Equal Opportunities and Diversity – Unity in Diversity

Much has been achieved – much is still to be done

In 1950, Herta Hammerbacher became the first woman to be appointed to a professorship at Technische Universität Berlin. Today 74 of our 355 professors are women, which means we still have a long way to go. It remains a primary objective of Technische Universität Berlin to increase the percentage of women among students, graduates, and doctoral candidates, and particularly among professors and in management positions in administration.

There is a wide range of measures and instruments to ensure that these aims are achieved and that the situation is improved for female members of the University.

Ensuring equal opportunities and freedom from discrimination and reflecting the plurality of worldviews and ways of life in teaching and research are part of Technische Universität Berlin’s mission statement.

For female staff: What we offer

The program “proMotion” (only in German) supports female doctoral candidates at the University throughout the entire doctoral phase with continuing education offers, coaching, and advising, as well as interdisciplinary peer networking.

Should women choose to pursue academia and science after completing their doctorate, the university program “ProFiL” (only in German) provides postdocs with mentoring, training, and networking on their path to a professorship. The International Postdoc Initiative IPODI offers a fellowship in the form of employment at Technische Universität Berlin to international women scientists who wish to conduct their own research at the University.

We offer coaching from an external provider to both newly appointed and established professors, in which they can ask questions and reflect on and shape their own development.

Staff in technology and administration as well as academic support staff also play a significant role in the success of research and teaching. Traditionally, a large percentage of these staff are female; these women are also a focus of our work. Our offers here include the seminar program for staff in offices and secretarial positions (only in German) with a total of 45 spots. The extra-occupational four-semester continuing education study program in Science Management targeted towards female scholars as well as employees in mid- to higher level positions.

Annual one-on-ones between an employee and their supervisor, which are being held in an increasing number of departments and areas, are a tool to identify employees’ potential, promote their professional development in the best possible way, and ensure their participation in the development of the University.

The network com.TUgether run by and for staff in administration and technology is committed to strengthening collaboration with and beyond the faculties, institutions, and departments, improving communication and exchange, and representing the interests of these employees.

Human Resources and Continuing Education regularly offers trainings on the topic of gender and diversity.

Advising on career development as well as in cases of gender discrimination and sexual violence is offered to all, but particularly female members of the University by the women’s representatives at Technische Universität Berlin.

Combining career, studies and family life

Aside from its individual offerings, the University also has extensive measures in place to promote the compatibility of career/studies and family life. These measures include flexible working times, childcare during bridge days resulting from public holidays, free meals in the canteen for children, consideration for family care commitments, partial parental leave, and sports and travel offers for families and pregnant mothers. The Family Services Office is the first point of contact for all of these matters. Newly appointed professors with a partner and children can receive further specific support from the Dual Career Service.

Furthermore, a mobile working agreement allows staff members to work a maximum of 40 percent of their monthly working hours away from the University.

Seeing the potential in diversity

Almost one quarter of TU Berlin’s student body holds a non-German passport. People from more than 130 countries teach, research, and study at Technische Universität Berlin. The diversity of the University is not just evident from the citizenship of its members. Their cultural and social background, religion and worldview, sexual and gender identity, age, and physical ability differentiate them as well. Collaboration and a feeling of togetherness in daily life free of discrimination as well as equal opportunities in studies, research, and administration are a second central concern of the University.

Diversity management at Technische Universität Berlin aims to intentionally embrace the diversity at the University as well as break down discriminatory structures and processes. Diversity is viewed as potential.

Recognition from audit familiengerechte Hochschule and TOTAL E-QUALITY

Technische Universität Berlin’s efforts in this area have paid off, as is demonstrated by the University’s certification from the audit familiengerechte Hochschule and TOTAL E-QUALITY. The University received both recognitions in 2018 for the fourth time.

audit familiengerechte Hochschule recognizes efforts made to improve the framework conditions for students and staff with children/carer responsibilities and to anchor the topic of career-studies-family life balance in all processes and structures long term.

Technische Universität Berlin received the TOTAL E-QUALITY Award and additional diversity award in 2018 for its clear commitment to diversity. When announcing the award, the jury stated: Technische Universität Berlin is “pursuing innovative paths with target group-specific measures. This clearly sets it from other universities.”

The doers

Gender equality and diversity are anchored at the highest level of the University and fall under the responsibility of the vice president for strategic development, junior scholars, and teacher education. Many actors and contact persons are further responsible for developing and implementing related measures, instruments, and strategies. Specifically, these are the Main Women’s Representative and her team, Gender Equality Controlling, the Platform for the Implementation of Research-Oriented Equal Opportunity Standards (PUG), the extra-occupational women’s representatives of the faculties and central institutions, advisory councils of the women’s representatives, the Family Services Center, the Dual Career Service, the TU-DOC Office for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Services, the Educational Outreach Office, the Staff Council and Staff Council for Student Assistants, the Women’s and Queer Departments of the General Students’ Committee, Psychological Counseling, and Social Counseling for Staff.

Equal opportunities and fair treatment concern us all. It is essential that all members of the University make a day-to-day contribution to these goals, no matter how big or small, to help make TU Berlin a place where everyone has the same chances and possibilities to develop and reach their full potential. These actors and bodies actively support this commitment.

Ready, set, go! Starting university

Into the schools!

Technische Universität Berlin’s Techno-Club is specifically for female school students. In the club they learn about study programs and fields that are typically considered male domains. Further, they receive assistance choosing a study program. This particularly applies to STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Studying as a female at a technical university

Female students interested in research can receive support in the project “proScience”. The project also offers additional courses they can take during their studies. The best final theses written by female graduates in the natural and technical sciences are recognized annually with the Clara von Simson Award (only in German).

Developing gender and diversity skills

Gender and diversity are also the subject of research at Technische Universität Berlin. At the Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies (ZIFG) students of any gender can participate in the certificate program “Gender Pro MINT” and learn how to implement gender and diversity skills in technology design, research projects, and planning processes.