Gender Equality at the Institute
Our institute follows an equal-opportunity policy. It engages for equal opportunities for all. The MPI-MP strives to provide an attractive work environment and to promote careers. It offers young scientists structured supervision in order to help implement individual career aims.
As detailed under Statistics (this website), female scientists are currently still underrepresented in leadership positions. There is therefore general agreement at the institute with regards to the need to assist female scientists.
The institute provides its female scientists with an array of support measures in order to achieve an attractive and gender-equal work environment. These special measures aim, on the one hand, to facilitate the reconciliation of family, leisure and career, and on the other hand include a series of measures that orient towards career advancement for women, in both a narrower and a wider sense.
In Germany, special laws and protective regulations exist for pregnant and breastfeeding female employees. Through this, on the one hand, female employees are granted a series of special rights; on the other hand these regulations may be accompanied by work restrictions in order to protect the health of mother and child. For women to not stay behind career-wise as a result of these regulations, appropriate countermeasures need to be undertaken in case of necessary work restrictions.
Financial security, organized child care and of course family-friendly work conditions are all required in order for parents to be able to reconcile work and family. The state's contribution to the reconciliation of work and family, and the measures that a research institution such as the MPI-MP or the Max Planck Society can undertake in order to support and promote employees with children, are discussed here.
In order to overcome gender-specific obstacles, it seems that aside from measures for improved reconciliation of work and family, other activities are needed too in order to support women's careers. As detailed under Statistics (this website), there is no lack of female biology students. Rather, these drop out gradually and incrementally during their career path.
The efforts for equal opportunities are driven and supported by the elected Gender Equality Officers at the institutes. In addition, a central Gender Equality Officer at the Max Planck Society supports the implementation and development of equal-opportunity goals.