Gender equality in marine sciences in Kiel, Germany: how project-funded measures can urge institutions to act.

Kamm, Ruth, Schelten, Christiane K. and Braker, Gesche (2020) Gender equality in marine sciences in Kiel, Germany: how project-funded measures can urge institutions to act. Open Access Advances in Geosciences, 53 . pp. 97-106. DOI 10.5194/adgeo-53-97-2020.

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Abstract

In Kiel, in the north of Germany, marine research is rooted in a lively research community hosted mainly at Kiel University and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre. While the ratio of women and men is more or less balanced on all qualification levels with mainly nonpermanent junior positions, women are generally underrepresented in leading research positions. The problem of gender imbalance and inequality has been well-known for a long time. Especially in the last decade, however, manifold efforts were initiated to improve gender equality on a political and institutional level as well as within the research community itself. In our article we focus on the gender equality activities of the two large externally funded marine sciences research alliances: the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” and the Collaborative Research Centre 754 “Climate–Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean”. For about a decade they offered both financial provisions and a structural framework to tackle the problem of women's underrepresentation in science and came up with innovative measures.

In the following case study, we not only introduce the situation of women in marine sciences in Kiel and the structural arrangement to improve gender equality in general, but we also discuss three specific measures developed within the two collaborative research projects in detail: (i) the mentoring program via:mento_ocean for female postdocs, (ii) hiring policies integrating a gender quota for recruiting postdoctoral researchers and (iii) a code of conduct. Based on these best-practice examples we can show that progress towards gender equality has been made despite some obstacles faced when implementing the measures. This was especially the case for attracting female researchers to work in Kiel marine sciences and bringing the relevance of the topic to the surface of debates within the community. Looking at gender equality activities from a managerial point of view, we conclude from the situation in Kiel, where external funding for both research alliances ended in 2019, that even time-bound activities can initiate change. Initiatives developed by the marine sciences community were taken up by other research groups and inspired new activities at the level of the institutions

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: SFB754 Teilprojekt Z1
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > SFB 754
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/adgeo-53-97-2020
ISSN: 1680-7359
Projects: SFB754
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 07:00
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 07:00
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/50174

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