The Code of Practice on Gender Equality represents the University of Konstanz’s self-commitment to ensuring gender equality. The university has thereby established stringent standards in ten focus areas which are binding for all academic and administrative areas of the university.
The Code of Practice on Gender Equality was adopted by the Rectorate along with the deans of all three faculties in 2010. The Code was a major milestone in the University of Konstanz’s efforts to ensure equality of opportunity at the university.
Code of Practice on Gender Equality
The University of Konstanz sees itself as a gender-equitable and family-friendly university. University management determinedly and creatively champions equality between men and women at all levels of qualification and in all areas of research, research support and student life.
Equal opportunity and gender equality are key criteria of quality and excellence in all decision-making processes as well as in organisational and individual actions.
Following the principle of gender mainstreaming, the university anchors its equality strategies in the Code of Practice on Gender Equality. We seek to establish and take decisive action to implement gender-equitable and family-friendly staff development and structural measures in a manner that is transparent, consistent, competitive, future-oriented and sustainable.
This requires not only the transformation of organisational structures but also a change in research culture. Therefore, the university actively works to eliminate (gender-based) disadvantages and gender stereotyping. Gender research is considered an indispensable basis for equality and, as such, enjoys the university's full support.
We work towards establishing a targeted gender and diversity management strategy in order to be able to promote and support diverse personalities, career paths and lifestyles.
In its Code of Practice on Gender Equality, the University of Konstanz specifies standards for gender-equitable action in ten fields of action:
1. Participation and representation
The University of Konstanz strives for gender balance in all its committees and promotes the involvement of the Equal Opportunity Representative. We strive to raise the committee members’ awareness of gender equality and take measures to increase their gender competence.
2. Information and communication
The University of Konstanz commits itself to using gender-sensitive language, especially in its basic documents (regulations, statutes, (service) agreements) as well as in its public relations, marketing and internal communications activities. To that end, we provide training and appropriate tools to our members.
The University of Konstanz commits itself to taking gender equality and gender perspectives into consideration in regards to research funding. This is especially important for the internal allocation of research funds and for granting leaves of absence for research work. We support researchers with developing the project-related equal opportunity concepts required in applications for external funding.
The University of Konstanz pledges to create and maintain a gender-equitable curriculum. This includes using gender-equitable teaching methods, paying special attention to gender and diversity topics as well as integrating knowledge gained from gender research into the course content. We support our teaching staff by providing continuing education in university didactics and using relevant questions in our course evaluations.
5. Working and research conditions
In order to help its members achieve a healthy work-life balance, the University of Konstanz commits itself to adopting gender-equitable organisational structures. We provide flexible work arrangements, a positive work environment and promote fair and respectful behaviour in the workplace. We are strongly committed to long-term employment relationships in research, teaching and administration.
Senior members of staff have a responsibility and duty of care to ensure that working and research conditions take different lifestyles into account. They must take action to prevent gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
6. Study conditions
The University of Konstanz undertakes to create gender-equitable study conditions. This applies to study regulations, study information and advisory services as well as supervision. We provide students with a maximum of flexibility in their study choices. We also actively strive for a balanced gender ratio in all areas of study and take appropriate action to that effect.
7. Staff development and recruitment
The University of Konstanz pledges to adopt gender-equitable staff development and recruitment measures. We undertake to implement an active recruitment strategy, to conduct our appointment and promotion procedures in a transparent and respectful manner and to ensure that comprehensive monitoring is carried out. Our staff development efforts seek to assure a culture of gender-equality among our leadership. To help our members (further) develop their academic qualifications, the university offers various training opportunities and measures designed to enhance individual potential, competencies and careers. A special focus is on women in senior positions. We actively strive to meet the required objectives for promoting women across its academic and administrative structures.
8. Finance and resource management
The University of Konstanz pledges to distribute and manage its resources in a manner that is fair and gender-equitable. This includes the distribution of staff and material resources as well as the allocation of space. Gender equality also extends to salary structures such as pay scale grouping and the awarding of performance-based bonuses. When allocating resources, we commit ourselves to transparent decision-making processes that are subject to the participation of all genders.
9. Family support
The University of Konstanz undertakes to create a family-friendly work and study environment by establishing suitable organisational structures. We offer our members regular and flexible childcare services, support dual career couples and foster a family-friendly academic culture. Special support is available to female researchers with children and “active fathers”. The continuous development of these measures and offers is subject to external evaluation.
10. Organisational development and quality management
Gender equality is an integral part of the university’s organisational development and quality management strategies. These are based on gender-differentiated statistics, comprehensive monitoring and evaluations as well as an equality impact assessment. We provide (sufficient) staff and financial resources to establish equality across our institutions and to continually improve the quality of our equal opportunity measures. Gender mainstreaming at the University of Konstanz is continually being developed and expanded towards a comprehensive gender and diversity management strategy.