Recruitment at universities and research institutions traditionally follows internal academic criteria. In some cases, universities have to make a special effort to recruit suitable staff or to impart greater expertise to the people they employ. This also means offering equal opportunities to all personnel, regardless of gender and origin. The German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) has addressed this issue in the context of several recommendations.
Recruiting personnel is an important issue for the universities of applied sciences in particular. In contrast to universities, these institutions sometimes have difficulties recruiting qualified personnel for professorships. The WR has recommended creating attractive offers through increased flexibility, focus-setting and collaborations.
Even though a great deal of effort has been made to improve the situation with regard to equal opportunities, women remain underrepresented in some areas of science and research. The WR has made several recommendations and provided suggestions for improving this situation, pointing out crucial levers in the system which allow the structural discrimination of women to be challenged, such as through transparent and formalised procedures. On the initiative of the WR, German research organisations launched the “Equal Opportunities for Researchers Offensive” (Offensive für Chancengleichheit von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern) in 2006. Based on this initiative, the WR delivered further recommendations after five years. In particular, it called for flexible target quotas based on the cascade model and an increased participation of women in science policy committees.
The WR is also increasingly focusing on the promotion of other dimensions of diversity, such as religion, age, nationality or sexual orientation.
Recommendations (in German only):