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Equal Opportunities Matters

The Equal Opportunities Committee (EOC) works in accordance with the concepts of gender equity and equal access to academic careers regardless of ethnic, cultural, geographical and social backgrounds, ability and health, as well as sexual and gender identity. It aims at furthering equal opportunities regarding the awarding of scholarships, staffing policies and organisational hierarchies.

The genders of doctoral students, scholarship holders and staff members should be balanced. However, key criteria for the awarding of scholarships and posts should be the applicant’s academic and personal profile. Accordingly, the EOC’s focus lies on personnel development that is sensitive to gender, culture and individual needs in order to sustainably support the GCSC and GGK’s further advancing of equity and diversity.

To facilitate the integration of equal opportunities perspectives into the daily workflow at the GCSC/GGK, we aim at professionalising the EOC’s efforts towards equal opportunities along the structural and HR benchmarks set out by the German Research Foundation (DFG). These especially refer to the negotiated agreements to which institutions funded by the Excellence Initiative subscribe: the direction-setting interim report as of 2011, and the evaluation of equal opportunities measurements in 2013.

At the core of the negotiated agreements are the tasks of:

  • Raising sensitivity to gender and culture in order to, for example, reveal how questions of difference influence existing academic structures, also and especially regarding the importance of equal opportunities within the Excellence Initiative;
  • Analysing gender-related concerns, as well as those of members with familial responsibilities, and considering them in decision-making processes;
  • Foster competencies in gender, cultural and ability sensitivity;
  • Anchor gender and difference studies in research;
  • Implement gender-sensitive language and ensure the accessibility of information to all members;
  • Develop measurements to promote the furthering of potentially underrepresented groups, such as achieving a balanced distribution of genders, representation of international members, and accessibility regardless of health and ability on all hierarchical levels of the GCSC/GGK.

The EOC regards it as central to further the reconcilability of family and (academic) careers. In this context, the EOC hopes to be perceived as both a point of contact and a special-interest group. Together with the GCSC/GGK sub-programme “Combining Career & Family”, the EOC works for the needs and requirements of all GCSC/GGK parents and caregivers.

Apart from contributing to the development of the GCSC/GGK by working with the Selection Committee and Board of Directors, the EOC offers workshops that are tailored to further sensitivity and reflect on the degree of sensitivity to difference within the institutional structures of the graduate centre. These workshops will contribute to basic knowledge transfer with regard to mainstreaming as well as foster competencies in equal opportunities work, also including the professorial level. Furthermore, workshops and lectures will provide information on the opportunities of potentially disadvantaged groups in post-doctoral top-level research and broach the issue of combining academic careers with familial responsibilities.

The Equal Opportunities Committee consists of two professors, two post-doctoral researchers and three doctoral students, one of these as a representative of the international doctoral members. EOC delegates are elected by GGK/GCSC members at the annual plenary meeting. Professors are elected for three years; all other members are elected for periods of one year.

Elected delegates:

  • Prof. Dr. Katrin Lehnen
  • Prof. Dr. Katharina Stornig
  • Jeannette Oholi
  • Dennis Friedrichsen
  • Tanja Marcotte