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Gender Equality and Diversity at Freie Universität

Goals related to gender equality and diversity policy are an integral part of Freie Universität Berlin’s conception of itself as a modern, cosmopolitan university. These goals include, in particular, ensuring that women and men have equal rights to participate in academic life, fostering internationally visible gender studies and integrating those disciplines into teaching activities at the university, striving to establish family-friendly overall conditions for employees, faculty members, and students, and increasing awareness of gender and diversity in the university.

With its successful equality policies, Freie Universität Berlin is ranked at the forefront among all German universities. The university has earned the Total E-Quality (TEQ) rating numerous times now for its exemplary higher education and personnel policies, which embrace the principles of equal opportunity. In a nationwide ranking regarding equality at higher education institutions (CEWS), the university is once again ranked near the top.

In 2013, Freie Universität underwent another audit for recertification as a family-friendly higher education institution. The university pursues its equality policy goals as part of an across-the-board equality concept, which was found to be exemplary in terms of the research-oriented gender equality standards developed by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The equality policy currently in effect at Freie Universität was passed by the Academic Senate in January 2016. It brings together existing targets and commitments, summarizes across-the-board activities, and formulates goals and target values that are to be implemented by 2020. A key element of the concept is the integration of the objectives and actions with the instruments of the university management and the activities in the various departments. In this way specific measures can contribute to structural changes and a gender-sensitive development of the organization.

The concept includes several major policy initiatives:

  • to foster an organizational culture distinguished by gender awareness and gender competence,

  • to implement a personnel policy that aims to achieve equality,

  • to implement equality indicators within management instruments and processes,

  • to systematically collect and analyze equality-related data,

  • to develop, implement, and evaluate programs and measures aimed at gaps and areas with potential for improvement that are identified during the analysis process,

  • to use resources (human and material) to support women and promote gender and diversity studies,

  • to process monitoring and control of the implementation of the gender equality strategy through gender controlling.

For more information, see the following pages: