academic post and promote equal opportunities for women. During the school holidays the University also provides holiday childcare. The Family Service can also provide babysitters at short notice and for the short term to suit individual needs.
The DFG awarded Bielefeld University's work in implementing the research-oriented equal opportunities standard with "besonders erfolgreich" (particularly successful) and certified it three times in succession with the highest possible quality level (Category 4). Since 2008, Bielefeld University has been certified with the "TOTAL E-QUALITY" as an exemplary university in implementing equal opportunities in its higher education and personnel policies. It was also certified as a family-friendly university in 2004 by the 'berufundfamilie GmbH'. During the audit, it was ranked among the top ten universities shown to be exemplary in their promotion of equal opportunities. Due to the broad spectrum of its gender equality measures, the University was successful in both bidding rounds of the female professor programme, funded by the BMBF.
The Gender Report of the Women's and Gender Research Network (NRW), commissioned by the Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia awarded the work of Bielefeld University in relation to gender (in)equality, and placed it amongst the top few on the NRW ranking list for the third time.
With the conference "Gender 2020", Bielefeld University - in cooperation with the Federal Conference of Gender Equality Officers in Higher Education in Germany (BuKof) ? brought together representatives from university top-level management as well as academic organisations and political institutions to meet in Bielefeld. The Chairman of the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), the General Secretary of the German Research Foundation (DFG), The President of the German Rektor?s Conference, the President of the Leibniz Organisation as well as the Minister for Innovation, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia discussed with equality experts and gender researchers the urgent need for a cultural change in science. The aim of the conference was to sound out new impulses for a more consequential implementation of gender politics within science and to formulate action required.
Keynote speeches by international experts set important impulses and underlined the necessity to strengthen equal opportunities in the academic system. In the strategy forum, high-ranking speakers discussed the increasing interconnection and coordination of activities in equality politics, the necessity of quotas and the question of how to achieve a bigger commitment to the implementation of equal opportunities in everyday life.
The conference "Gender 2020" held at Bielefeld University resulted in solidarity for more equal opportunities in science and the humanities. It also gained the support for the establishment of a national Gender Equality Council in Science from the Vice-President of the German Rektor's Conference (HRK).