Gender and DiversityCopyright: © Martin Braun
Gender equality, equal opportunities, and the appreciation of diversity are fundamental principles of the university culture at RWTH Aachen University – in research, teaching, studies, careers, and university management.
RWTH Aachen University expressly welcomes and values diversity among its members, seeing it as a potential, opportunity, and asset. Therefore, it is committed to respectful and inclusive cooperation in everyday university life and actively works against possible discrimination while promoting a sustainable, open, and lively organizational culture.
Gender Governance at RWTH
At the management level, the topic of equal opportunities is anchored in the Rectorate Team, or more specifically in the Vice-Rectorate for Human Resources Management and Development. The Vice-Rectorate is also responsible for the Inclusion, Gender and Diversity Management Staff Unit, IGaD for short, which was set up in 2007. forumDIVERSITY, a committee of university members involving all the relevant stakeholders, acts as a steering committee for reflecting and coordinating RWTH’s diversity policy.
The Vice-Rectorate and IGaD work closely with the Central Equal Opportunities Officer.
The Central Equal Opportunities Officer and her three deputies represent members from all RWTH Faculties and departments and from all across the academic spectrum in equal opportunities matters and carry out tasks enshrined in law. The Representatives of the Central Equal Opportunity Officer in the Faculties are particularly active in the appointment committees and the committees of their faculties.
Per RWTH Bylaws, the Equal Opportunity Committee of the Senate is responsible for advising and supporting the University and its Equal Opportunities Officer. In the central university administration, in the Faculties, and student and employee representative councils, a whole range of actors and cooperation partners are also involved in promoting gender equality & diversity at the University.
Strategy Papers, Certificates, and Awards
As a strategic cross-cutting issue, gender and diversity are integrated into university development planning and are firmly anchored in central concepts and guidelines. These include, in particular, the Diversity Strategy (2022 - 2027) for the sustainable consideration and promotion of diversity and equal opportunities in research, teaching, studies and operations. There is also the Equal Opportunities Concept 2017 to 2022 (de), which explicitly aims to implement equal opportunities in all areas of RWTH. Furthermore, the preamble of the Basic Regulations as well as the mission statement of RWTH, the RWTH guideline for the protection against discrimination according to the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) (de) and the framework plan for the equal opportunity plans of the faculties (de) should also be mentioned.
RWTH Aachen University regularly takes part in relevant certification procedures and competitions in the area of equal opportunities. Since 2005, the University has been regularly awarded the TOTAL E-QUALITY rating, and since 2017 it has also been awarded the Diversity rating. Since 2009, RWTH Aachen University has been a signatory of the Charter of Diversity, annually celebrates German Diversity Day and is also certified as a family-friendly university.
Research and Academics
Three teaching and research areas at RWTH specifically address gender and diversity: Neuropsychology, Gender and Diversity in Engineering, and Technology and Diversity. As a member of the DFG, RWTH has repeatedly committed itself to the DFG's research-oriented standards on equality. Through the Gender and Diversity Consulting Service for Research Proposals and Projects, promoting gender equality and diversity is highlighted as a quality feature in research.
Instructors can apply to the Center of Excellence in Academic Teaching, ExAcT for short, of the Center for Teaching and Learning Services, CLS for short, on the topics of diversity-appropriate and barrier-free teaching. In addition, the Faculties are centrally supported in the gender- and diversity-sensitive design of their work.
There are numerous central services and measures for employees and students at RWTH, such as the AGG Complaints Office, the Equal Opportunity Office’s Family Services Center, and the counseling centers involved with the Equal Treatment and Nondiscrimination Round Table. For prospective students, there are numerous gender- and diversity-sensitive offers and programs. Please note that these programs are only offered in German.
Equality Plan (de)
The RWTH Equality Plan consists of the framework plan, the equality plans of the faculties, the central University administration, the central academic institutions, and the central units.
Staff Development Concept
Consideration of gender and diversity as cross-cutting topics as well as independent fields of action
- Inclusion & Accessibility
- Supporting and implementing Plans for Gender Equality in Academia and Research (SPEAR)
- Equal Opportunities Newsletter
- AStA Equal Opportunites Project at RWTH
- Gay and Lesbian Project at the Aachen Universities
- CHAlleNging Gender (In)Equality in science and research (CHANGE)
- Leading Towards Sustainable Gender Equality Plans in research performing organisations (LeTSGEPs)
- 2021 Annual Report ENHANCE
- RWTH Sustainability Report 2021