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Faculty of Science

Measures in Recruitment and Evaluation

We know from 30 years of empirical research, that women in science are judged more critically than men and are often evaluated as less capable when performing similar or even identical work. We, the Faculty of Science, believe this systematic bias against women has important implications for every stage of a woman's scientific education and career. We therefore scrutinize our own recruitment and hiring processes and analyze the impact of new measures to counteract bias in ourselves and in our institutional procedures which were first implemented in 2015.

These measures are explained in our flyer, Recruiting for Excellence (PDF, 8 MB) and in this training video, Professorial Recruitment and Selection at the MNF

Percentages of men and women throughout academic career stages at our faculty

Since 2015, we have implemented a number of gender equality measures in competitive professorial hirings. These include: 

  • Implementation of gender equality standards for the composition of the appointment committee 
    • >2 female professorial members to show women have place and power at our faculty 
    • Professorial appointment specialist present at all committee meetings to recognize and counteract bias 
  • Raising awareness of committee members of unconscious biases and our measures to counteract them 
  • Definition of expectation of future professor and evaluation criteria prior to publication of call 
  • Gender-neutral language in advertisements 
  • Evaluation of track record relative to net academic age (full-time equivalents of employment since PhD) 
  • Avoiding solo status and optimally gender-balanced list of candidates invited to interview stage 


Importantly, we are also working towards a systematic culture change at out faculty: 

  • Creation of Gender Equality Committee at faculty level in 2016 
  • Creating the option of part-time professorships for all genders 
  • Emphasizing successful examples with "Women in Science" campaign
  • Strengthening a culture of esteem that is compatible with academic excellence 
  • Ensuring continuation of gender mainstreaming 


Our data shows that the revised recruitment and hiring measures and awareness raising efforts likely play some role in our successful hiring of women professors and the overall rise in their presence in our faculty.  



We actively approach women and invite them to apply to the advertised position, which has led to large increases in the percentage of applications by women.  




When selecting the candidates to be invited for the interview stage, we avoid the solo-status as it negatively impacts the chances of underrepresented groups. Thereby, we could increase the number of women at the interview stage. 



Since these measures have been implemented, the number of women hired via competitive professorial appointments could be increased.


Together with rising numbers of women awarded third-party funding professorships, direct and ad personam appointments, the progress towards gender balance at the professorial level was accelerated.

This project has been presented at the LERU gender conference 2016 in Lund, Sweden. The poster is available here