The German Research Foundation (DFG) sees the promotion of equal opportunities of junior scientists as an essential part of their work. For this reason, the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” were passed by the DFG in 2008. Therein, the members of the DFG verbalized staff- and structure-related standards regarding sustainable gender equality politics within the realm of science and tertiary education.
The significant increase of the percentage of women through all scientific career stages is verbalized by the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” as an equal goal. In achieving this goal, the main principle is the so-called cascade model. Following this model, certain goals regarding the percentage of women of each career stage are ensued as a result of the given underlying level of qualification.
Within the framework of agreements regarding the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” all the DFGs members committed to (1) take a stand on these standards and especially (2) formulate goals towards raising the percentage of women. In 2009, the University of Paderborn took an active part in the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” by issuing an official statement. Within this statement, the University reported about implemented measures working to enforce gender equality in science. Particularly, it stated additional future measures with respect to promoting female junior scientists. The report also states specific measures implemented to increasing the percentage of women within the doctoral degrees. The interim report as well as the final report regarding the stage of implementation were issued in 2011 and 2013.
The University’s Equal Opportunity Concept, which the University published in the context of the DFG’s “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” was unanimously judged to be the highest valuation level – state 4 (“commendable”). Paderborn University’s interim report (2011) as well as the final report (2013) were rated to be the highest valuation level. Therefore, the DFG certified that since 2009 Paderborn University was successful in establishing and pursuing a concept of promoting gender equality that is being amended by innovative approaches.
Paderborn University’s part taking in the DFG’s “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” was a highly important step towards achieving equal opportunities within the scientific sector. The increased presence of this topic throughout the University, especially by the discussion as well as the resulting measures the University’s statement could induce, was of utmost significance. All measures that were formulated within that statement could be re-formulated within that reference period and all involved objectives could be reached. The percentage of the entirety of the University’s female professors (incl. female junior professors) could be increased from 23.4% (01/2008) to 29.2% (01/2012). The initially verbalized goal of increasing female doctoral students of five percentage points were exceeded by afar and raised by twice as much (25.2% in 2008 to 35.6% in 2012). Moreover, the percentage of women among the non-professorial teaching staff was raised by more than ten percentage points from 24.3% (01/2008) to 35.1% (01/2012).