Equal Opportunities at Bucerius Law School
Gender equality is about putting men and women on an equal footing, reducing existing disadvantages to one gender and achieving a balanced ratio of men and women—at least 40/60—in the workplace. Today equality looks at both genders and does not stop at promoting the participation of women as it did initially. At the same time the term “gender” goes beyond biological sex and instead refers specifically to the sociocultural categories or to socially and culturally constructed gender roles. The differentiated meaning clarifies that the assignment of male or female characteristics follows from societal processes and is not determined by biological sex. Gender isn’t determined at birth but rather is learned and malleable.
There are many opportunities to begin pomoting equality among men and women in the internal and external barriers either group faces daily. Bucerius Law School is working to raise awareness about such barriers and has endeavored to counteract restrictive or condescending thinking about either gender. It invites men and women to start talking about how their roles in both personal and professional contexts can be arranged such that everyone enjoys equal opportunities. Bucerius Law School would also like to ensure that it is an environment where both genders can contribute equally to the daily life of the university. The concrete measures the Law School is putting in place to this end are identified in the 2017 – 2021 Equal Opportunities Plan.
Numerous laws touch on gender equality. Foremost among these are Article 3, sections 2 and 3 of of the Grundgesetz [Basic Law] as well as the Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz [AGG, General Act on Equal Treatment]. Section 3, subsection 5 of the Hamburgisches Hochschulgesetz [Hamburg Higher Learning Act], which defines the mission of Hamburg’s universities, mandates that men and women be afforded equal opportunity. Paragraph 15a of the Satzung [by-laws] of Bucerius Law School mandates the appointment of an equality officer whose role is to ensure that the constitutional mandate of gender equality is observed, and to accompany the Law School’s administrative decision-making through appropriate initiatives, advising and other input.
In 2006 the Law School adopted a Code of Conduct for all its members. Among other things it defined gender-based discrimination as a serious violation of that Code. Moreover the Law School issued guidelines to concretize the role of its Equal Opportunities Person for the academic divisions of the Law School (professors, academic staff and students) in 2014. The Law School’s administration was involved in implementing an Equality Plan for the years 2017 – 2021 which also deals with the proportion of female students, professors and other academic staff.
Diversity refers to the breadth of characteristics across all the members of an organization. Age, gender identities, sexual orientation, religion or world view, disabilities and ethnic background or nationality are all deeply personal aspects of diversity. And there are more remote dimensions of identifying such as seniority in the organization or owning a set of learned skills (see “Charta der Vielfalt”).
Gender diversity in particular refers to the concerns of trans and inter individuals and others whose lives transcend gender polarity. See Geschlechtliche Vielfalt, Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend 2015 (Ger.) [“Gender diversity”, Federal Ministry for Family, Elders, Women and Youth].
Diversity management refers to the undertaking by an organization to contribute to a culture of appreciation and recognition of diversity, of generating opportunities equally, and of overcoming discrimination, unlocking the benefits of diversity and supporting innovation.
There are several legal bases for topics of equality and diversity. Section 3, subsection 4 of the Hamburgisches Hochschulgesetz [Hamburg Act on Higher Learning] tasks Hamburg’s public universities with developing “programs for constructive treatment of difference.” Of course article 3 of the Grundgesetz [GG, the Basic Law] and the Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz [AGG, the General Act on Equal Treatment] are applicable too. Paragraph 15a of the Satzung [by-laws] of Bucerius Law School mandates the appointment of an Equal Opportunities Person whose role is to ensure that the constitutional mandate of gender equality and diversity is observed, and to accompany the Law School’s administrative decision-making through appropriate initiatives, advising and other input. In 2006 the Law School adopted a Code of Conduct for all its members which defined gender-based discrimination as a serious violation of that Code. Moreover Bucerius Law School has had guidelines in place since 2014 for the Opportunities Person for the academic divisions of the Law School (professors, academic staff and students), which direct her to promote the equal participation of all members of the Law School community in academic study, teaching and research.
The compatibility of family and career is central to the equality of everyone within an organization. Childcare or family leave programs should therefore address everyone equally. Everyone should also feel equally supported by them. Another pillar of compatibility of family and career is that work responsibilities and responsibilities inside of the home are shared in a way that each partner enjoys equal opportunities.
Bucerius Law School’s Day Care Center provides care for up to forty children from six months to six years of age and is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Contact the Kindertagesstätte an der Bucerius Law School e.V. [Day Care Center at Bucerius Law School – A registered organization].
Sandra Niemann (Director)
Tel.: +49 40 63 60 77 - 25 / - 27
Dr. Jo Aschenbrenner, LL.M.
Equal Opportunities Person for the academic divisions of the Law School (professors, academic staff and students). Contact person for sexual discrimination or harassment and for issues around compatibility of family and academic studies or career.
Tel.: +49 40 3 07 06 - 198
Contact person for the concerns of persons with disabilities and for inclusivity.
Tel.: +49 40 3 07 06 - 102