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The topic of gender equality and the advancement of women has a special status within the framework of diversity management. In this way, we also pursue the goal of making gender diversity at universities more visible and strengthening it. Although women are still underrepresented at Witten/Herdecke University, especially in leadership positions, initial measures for change have been initiated. A quota system is also being discussed.
The integration of students as well as employees with disabilities is also part of living diversity; measures necessary for this are initiated and implemented with high priority.
The Human Resources Department maintains close contact with the Integration Office, which offers support services for employees who are recognised as severely disabled. Measures already in place include work assistance for deaf employees and aids for visually impaired employees. These measures enable barrier-free participation in working life at Witten/Herdecke University.
To support students and staff with children in particular, changing tables have been installed in every building at Witten/Herdecke University.
A parent-child room is available to university members in the new building. The key to the corresponding room NB 1.025 can be borrowed at the info point/mail room in the main campus building.
Flexible study options are ensured at Witten/Herdecke through a reverse generation contract, which also ensures that the contribution amount is independent of the length of study. Information on this can be found on the pages of the student society.
For employees, there are numerous variations for part-time employment options as well as a company agreement according to which childcare costs are covered under certain conditions. More information on this topic can be found on the works council page.
The campus building of Witten/Herdecke University is home to a childcare centre run by a parent initiative. University members are given priority if places are available. Otherwise, places in the day care centre are allocated according to general municipal allocation guidelines for kindergartens.
People from many different nations with different cultural backgrounds study and work at Witten/Herdecke University. The university always strives to meet this diversity with respect and tolerance, to live and promote it and to avoid possible thresholds or barriers.
The official language at Witten/Herdecke University is German, although the English language is also becoming increasingly widespread in spoken and written form. German courses are offered for foreign students and staff.
Since 2019, the monthly queer regulars' table "Queer*Stadt", founded by Werk*Stadt and Unikat, has been taking place. On the first Thursday of every month, people meet new and familiar faces, exchange ideas and network with each other in a relaxed atmosphere at the Werk*Stadt. The U/WH has integrated its existing gay and lesbian regulars' table here and is using its reach to draw attention to this initiative in the university context. Interested parties could contact elian.kivi(at)uni-wh.de.
It was already taken into account in the planning of the new building, and from March 2021 "WC for all" will also be installed in other UW/H buildings. Why this is important and, above all, where they can be found, you can find out here:
Why are WCs for all important?
- As UW/H, we have the responsibility to enable all staff, students and guests to "move and interact in the study and work environment without shame or fear of discrimination" (quote from the recommended action of the Federal Conference of Women's and Gender Equality Representatives at Universities e.V. Recommended Action for Gender Diversity at Universities: First Steps).
- The WC for all does not care about any gender classifications; it is there for everyone.
- Some toilets will be rededicated so that they can be used by everyone in the future. They will be labelled "WC".
- The toilets for people with disabilities will remain.
Where can I find the toilets for all?
There is a QR code on the doors of the WC for all that leads to this intranet page. Here you will find information on the locations in the respective UW/H buildings:
Main Campus Building:
- Ground floor: Room E62
- 1st floor: Room 1.246 WC barrier-free
- 2nd floor: Room 2.307
- Top floor: Room DG 4.95
Overview "All Gender WC in the Main Building
Other buildings will follow soon.
If you have any questions or suggestions on this topic, please contact us:
Dr. Svenja Hartwig (email@example.com).
Equal Opportunities and Diversity Officer
Annaliesa Hilger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world".
Language is our medium of communication, it reflects our world of thoughts. We learn it without thinking about the deeper meaning and sometimes use it without being aware that we are unintentionally hurting others or that it is not inclusive of all people. To avoid this as much as possible, it is important that we are more sensitive with our language.
At Witten/Herdecke University, we strive for a non-discriminatory use of language that takes into account the diversity of all fellow human beings.
In order to do justice to different situations and texts, we observe the following rules:
- Gender-neutral wording where possible.
- The use of the feminine and masculine forms, with the feminine form preceding the masculine.
- The use of gender* (there are other forms, indented I, underscore, colon, all are slightly less reader-friendly than option (1) and (2)).
- When addressing in letters or emails Hello/Good afternoon, first name and surname, unless you know the person and want to write "Dear Ms X" or "Dear Mr Y" accordingly.
Further examples can be found at
Of course, there are other questions about gender-sensitive language in academic papers or other texts. There are also passages in exam questions and teaching materials that do not take into account the diversity of people in terms of language.
Therefore, we set ourselves the goal of developing a guide for gender-sensitive language for Witten/Herdecke University. These are the results:
The Executive Board of Witten/Herdecke University strongly supports this guideline and encourages the use of gender-sensitive language. The Department of Communication and Marketing will use the gender colon in written language. The Senate points out that the freedom of research and teaching remains unaffected by the use of the guide. For regulations of Witten/Herdecke University, the Senate's decision from 2012 to use the binary form, with the feminine form preceding the masculine form, continues to apply.
If you have any suggestions and/or are interested in helping out, please contact the Equality and Diversity Officer (email@example.com). Or take a look at this page from time to time to see how we are getting closer and closer to our goal of using language without discrimination.
Witten/Herdecke University is committed to ensuring that all university members can live their gender identity without discrimination. In this respect, it commits itself to changing the first name and or gender entry upon request (even if the process of transition has not yet been finalised).
To this end, the Presidential Board has passed a resolution adopting the guideline for changing the first name and/or changing the gender entry at Witten/Herdecke University for people in the process of transition (trans persons). In the guideline you will find all information on how to request a change of name.
You can find all forms of application for a change of name here: