Pursuant to the Bavarian Higher Education Act (Bayerisches Hochschulgesetz) one of the key tasks to be pursued by any university is the promotion and effective realisation of equality between men and women, and to adopt this as a guiding principle throughout its work. The aim of such an advancement is to increase the proportion of women at all levels in science. (cf. art. 4(1) Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG) and art. 33(2) Equality Act (GG)
The implementation and ongoing development of the Equality Directive is a strategic goal maintained by the University Executive, the faculties and the Women's Council. Special consideration is afforded to the increased advancement of female early career scholars in research and teaching as well as ensuring an increase in the proportion of women in professorial positions, an increase in the proportion of women that sit on all decision-making boards, and finally enabling greater compatibility between study, work and family life.
The advancement of women is an essential and established instrument employed within the gender equality process, and incorporates all measures aimed at facilitating the advancement of women in areas where they are under-represented.
The Women's Council consists of the University's women's representative, the faculty women's representatives, the gender equality officer, the women's representatives elected by the student parliament and their respective deputies. All students, academic staff and professors who are interested are invited to attend the meetings. The council convenes once a semester in order to exchange ideas and coordinate all necessary efforts regarding both current and upcoming gender-centric courses, issues, applications etc. It also serves the faculty women's representatives by creating a forum within which they may consult each other on faculty-specific questions and develop general solutions in the course of joint, cross-faculty dialogue. Before the election of a women's representative by the Senate, the president grants the Women's Council the opportunity to present their choice of appointment; the Senate then reports on the result of the hearing.
In addition, it offers the scholarships and awards programme with the aim of promoting equal opportunities for women in both research and teaching. As a female early career researcher at the University of Passau (i.e. a doctoral or postdoctoral scholar) you may, for example, apply for travel funding for conferences and research trips.
Since 2015, the Women's Office has been offering tailored professional development and career coaching to female early career researchers and master's students at the University of Passau. The coaching sessions are primarily geared towards women in so-called STEM professions, while any remaining spaces are awarded to female early career researchers working in other subject areas. External coaches offer individual advice on career decisions as well as in relation to topics including the managing one's own resources and the challenge of ensuring compatibility between family and work life.
The University of Passau has also established a Women's Network for Informatics to promote the exchange of ideas between IT enthusiasts of all ages. The goal and task pursued by the network is to bring together interested pupils, computer scientists currently studying, doctoral students and IT professionals from both business and academia, and to ensure a regular exchange of information.