Diversity at HU


Gender equality is a well established area of activity of the equal opportunities policy at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The HU gender equality strategy is laid down in its equal opportunities policy Caroline von Humboldt programme. It encompasses measures to advance the equal opportunities of all genders such as proactive recruting of female researchers, empowerment, equal-treatment communication, work-life balance of family, study and work time as well as organisational development.


The central women's representative

The central contact person for gender equality at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is the central women's representative Dr Ursula Fuhrich-Grubert. She is supported in her work by the decentral women's representatives operating at the invidivual departments and facilities.


An ongoing need for action

Even though the representation of women at the university has made significant progress in the last decades, an ongoing need for action persists in many areas of university life. In the 2019 survey "Diversity at HU", 45 percent of respondents had experienced or witnessed discrimination based on gender at least once. Sexualised violence, harassment or stalking are not tolerated at the university. This commitment is laid down in the President's guideline Treating each other with respect. People who have experienced sexualised violence at HU may contact the women's representatives as well as the speakers of the student body on queer_feminism in confidence.

To this day, the representation of women declines with every further level of qualification. In their career development, women are faced with lacking security and predictability of their academic careeres: 76 percent of all employment contracts at German universities are temporary. At the same time, women use 52 percent more time for unpaid care work in Germany than men.

As a result, especially young scientists and students with children are met with challenges in reconciling work or studys with their family. At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 57 percent of students are by now female. Similarly, with a percentage of 49,5 percent of women, gender parity was reached in PhD graduations. However, when it comes to professorships, the share of women is only 32 percent. Nevertheless, this means an increase of 11,5 percent since 2007 - a milestone for gender equality at HU.


Focus area empowerment of women in MINT subjects

Even though women take up higher education as often as men nowadays, there are still vast discrepancies between the MINT subjects and the arts and humanities. In MINT disciplines, the proportion of female students is only 43 percent. For PhDs in the fields of information technology, mathematics and physics, the share of female candidates is even only a quarter.

The roots for this unequal representation lay, amongst others, in traditional gender roles. In order to target this, Humboldt-Universität has developed instruments for the promotion of women accross all levels of qualification in order to support women in their objective of an academic career. In addition, in 2007 Humboldt-Universität established the programme women in the natural sciences at campus Adlershof (FiNCA) which reaches out to partner schools and facilitates an exchange between female MINT professors and MINT-interested high school students.


Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies

Scientist from diverse disciplines come together at the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies to conduct research in the intersectional gender studies and their newest developments. The center works on questions around knowledge and the ethics of knowledge, interdependencies, transformation, and cultural technologies. It offers a study programme on gender studies for both BA and MA students.        



Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
President's office
Central women's representative
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 2093 12830
Email: diversitaet.frb@hu-berlin.de
Website: frauenbeauftragte.hu-berlin.de/en


Further HU resources

Decentral women's representatives [English]

Gender equality strategy Caroline von Humboldt Programme [English]

Funding lines for young (female) researchers [English]

RefRat counselling on sexist/sexual assult [German // English on request]

Women in Natural Sciences Adlershof - offers for PhD students [English]

Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies [English]

Comission for the promotion of women [German]

Guideline on gender-sensitive language [German]

Flyer on sexualised discrimination and violence [German]

Handout on the implemenation of gender-sensitive appointment procedures [German]

Women in Natural Sciences at Campus Adlershof - offers for high school students [German]

Club Lise - mentoring programme for high school students interested in the natural sciences [German]