Equal opportunity at the University of Münster

How gender equality is defined and anchored at the University of Münster

With regard to its policies on equal opportunity, the University of Münster differentiates between gender mainstreaming at the organisational level and traditional policies of gender equality which promote equal opportunity at the personnel level. In terms of its gender mainstreaming approach, a gender-relevant perspective is integrated throughout all University structures and processes. In order to institute and guarantee equal opportunity for women and men, the University has developed specific criteria and goals at all levels of decision-making and in all personnel categories (see, for example, the Gender Concept of the University of Münster and the faculty plans for the advancement of women). Targeted funding measures are used to counteract visible cases of under-representation.

The University’s commitment to gender equality is firmly anchored in the mission statement of the University of Münster. The Rectorate also recognises that gender mainstreaming and targeted affirmative action policies for women are important criteria for the development of the University, as expressed in the strategic development goals announced in 2009.

Gender-equality goals and budget

The equal opportunity policy at the University of Münster aims to achieve two primary objectives:

  1. First, the University wishes to ensure the compatibility of one’s career/studies and family life. Not only do staff and students stand to benefit from this, but also the faculties and the University as a whole.

However, the University realises that balancing family and career is a challenge that affects both women and men. The entire range of measures to improve the compatibility of career, studies and family-related tasks are targeted at both sexes. The Family Service Office [de] is not managed by the Equal Opportunity Office, but rather the Department of Personnel Development. Not only does this demonstrate both within and outside the University that career-family compatibility is a cross-departmental task which concerns the entire organisation, but also that balancing a career and child-rearing (or providing care for family members) is by no means a “women’s issue”, but one that inherently affects all parents (or caregivers) irrespective of gender.
Numerous needs-based measures that improve the compatibility of career, studies and family-related tasks have been initiated through the “family-friendly university” auditing process, for which the University of Münster was awarded certification by the Hertie Stiftung in 2008. In view of the upcoming re-auditing process, the University wishes to continue developing and ensure the sustainability of the existing measures.

2.    The second strategic equal opportunity objective is to help women pursue a career in academia which enables them to achieve their potential and reflects their academic accomplishments.

In order to provide needs-based career-support services to female researchers, and especially female junior researchers, the University of Münster has developed a variety of measures and projects [de].

The University of Münster has created its own programme for the Advancement of Women [de] which serves as the basis for implementing projects, programmes and other measures which promote equal opportunity of men and women at the University. The programme receives about 190,000 euros of funding by the University annually and can thus finance equal opportunity projects without the financial uncertainty that having to acquire third-party funding would entail. The programme, established in 2000, benefits all personnel groups by awarding funding to support equal opportunity projects.