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.
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