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Since 2011, the BNITM has shown commitment to topics concerning equal opportunities and gender equality. As part of the Leibniz Association, the Institute aims to pursue "Research-Oriented Equality Standards" targets set by the DFG. Hereby, the proportion of women in all scientific career settings is to be significantly increased by means of a cascade model. (The cascade model calculates different quotas for female participation at different levels and is based on the percentage of women at the level immediately below). For the BNITM this means, above all, to employ more women in leadership positions, as these are still underrepresented. Female representation is high in all other employee groups.
The equal opportunities representatives at the BNITM actively enforce the principles laid down by the Hamburg Law on Equality of Men and Women in Public Service. They are responsible for the composition of an equality plan and may advise the employees on all aspects of equality and work-life balance, respectively. The equality representatives are supported by the “Equal Opportunities Committee” consisting of individuals from Human Resources, the staff council, managing board of directors, as well as scientific and technical staff.
The percentage of women who are at the beginning of their career at the BNITM amounts to 65% of PhD students and 69% of postdocs. These is above average compared to non-university research institutes in Germany (45% and 36%, respectively. Source: GWK, Equal Opportunities in Science and Research 2013/14). Women in scientific leadership positions are still underrepresented at BNITM. The current gender equality plan intends to change that. As a first step, the quota for women in leadership positions has been increased and should present 20% of women as department head and 40% in group leading positions by 2020.