Equal Opportunities Officer

The Equal Opportunities Officer has the task of promoting and monitoring equality between women and men and the elimination of existing and future discrimination on the basis of gender within the UFZ.
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Its role is to participate in all personnel, organisational and social measures relating to equality between women and men, combining family and working life and protection against sexual harassment in the workplace. In this sense, its function is also to provide advice and support to individual employees.

Equality is a matter of course in every respect. Factors and processes restricting equality must be identified, communicated and systematically countered. The causes of unequal treatment are, however, almost always unknowingly and unintentionally anchored in our thoughts and actions and so structurally embedded in our everyday lives that we find ourselves reproducing them in our day-to-day dealings with one another.

Therefore, equality work focuses on reacting to the various backgrounds and starting points of the employees in a targeted and needs-orientated way, as well as designing framework conditions and processes in such a way that we reduce unequal treatment, aspire to equal opportunities and can make positive use of employee diversity at the UFZ.

All employees, men and women, may be affected by unequal opportunity due to their life situation and may therefore benefit from equality policies. Yet employees not only reap the benefits of equality policies with respect to their individual personal and career development: providing a work environment where employees from a variety of backgrounds have scope to develop and contribute their diverse and specific perspectives is advantageous for all work and organisational units at the UFZ.

Equality at the UFZ


Fundamentals of Equality Work at UFZ

The working basis of the equal opportunities officers is legally and institutionally anchored. These principles form the basis of my work, which I build on by setting personal priorities.

Key Activities

  1. Supporting the implementation and evaluation of the UFZ Equality Plan through discussion, advice, analysis, process support, proposals, motivation and argumentation
  2. Raising awareness on the relevance and the causes of inequality; illustrating the endeavours and potential of the UFZ in order to achieve equality; expanding the equality perspectives to interpersonal diversity beyond the aspect of gender.
  3. Responsible fulfilment of regular tasks such as participation in selection committees and individual advice, reporting and statistics, networking and exchange, training and documentation of my work.

Laws and Regulations

Laws and regulations form the background of equality work (General Equal Treatment Act, Federal Equality Law). However, given that the Federal Equality Law is not binding for non-university research institutions, the Joint Science Conference (GWK) decided on an Implementation Agreement (german), upon which equality work at the UFZ is based.
( Agreement for the promotion of equal opportunities at the UFZ )
Moreover, the UFZ agreed to its own UFZ Equal Opportunities Plan in the summer of 2016, which lays down the objectives of the equality work at the UFZ.

The Equal Opportunities Working Group at the UFZ

The Equal Opportunities Working Group is a discussion forum dealing with different unequal treatments in occupation in general and in science in particular and the promotion of equal opportunities for all employees at the UFZ. The focal point of the work is the advancement of equal opportunities of all employees within the UFZ.

Furthermore, all human beings - independent of their physical abilities, their origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, color and age- should have equal chances during the recruitment procedure and in their professional development at the UFZ.

The members of the working group usually meet four to five times a year. The working group supports the equal opportunities officer in the fulfilment of her tasks and advises her in all relevant questions. If questions and problems arise, the members of the Equal Opportunities Working Group are available as contact persons for all employees.

Work and Gender - How do we want to live?

Historical contexts of "work and gender" are told briefly and comprehensibly as a journey through time, and current lines of conflict are presented. How do we work? How do we live? And what does that have to do with gender? (in German)

What does that have to do with me?

What do equality and equal opportunities have to do with me and my behavior? How do I create good conditions for everyone? Who is seen, who is not? How can I get involved? At the UFZ everyone can shape the common environment and contribute to equality.

The brochure Diversity and Equal Opportunities at the UFZ - What can I do? contains concrete suggestions and is intended to facilitate personal initiative and changes in behaviour.

On the Subject

Bundesstiftung Gleichstellung (Federal Foundation for Equality)

Germany's Basic Law firmly establishes the equality of women and men. However, it frequently becomes evident that such equality is far from being reached. The improvement of this situation is the duty of the Federal Government. Because of this the government has decided to install a "Federal Foundation for Equality" until the end of this year.

The foundation's aim is the scientific approach to questions of participation of women in all areas of society. Furthermore, it is supposed to provide information and therefore create transparency and bring attention to issues. The foundation is meant to strenghten actions and develop new ideas. It is supposed to become a central authority in matters of equality.

You can find further information on the website of the Federal Government (in German).

German Basic Law © Pixabay

Information and Materials

What are the effects of gender-sensitive language? - ARD Quarks (in German)