Who we are
The reasons for unequal opportunities are manifold. For example, stereotypical everyday knowledge about gender is also constantly reproduced in science and research and has become firmly inscribed in the structures of the scientific community. The traditional structures of recruiting young scientists and the common short-term fixed-term contracts also have a gender-specific differentiating effect and are disadvantageous for female scientists. Another reason for the underrepresentation of female scientists is the greater social strain still placed on women by family responsibilities. A better offer of childcare and other measures to reconcile family and work is therefore of great importance. These gender equality tasks are coordinated in the Department of Life Sciences by the Equal Opportunities Council.
In Faculty 15 there is not a single Equal Opportunities Officer, but a team of different status groups who together form the Equal Opportunities Council; including female professors, scientific staff, technical-administrative staff and students. The women's representation elects the members of the Equal Opportunities Council for a period of two years.
Since the preservation and promotion of equality is an important concern for the department, it was decided at the end of 2010 to establish a permanent responsibility for equality in the dean's office with the vice dean, in addition to the women's council (Equal Opportunities Council) at that time.
We as the Equal Opportunities Council represent the interests of the individual status groups and ensure equal opportunities in recruitment and appointment procedures. In addition, we support women in reconciling family and studies or career. Furthermore, we offer help and support in conflict resolution and in cases of sexual harassment in courses and at the workplace.
The Equal Opportunities Council is happy to support the professional qualification of women. If you have any questions regarding the application or financial support and processing, or if you have any questions regarding the content of the application, please contact Prof. Dr. Averhoff (T: +49 69 798-29509). You can find further information on submitting applications under "Latest News".
In addition to these contact persons, the central women's representative, Dr. A. Wolde (T: +49 69 798-28100, email) or the staff in the Equal Opportunities Office will be happy to assist you.
Diversity at Goethe University
Goethe University has added diversity policies to its previous equality strategies. The guiding principles are to avoid discrimination and to create equal opportunities. The term Diversity Policies underlines that Goethe University is striving for change at all levels of the organisation.
Guidelines for applying for financial support
Please note the new guidelines for applying for financial support from the Equal Opportunities Council. Financial support for non-gender-specific applications (e.g. participation in conferences) is only possible with a simultaneous or previous application to another institution, as our financial framework is very limited. Furthermore, the application for financial support for a conference participation is only possible with active participation in the form of a poster presentation and/or a lecture by the applicant. Please refer to the application form (see Downloads) for further information and conditions.
Your Equality Council
The Covid19 pandemic has dominated all areas of private and public life for over two years now and defined the everyday life and career opportunities of scientists. A study published by Nature Publishing Group in 2020 showed that the pandemic impact depends strongly on the scientific field, where – unsurprisingly – the laboratory-linked life sciences suffered the most. Moreover, this and other studies have demonstrated that the disadvantages were most pronounced for female scientists, especially those with children, as well as caregivers.
As a result and in order to fight against systemic and implicit discrimination, calls for more support and inclusion aimed at scientific journals, the scientific community, and funding agency have increased – some already providing sound scientific data supporting the measures' success. A career feature article published in Nature in the summer of 2020, highlighted advice about career-furthering strategies for female scientists.
Furthermore, early career researchers in the natural sciences have been disproportionately negatively impacted by the pandemic in the medium and long term, which thankfully lead to multiple prominent voices in academia to speak about increasing support for young scientists in the future and thus counteracting and resulting disadvantages (1,2).
In order to combat future problems arising in our field as well as to preserve the recent advances in diversity, equity, and inclusivity - during and after the pandemic - we, the Equality Council, will continue to support all students and faculty, especially female scientists and caregivers, at each level of their educational and career journeys.
Your Equality Opportunities Council "Biosciences"
The Equal Opportunities Council "Biosciences" is in charge of an anonymous suggestion box for all concerns and worries of students and staff of the department. It is located in the foyer of the Biologicum next to the notice boards set up there.
Messages can be left with or without contact details.
The new premises of the Biologicum include both changing rooms and a parent-child room. We can also provide you with information on childcare at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.
The parent-child room of the Biologicum is located in wing B, basement, room -1.204 and is accessible to all employees of the working groups located in the Biologicum via their Goethe Card. Notice of use to the Council for Gender Equality is not necessary.
Students with children who are not assigned to a working group and therefore do not have access to the room are welcome to contact Mr. Fischer (Room 1.320, T: +49 69 798-42100, Email) if they wish to use the room and have their access set up accordingly via their Goethe Card. Please note that activation may take a few days. If you wish to use the room spontaneously, we recommend that you contact our Biologicum members by telephone or ask the doorman to open the room.
The "MobiKiz" has been available at the Faculty of Biosciences since June 2014. The MobiKiz is a portable children's playroom with various age-appropriate toys and can be borrowed during your stay at the University. The MobiKiz is of course free to borrow, but you should make sure that it is returned in full so that other children can continue to play with it.
In the Biologicum, the MobiKiz can be borrowed from Mr. Michael Born in the Didactics Department in room -1.412 from Monday to Friday between 9.00 and 17.00 hrs. A prior appointment is not absolutely necessary, but would be desirable to ensure that someone can hand over the MobiKiz. You can reach Mr. Born at the telephone number +49 69 798-42270 or by Email.
Another MobiKiz is available at the Otto-Stern-Zentrum (OSZ) at the doorman's office and can be borrowed there during regular working hours.
The Equal Opportunities Council will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.
On the homepage of the Goethe University Family Service you will find more information about flexible and regular childcare.