Network Meeting on Gender and Diversity

A large group of people standing in rows for the photo Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter

The rectorate of RWTH and management representatives from other German universities recently had the opportunity to network with each other in Aachen.


At the invitation of Professor Sabine Brück-Dürkop, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development at RWTH, around 40 management representatives from the different German universities came to the SuperC building at RWTH for a network meeting of chief diversity officers, with further participants attending the meeting virtually.

The network meetings serve as an information, exchange, and support platform to promote knowledge transfer and discourse on the topics of gender and diversity as well as equal opportunities in higher education. Members of university management who represent this topic at different universities in Germany shared their experiences at this event. The meeting focused on gender and diversity strategies as well as their observations, challenges, and the legal framework for establishing anti-discrimination offices at universities. The research findings and results of the EU project SPEAR and an insight into the EU-wide perspective from Eva Sophia Myers of the University of Southern Denmark sparked many further topics for discussion.

  A row of women smiling for the photo Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter

Dr. Eva Reichwein presented different activities for promoting diversity in higher education from the German Research Foundation (DFG), while Daphne Snackers from Maastricht University described how the Recognition & Rewards program in the Netherlands can change the way researchers’ work is evaluated. The results of the NRW Gender Report were also discussed during the event. Professor Sabine Pankuweit (Vice President for Equal Opportunities and Career Development at Philipps-Universität Marburg), Professor Sylvia Heuchemer (Vice President for Academic Affairs at TH Köln University of Applied Sciences), and RWTH Vice-Rector Sabine Brück-Dürkop were elected as speakers for the network.

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The participants discussed current developments, for example, the establishment of anti-discrimination offices.

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Sparking topics for discussion at the network meeting for chief diversity officers: (from left) Professor Sylvia Heuchemer, Vice President for Academic Affairs at TH Köln University of Applied Sciences, Sabine Brück, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development at RWTH, Daphne Snackers, Senior HR Policy Advisor and Project Manager at Maastricht University, Eva Sophia Myers, Head of the Gender Equality Team at the University of Southern Denmark, Dr. Eva Reichwein, Director of Equity and Diversity at the German Research Foundation, and Dr. Lisa Mense, University of Duisburg-Essen, Women's and Gender Research Network NRW.