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Gender Equality and Diversity

Action Plan 2013–16: The Projects

Projects from the 2013–2016 Action Plan

This web page provides an overview of all the projects promoted by UZH in the first Gender Equality Action Plan.

Work-Life Integration in the Evaluation Process at UZH (Evaluation Office)

To what extent does the subject of work-life integration for University members affect daily life in academia at the University of Zurich? What are the typical or even special challenges facing researchers and administrators at the University? And what are their needs? In a pilot project, the UZH Evaluation Office put together a selection of questions on work-life integration in the evaluation process and has analyzed initial results in collaboration with the Office for Gender Equality and Diversity. In future, the term «work-life integration» is to be universally used in the sense of combining «the pursuit of studies or a career with having a family.» In addition, previously tested questions that did not make exclusive reference to «family and children» are now to be adopted as standard questions in the evaluation questionnaire for staff and doctoral candidates. The Evaluation Office and the Office for Gender Equality and Diversity meet at regular intervals to discuss and evaluate the results, which are then to be used as the basis for discussing and developing solutions.

Unit: Evaluation Office

Project management: Dr. Thomas Rothenfluh

Other contact persons: Sandra Rusch (Evaluation Office), Tanja Neve-Seyfarth (Office for Gender Equality and Diversity)

Filling the Gap (Faculty of Medicine)

This project focused on academic career development. It is well known that, in clinical fields, pursuing a career in academia presents particular challenges. Individuals with family commitments face added pressure, a situation which affects men and women differently. Under a project named Filling the Gap, a model has been developed that specifically combines career planning with practical ways to support parents in their clinical duties.    

Unit: Faculty of Medicine

Project management: Dean Rainer Weber (2015-2016) and deputy Dean Jean-Marc Fritschy (2015-2016), Dean Klaus Grätz (2013-2014), Prof. Dr. Beatrice Beck Schimmer

Other contact persons: Natalie Lerch-Pieper

Project website

Research Budget, Social Capital, and Gender at UZH (Gender Equality Commission)

This project looked at the framework conditions governing the situation of male and female professors in their work and research. The aim of the project was to uncover existing cases of inequality and their causes. Firstly, an assumed correlation between the number of female professors and the time taken until they were promoted by the faculty was examined and confirmed. Secondly, analyses were conducted on salary equality and the amount of time needed for the promotion of men and women at professorial level. 

Unit: Gender Equality Commission

Project management: Prof. Dr. Katja Rost Prof. Dr. David Seidl

Project website (in German)

Gender Equality in Professorial Appointments (Faculty of Science)

Appointing professors is one of the major areas of business in a faculty. In this project, the Faculty of Science collected data relating to approx. 60 professorial appointments over a period of 10 years, including subjects such as the ratio of men to women among applicants, those invited to academic job talks, and those actually appointed. On this basis, courses of action were developed in order to raise the number of highly competitive applications from women.      

Unit: Faculty of Science

Project management: Dean Bernhard Schmid (2014-2016), Dean Michael O. Hengartner (2013-2014)

Other contact persons: Dr. Ines Kohler, Head of the Office of the Dean MNF, Petra Seibert, Coordinator for Gender Equality and Science Alumni UZH Office of the Dean MNF

Inclusion of Awareness-Raising Topics Regarding Gender and Academic Career Development in Courses for University Managers and Higher Education Development (Office for Continuing Education)

In this project, courses on diversity management and academic career development were designed and held for people with leadership roles at UZH. When holding a leadership position, an awareness of gender topics is essential in order to understand differences between staff members and to act correspondingly. Furthermore, male and female managers must understand the different effects they have on their staff. In the interest of ensuring a new generation of academics, professional leadership also requires managers to support doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers in their academic career development and work-life integration pursuits as well as to provide competent advice in terms of their choice of profession and professional aims.

Unit: Office for Continuing Education (in German)

Project management: Dr. Alexandra Müller

Other contact persons: Dr. Birgit Beck-Heppner

Career and Life Phases of an Assistant Professorship (Department of Business Administration)

The position of assistant professor is designed to encourage junior researchers to maintain their academic career and to support them in conducting independent research at an early stage. But is an assistant professorship really a springboard for becoming a full professor? And if so, does this apply equally to men and women? A longitudinal study looking at the work and family situations of junior researchers aims to gain important findings on the pressures faced and resources available in these key phases of their life and career. In addition, guidelines for the discussion held at the progress meetings between all assistant professors at UZH and their deans have already been drawn up and implemented throughout UZH. A dissertation was also written in the scope of this project.      

Unit: Department of Business Administration

Project management: Dr. Anja Feierabend (2013-2014), Jamie Lee Gloor (2014-2016)

Other contact persons: Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach

Kids and Careers (Vetsuisse Faculty)

The high number of women among non-professorial academic staff in veterinary medicine has significantly raised interest in the subject of work-life integration. This project is designed to ensure that operational processes are restructured to adapt to these needs. In addition, other early measures are necessary in order to act against the massive drop-off of women among students reaching professorship level (around 90%). A book of guidelines has now been drawn up to help students set the right priorities from the start and to plan their career effectively. A tailored talent database enables students with special expertise and social competence to be recognized at an early stage – and promoted over the course of further project modules. The project also involved testing models on the subject of flexibility in staff planning in a clinical setting, looking in particular at cases involving pregnant mothers and parents. Innovative childcare projects are also being examined in close collaboration with the kihz Foundation (Childcare at the Zurich Universities).

Unit: Vetsuisse Faculty

Project management: Dean Felix Althaus (2013-2014), Dean Brigitte von Rechenberg (2014-2016)

Project website

Female Professors in Management and Decision-Making Bodies (Office for Gender Equality and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)

This project identified the conditions affecting a person’s willingness to take on a university leadership role. The main, but not exclusive focus of this project, was the management of a dean’s office. To this end, an action catalogue was drawn up, partly on the basis of findings gained from the project and partly on the basis of relevant research literature and best-practice examples. A dissertation was also written in the scope of this project.

Unit: Office for Gender Equality and Diversity & Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (in German)

Project management: Dr. Elisabeth Maurer (2013-2015), Dr. Christiane Löwe (2015-2016)

Other contact persons: Prof. Dr. Klaus Jonas, Levke Henningsen, Prof. Dr. Mike Martin, Prof. Dr. Katharina Maag Merki