Gender equality and diversity

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The Bonn mathematics department considers the promotion of gender equality and diversity as a great opportunity for the development of mathematics.

Promoting gender equality is a central goal of all four mathematical institutes and the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics.

Various measures have been set up to encourage women studying mathematics to start a career in mathematics and pursue it successfully. This is a particular challenge in mathematics. So far, the percentage of women in mathematics on all levels from bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and post-doctoral studies to young scientists and tenured professor is disproportionately low. The department of mathematics in Bonn wishes to counteract this trend and especially to raise sustainably the proportion of women on all levels.

Specific goals are:

  • to encourage girls to start studying mathematics from early on with specific offers for schools,
  • to support and accompany female students during their bachelor’s degree,
  • to encourage and guide female students from Bonn and external applicants at the start of their master’s degree in Bonn,
  • to support talented female students through the integrated graduate school of mathematics (BIGS),
  • to develop careers in mathematics for women in the context of centrally advertised postdoctoral fellowships,
  • to increase the proportion of female professors in the context of advertised W2 and W3 permanent positions as well as the annually advertised Bonn Junior Fellow professorships (temporary W2 positions for five years with a possible option for tenure track).

In order to coordinate measures for the promotion of equal opportunities, there is an equal opportunity committee in which students from the mathematics department, doctoral students, post-doctoral students and professors have come together. You can address this committee via the email address gleichstellung(at)hcm.uni-bonn.de.

Currently this committee is headed by:

Sophia Piacenza
(Student and member of the student council (Fachschaft Mathematik))
Martin Rumpf
(Professor at the Institute for Numerical Simulation)

The equality plan for 2022-2026 can be found here.

Diversity

Over the last years, the mathematical department at Bonn has been a place for mathematicians of a diversity of backgrounds, talents and fields of interest. With the Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics there is a major research hub fostering a lively exchange between scientists and students with different experiences. Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all guests is a crucial ingredient for this culture of academic and social exchange. Bonn Mathematics is committed to promote the support of diversity in all aspects of work and social life at each of its institutes and at the Hausdorff Center.

Mentoring program

There is a mentoring program for students starting in mathematics, not only for the bachelor’s degree, but also for the master students and the teachers to be. Interested students are assigned to student mentors from a higher semester, so that they can meet up and talk about any questions concerning the start and orientation of their studies (further information here). All students are informed about this program at the start of their studies. For further information, send an e-mail to hcm.mentorinnen(at)ins.uni-bonn.de.

Tea Time with Women in Mathematics

In this series of events, women in mathematics are given the chance to network over a cup of tea in a relaxed environment. Various topics ranging from studies and career planning to life outside of university can be discussed with other women at eye level. The offer is primarily aimed at female mathematicians, but is also open to women from other STEM fields. The events are bilingual (German and English) and are intended to bring together women from different academic and professional levels through varying formats (talks, discussion rounds...). To meet the needs of the participants in the best possible way, suggestions and wishes for new events or formats are always welcome!

Ombudswomen

The mathematics department has appointed ombudswomen who can be contacted at any time in any cases of inappropriate behavior or suspected sexual or other harassment. The ombudswomen are professors and scientific staff of mathematics with an open ear for the problems of students and employees in questions concerning equality. They are bound by secrecy. Ombudswomen investigate complaints and attempt to resolve them, usually through recommendations (binding or not) or mediation. In agreement with the students or employees who are addressing them they might also make contact with other professional personal of the university and hand over matters.

The current ombudswomen are:

Professorin Catharina Stroppel
(stroppel@math.uni-bonn.de)
Professorin Barbara Niethammer
(niethammer@iam.uni-bonn.de)

Recruitments - Unconsciuos Bias

In order to have as unbiased recruitment processes as possible, we ask every recruitment committee to watch the following video about unconscious bias in research institutes. The head of each committee can either show the video in a meeting, or send it to every member at the start of the recruitment process. The video shows multiple forms and examples of unconscious bias in interviews and the scanning of candidates, as well as easy strategies to prevent these biases from influencing the process. Scientific sources about the listed examples are given at the end of the seven minutes long video. We believe that awareness about this topic is very important to optimize recruitment.

Further contact persons for equality issues:

If there are any problems concerning equality or diversity struggles in mathematics lectures, tutorials or seminars that students wish to talk about with fellow students, please contact Sophia Piacenza and Anna Pape (gleichstellung(at)fsmath.uni-bonn.de).

Cooperation

The Bonn mathematics department cooperates with other committees for equality and diversity of the faculty and the university, and with the group Women in STEM at Bonn. There is a close collaboration with the computer science department (GIDIS) and the Upstream Network from Heidelberg.

Gender equality mailing list

sympa(at)listen.uni-bonn.de

If you want to receive regular updates about activities concerning gender equality and diversity, please click on the link above. A new e-mail will open, please send it without modifications.