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Gender Equality and Diversity Gender Equality Commission

Action Plan Project: Research Resources, Social Capital and Gender at UZH

In the framework of the action plan for 2013–2016, the Gender Equality Commission carried out a project under its own initiative that was led by Prof. Dr. Katja Rost and Prof. Dr. David Seidl.

The project «Research Resources, Social Capital and Gender at UZH» examined the framework conditions related to the work and research of male and female professors.

Project Aim and Issues to be Addressed

The aim of the project was to identify any areas of disparity and to research their causes.

The key issues were:

  • Do gender-specific differences exist at UZH in regard to research conditions and social capital?
  • If gender-specific differences in research conditions and social capital do exist, to what extent are the research conditions explained by the effects of social capital?


At the University of Zurich, the number of female students has exceed the number of male students for many years. According to the Gender Equality Monitoring report, women made up 58% of the student body in 2013. At the professorial level, however, such levels have yet to be achieved.

In 2013, the proportion of female professors at UZH (including assistant professorships) was a mere 20%. Although this level is higher than in the past, women remain under-represented in the upper levels of University teaching and administration.

Project Procedure

The project began in 2013. On the one hand, an assumed correlation between the percentage of female professors and the time to promotion in the faculties was examined and confirmed. On the other hand, a pay parity analysis and analysis of the time to promotion of men and women at the professorial level was carried out. The basis for the analyses was all (entry-level) salaries of male and female professors between 2005 and 2015.

Project Results

The overall results of the study are very positive in terms of gender equality.

The study determined that there are no gender-specific differences in pay and research funds awarded to male and female professors at the University of Zurich. Specifically, the results confirmed the following points: Pay-level promotions do not differ between men and women at UZH. Both sexes receive the same amount of support from the research fund.

Only the entry-level pay for full professors was shown to be slightly higher for men than for women. This result, however, was explained by differences in levels of qualification. For the remaining professorial levels, no differences in entry-level pay were identified.

The study showed, however, that the time to promotion differed between men and women. Female professors at faculties with a low percentage of women required twice as long as male professors to be promoted from associate to full professorships.

The first specific measures to further increase the percentage of women at the professorial level have already been implemented.


Main applicant: Prof. Dr. Katja Rost
Role: Full Professor
Institution: Institute of Sociology

Co-applicant: Prof. Dr. David Seidl
Role: Full Professor
Institution: Department of Business Administration

Co-applicant: Gender Equality Commission of the University of Zurich
Role: Academic commission
Institution: Coordination Office at the Office for Gender Equality and Diversity

Weiterführende Informationen

Report on Results of Pay Analysis

Approved by the Executive Board of the University on 17 March 2016.

Letter from the UZH President on Pay Analysis

Discussion on Equal Pay and Equal Opportunity

A discussion with Prof. Dr. Katja Rost and Prof. Dr. Klaus Jonas on the pay of male and female professors at UZH, among other topics.


UZH Journal, No. 3, 2016, pages 8-9.

NZZ Article on Pay Analysis at UZH