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Commended for Equal Opportunity Policies

Freie Universität Awarded Total E-Quality Rating for Fifth Consecutive Time for Sustainable Efforts as Equal Opportunity Employer

№ 294/2014 from Aug 15, 2014

For the fifth time in a row, Freie Universität Berlin was granted a Total E-Quality award for its exemplary commitment to equality between women and men. Due to its continuing success in this area, the university will be given a sustainability award for its achievements in equal opportunities in addition to the Total E-Quality certificate at the awards ceremony in October. The selection committee said that receiving the award five consecutive times is evidence for the university's strong commitment to equal opportunities over a longer term. As a best practice example, Freie Universität contributes greatly to the positive development of equal opportunities in society as a whole. The nonprofit organization, Total E-Quality e.V., has been assigning Total E-Quality ratings since 1997. The award was first given to companies and political institutions in recognition of their efforts to give women and men equal opportunities for participation in professional careers. Since 2002 universities and other academic institutions can also be taken into consideration. The initiative is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

The jury noted that Freie Universität has been promoting gender equality for more than 30 years. The university implements a gender-sensitive appointment policy, intra-university target agreements for research and teaching, and special programs to promote young women in their graduate training and early career opportunities. The university's success in this area is based in part on anchoring equality in management tools and management processes as well as integrating it in quality assurance procedures and strategic planning.

Freie Universität employs roughly 4,300 individuals and currently educates 28,750 students. The percentage of women holding academic positions is 45.7 (2008: 44.1 percent). The proportion of women working in jobs supporting academic work is 37 percent (2008: 63 percent). Nationwide, Freie Universität takes a leading role with 40 percent of its new professorial appointments going to women. Fifty-nine percent of the university's enrolled students are women. Among those who graduate, the percentage increases to 61. Fifty percent of all the university's doctoral candidates and 37 percent of those going through the habilitation process are women.

The Chief Gender Equality Officer of Freie Universität Berlin, Mechthild Koreuber, was very pleased about the Total E-Quality rating. She said it is due recognition earned for the ongoing and effective equal opportunity measures that Freie Universität has been implementing for the past years. Furthermore, the award reconfirms the effectiveness of the university's policy in linking the individual advancement of women with gender-sensitive development of structures and processes. She stressed that efforts must continue to be made until these ideas are incorporated in the everyday actions of all the members of the university and that adding more diversity components is another crucial component of equal opportunity measures.

Further Information

Mechthild Koreuber, Chief Gender Equality Officer, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-54259, Email: