University of Mannheim Has Successfully Completed the Diversity Audit of the Stifterverband

The two-year audit was recently completed, and the university has received the Stifterverband certificate. The completion of the audit marks an important milestone in the university’s endeavors to promote diversity.

For two years, about 100 representatives from all areas of the university have worked together on different diversity aspects and identified fields of action for the diversity audit “Vielfalt gestalten” (“shaping diversity”). Five working groups have looked at topics like student affairs and teaching, staff, as well as reporting and have developed an extensive catalog of measures to make the university more diverse.

One result of the audit has been, for example, the development of guidelines and recommendations for gender-sensitive writing at the university. Another measure allows students to indicate their name and gender in accordance with the dgti Ergänzungsausweis (supplementary pass developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Transidentität und Intersexualität e.V. (“dgti Ergänzungsausweis”)). In addition, new childcare options are being arranged, for example for Saturday examinations. The university held a Diversity Study Week, which offered a wide range of opportunities to explore the topic. In addition, the university is taking targeted measures to support female researchers on their career path and increase the number of female professors.

Thomas Fetzer, Vice President for Strategic Planning, Internationalization and Equal Opportunity, says: “Supporting female researchers on their career paths is particularly important, as the current situation in this regard is not satisfactory. At the same time, going through the audit has shown us that we still have work to do. Diversity does not end with the audit but is an ongoing task.”

The process was characterized by a broad participation within the university. Student networks, administrative staff members and researchers joined the working groups and workshops and participated in the process.

Although we have achieved a lot, there is also still a lot to do at the University of Mannheim. To make further progress, a “round table” will be established which will be open to all those interested to discuss ideas and suggestions to further promote diversity at the university.