Chancengleichheit und Diversity an Schweizer Hochschulen

Concerning the representation of female professors at universities, Switzerland is close to the bottom line in international comparison, although more than half of the MA-diplomas are awarded to women. The choice of study strongly depends on gender and leads to a horizontal segregation. Equally the vertical segregation plays an important role – keyword « glass ceiling ». A considerable number of women abstain in fact from pursuing an academic career after the doctorate, which is well illustrated in the survey of the sub programme “Equal opportunities of women and men at Swiss universities” CUS P-4.

Being aware of this problem the confederation launched at the beginning of the years 2000 federal project contributions at the universities under the guidance of the Swiss Universities Conference (SUC). In addition, various programmes were financed at universities of applied sciences by the federal programme “Equal Opportunities at the Universities of Applied Sciences” of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI. After the implementation of the law on Promotion and Coordination of Universities (Hochschulförderungs- und- koordinationsgesetz HFKG) which integrates all types of universities, the promotion of equal opportunities of women and men at universities is summarised by swissuniversities in the programme P-7 “Equal Opportunities and University Development 2017 – 2020”.

At most of the Swiss universities the department of equal opportunities is responsible for the planning, introduction and implementation of adequate measures for the promotion of equal opportunities between women and men.

The policy of diversity at Swiss universities aims at accommodating the needs of persons of different gender, social and ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, philosophy of life, socio-economic background, age and at respecting the their physical and psychical capacities. It pleads for equal treatment of students and employees. Its purpose is to avoid discrimination concerning salaries, employment procedures and the conditions of academic promotion. Different procedures beginning with mentoring up to measures of compensation are established. Through diversity guidelines, institutions promote the acceptance and the respect of differences and try to have a positive impact on the motivation to work, to study and to live together.