Gender Equality RepresentativeGender Mainstreaming in higher education through measures to promote equality has been on the agenda of educational policy since the 1980’s. With its general plan for the advancement of women and a system of incentives for the advancement of women, the Senate of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, has developed two important instruments for realizing equality between women and men in higher education.
Institutional advancement of women
The position of “women’s advocate” has existed at the University of Mainz since 1998. A committee for women’s issues funds the work of the women’s advocate. Since 1991, a women’s office has been established that counsels women of all status groups and provides a targeted range of services for women. In 2000 the Senate approved the general plan for the advancement of women at the University of Mainz; the departments now are called on to implement this plan by incorporating it into their individual departmental plans. Our Department is working on it.
The following projects have sparked great interest both inside and outside the university: The coaching center for young female academics aids and assists young academics from the decision to pursue an academic career up to appointment as a professor. This is enabled by, among other things, providing funds via the European Social Fund. With the network of child-care providers, students and employees, both men and women, have an additional, supplementary option for childcare.
Stepping up the advancement of women in academia and administration
In spite of these activities, the proportion of women in leading positions in academia and administration is still too low at the University of Mainz, as elsewhere. Therefore, the University of Mainz, by approving the strategic concept, set the following goal: “Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz wants to increase the opportunities for women by making greater efforts to appoint female applicants to top academic and administrative positions and by monitoring more precisely the appointment process and staff-selection process. Individual plans for the advancement of women are being developed in the departments and, especially in the natural sciences disciplines, more young women are on track for academic careers. In addition, in schools for corresponding courses of study, female students are already being supported by specific departmental programs and female graduates are supported upon entrance into professional life. Female-specific advanced training and continuing education programs for academic employees and students, but also for skilled personnel in administration, technology, libraries and management are also being expanded. We are also working to promote the compatibility of work and family by providing additional child-care capacities and creating new telecommuting jobs.”