Equal opportunities and Diversity Management

(family-friendly university)


Overall, no distinction is made on account of gender, handicap and nationality/ cultural background in any of the programs run by HBRS. At present, for example the gender ratio at MHH is well balanced, both amongst students and postdoctoral fellows.

By offering an intensive training program (including a great variety of complementary skills) and excellent supervision, HBRS would like to encourage and convince, in particular female PhD students, to pursue a further career in academics. So far, roughly 70% of all female PhD finalists in the HBRS PhD programs continued to carry out research in Postdoc positions, the others mainly chose to work in industry.

In addition, there are a number of measures in place to raise female representation, including improvement of necessary skills and working conditions:

  • HBRS office is offering advice to PhD students and Postdocs in all matters, including dual career options as well as e.g. housing arrangements for families or handicapped. Depending on the profession of the partner, HBRS assists in finding a suitable job.
  • MHH has its own daycare centres, and particular problems connected with pregnancy or breast feeding are catered for here.
  • The Equal Opportunities Officer, a well-established institution at MHH, is consulted during all procedures touching on gender issues. They offer an Early Career Mentoring Programs for (female) PhD students.
  • MHH has introduced the "Freiwilliges Wissenschaftliches Jahr" (voluntary research year) in order to attract pupils leaving grammar school to do one gap year. These pupils will work up to 12 months in MHH research labs as well as partner istitutes. The aim is to attract young people including women as early as possible to pursue a career in science.
  • "Zukunftstage" take place in order to attract pupils to the field of biomedicine.
  • By intensifying Alumni activities and networking, HBRS will always keep in touch with these female scientists, giving them advice and promoting their further careers.
  • We have recently introduced an HBRS Alumni Mentoring Program. Female role models are available.
  • Concerning child care, MHH has just been reawarded the distinction of “family-oriented university” by the Hertie Foundation. 
    MHH has established three child care facilities on campus. Betriebskindertagesstätte "Campuskinder" (160 babies and children; there are 14 slots especially for HBRS scientists for their newborn kids, from 6 months = WINK), the Hirtenkinder (parent initiative) for children from 6 months, 25% of the slots are given to undergraduate students, 75% to scientists (also HBRS), and finally the Weltkinder (founded in October 2010 by the Johanniter initiative; 130 slots: 65 crip and 65 kindergarden; 25% of the slots are reserved for undergraduate students). Please see also here.
  • On the whole, this means that women with children, who are pursuing a scientific career, receive excellent backup. HBRS has stipulated in the PhD rules that female PhD students are able to pause their studies during pregnancy and the first year after the birth of a child. There is financial support "Kindergeld" available for all HBRS students (male/female) with family.
  • There are financial resources available to employ babysitters on short notice and e.g. during HBRS events like workshops, symposia, seminars.
  • A successful Senior Mentoring Program (Ina Pichlmayr) is established at MHH and is now going into its fifth period. A detailed report is available on (https://www.mhh.de/gleichstellung/ina-pichlmayr-mentoring) This program aims to train young female scientists towards a future career in Biomedicine (habilitation, professorships) by assigning them a senior mentor as well as offering workshops in complementary training. The program runs for a whole year.