Skip to main content

Equality and Gender Diversity

Gender Equity at the University of Potsdam

Thanks to its statutory equal opportunity mandate, the University of Potsdam is currently one of Germany’s three most successful universities in the field of equal opportunity. The CEWS overall ranking of universities in 2021 gave the University of Potsdam its highest ranking thus far, placing it in ranking group 3 (with 10 out of 12 points). This was also made possible by our successful threefold participation in the Program for Female Professors (Program Lines I to III in 2008, 2013, and 2018) with a total funding amount of 2.97 million euros. The goals set there have made it possible to anchor gender equality measures permanently in university structures and to establish gender equality as a cross-sectional task.

The University of Potsdam aims to actively promote real gender equality and to eliminate existing structural disadvantages. In this context, gender equality work is not reduced to selective measures, but is included as a broad-based cross-sectional task in all areas and structures of the university in order to achieve cultural change at this institution of higher education.

The University of Potsdam is committed to the quality standards for equal opportunities for women and men at Brandenburg universities(only available in German) as well as to the research-oriented equality standards of the DFG(only available in German). We are committed to considering gender-specific effects in all of the university’s measures and decisions.

Women’s policy and gender equality work have a long tradition at the University of Potsdam. Since the University of Potsdam was founded in 1991, there have been many positive changes in the context of the advancement of women and equality of women* and men. On May 27, 2004, the University of Potsdam received the TOTAL E-QUALITY award for the first time. Numerous projects initiated by the equal opportunity work, such as mentoring, women’s* networks, dual-career service, family service, and MINT girls* projects, have been consolidated at the university and have thus become part of the university.

Nevertheless, there is still some work to be done before comprehensive gender-equitable and non-discriminatory structures can be implemented at all levels of the University of Potsdam.

Position Papers of the University of Potsdam on Equality

The higher education contract (only available in German) between the state of Brandenburg and the University of Potsdam articulates our agreements regarding equal opportunities, family orientation, and protection against discrimination. Equality goals, as well as diversity and compatibility, are also defined within the University of Potsdam. These can be read, for example, in the university’s development plan (only available in German), which describes the University of Potsdam’s central development goals at five-year intervals and provides information on which measures and steps the university will take to implement these goals. In addition, in 2019 the Senate adopted the "Equal Opportunity Future Concept" (only available in German) prepared together with the Central Equal Opportunity Officer as part of the Female Professors Program III. This concept created specific goals and measures for the advancement of women (female professors, scientists in the qualification phase, and students) in science.

The Central Equal Opportunity Officer

The Central Equal Opportunity Officer plays a central role in the implementation of equal opportunity goals and measures. She and her deputies support the university administration in implementing the legal equality mandate on the basis of the Brandenburg Higher Education Act (BbgHG) (only availabe in German) and the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) (only available in German). The aim is to achieve equal opportunities, improve the reconciliation of study/work and family responsibilities, and eliminate the existing underrepresentation of women in public service. The Central Equal Opportunity Officer and her deputies are elected every four years in accordance with § 68 BbgHG.

The Central Equal Opportunity Officer – like her decentralized colleagues at the level of the faculties and central institutions – is the contact person in particular for all women* who study, teach, research and work at the university. She offers advice on study paths and career planning, on conflicts at work or at the university, on questions of gender-related discrimination or in cases of sexualized violence.

Tasks of the Central Equal Opportunity Officer

Gender equality work is a cross-sectional effort and thus part of a wide variety of tasks and topics at the University of Potsdam. The Equal Opportunity Officers at the University of Potsdam contribute to gender equality and shape the university’s equal opportunity policy by setting their own priorities and goals. Section 68 paragraph 2 of the BbgHG sets the framework for the duties of an Equal Opportunity Officer at universities in Brandenburg. According to this, the Equal Opportunity Officer’s scope of duties includes:

  • Providing advice and support in all matters concerning the equality of women* and men
  • Participation in selection and appointment committees to establish gender-equitable personnel structures
  • The development and monitoring of concepts for the advancement of women and gender equality
  • Advising university members on matters related to their studies and career planning
  • Funding opportunities for women*
  • Discrimination and harassment issues

Gender Diversity at the University of Potsdam

As organizations under public law, universities are responsible for creating conditions that enable their members to work and study as free of discrimination as possible. The University of Potsdam is committed to real gender diversity and takes the concerns of trans*, inter* and non-binary (=TIN) people seriously. They often face special challenges in their daily lives and work contexts because people in their environment do not always react appropriately, sometimes in a discriminatory manner, or administrative procedures are not (yet) adapted to actual gender diversity.

The University of Potsdam strives to accommodate the needs of TIN persons and to ensure respectful interaction. We strive to make a quick and barrier-free change of the first name and gender entry of trans*, inter* and non-binary students and employees.

Information on the first name change procedure for students and employees at the University of Potsdam can be found here.