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Gender equality

Supporting equal opportunities for women and men and the visibility of all genders in the university, sustainably improving the representation of women at all qualification levels, and increasing the number of female scientists in top positions in academia, is a central concern of TU Dortmund University's equal opportunities policy management instruments. Gender-sensitive language is also an instrument to increase the visibility of women and also that of all genders.

All measures to balance gender relations in science and administration are realized by the staff unit in close cooperation with the elected Gender Equality Officer of TU Dortmund University.

For more information about the work of the Gender Equality Officer and her team, please visit the Homepage of the Gender Equality Office.

The staff unit advises on:

  • Research applications: in cooperation with the Research Funding Unit, the staff unit advises on the application process, in particular on aspects of diversity and equal opportunities. The staff unit submits proposals to promote diversity, equal opportunities and gender parity in research projects. Further information can be found in this overview and in the service portal.
  • Accreditation of degree programs: a checklist developed by the AG Gender Studies at TU Dortmund University serves as a basis for the review of accreditation applications. The staff unit, the central Gender Equality Officer, and the Department of University Development and Organization work closely together to incorporate equal opportunity and diversity aspects into this process.
  • Use of equal opportunity funds in DFG projects: the staff unit advises DFG projects on the possibilities of using equal opportunity funds and designs special equal opportunity projects for SFB/TR.

In 2008, the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) adopted the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. With this voluntary commitment, DFG members define personnel and structural standards for a sustainable gender equality policy in the science and higher education landscape.
The central goal of the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality is to significantly increase the proportion of women at all scientific career levels. The so-called cascade model serves as a guiding principle. According to this model, the targets for the proportion of women at each scientific career level are derived from the proportion of women at the qualification level directly below.

Between 2009 and 2013, a working group appointed by the DFG's General Assembly evaluated the gender equality concepts submitted by the member institutions and tracked their progress. In 2013, the DFG ranked TU Dortmund University in the top group.

On July 5, 2017, the General Assembly reconfirmed its commitment to the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. The DFG now requests qualitative reports on various focus topics, which have to be handed in by its members in a biennial rhythm. The staff unit prepares these reports.


According to the State Equality Act NRW of 06.12.2016, all university departments with more than 20 employees are obliged to develop and update a Gender Equality plan. The staff unit manages the process of renewing the equality concepts of the 17 faculties as well as the institutions of the TU Dortmund University. You can find an overview of the process here.

The current Gender Equality Concepts of all faculties and institutions can be found here.

In § 37a of the NRW Higher Education Act of 16.09.2014, the NRW state government introduced the Gender Equality Quota, an instrument to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in appointments to professorships. In an internal dialog with the faculties, the rectorate sets these quotas for three years. The staff unit coordinates this process.


We maintain a gender-appropriate language. To this end, TU Dortmund University issued a recommendation on 21.06.2021, which also includes guidance on English language use. Recommendations of the TU Dortmund University on gender-sensitive language

Information on gender-equitable formulations can be found in the gender dictionary and in the recommendations for action for gender diversity at universities - bukof. On the page Sprachnudel you will find another gender dictionary. This contains nearly 6,500 terms with various examples of possible gender types, e.g., feminine word forms, gender-neutral words, various spellings. As a general dictionary, it also includes synonyms, new word creations, and current colloquial words.