Evaluation of the Women Professors Programme, German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, 2020-22

Publication date: 27 June 2022 | Report language: DE

In order to increase the proportion of women in the science system, the German Federal Government and the Länder jointly adopted the Women Professors Programme. Universities with positively evaluated gender equality concepts can receive start-up funding for the initial appointment of women to permanent professorial positions, and for other measures to promote gender equality at their institution. The project evaluated the third funding phase (2017-2022) via online surveys of ministries and universities, as well as document analyses, interviews and case studies. A control group analysis was conducted on the basis of the surveys and other secondary data.

The universities and the Länder assess the contribution of the programme as very positive. The publicity effect and the sensitisation of the universities to gender equality issues are strongly emphasised. Influencing factors are above all the relatively long-term financial resources and thus the development of professionalised structures. The econometric analysis confirms a significant positive effect of the programme on the proportion of women at the universities. The Women Professors Programme is effective and attractive for the universities. The effects of the programme extend beyond the verifiable increase in the proportion of women at the participating universities and also include qualitative effects (e.g. increased awareness, effects on the gender equality culture, reputational gains).

Technopolis recommends a continuation of the programme. In our recommendations for action, we suggest, among other things: 1. making the funding process more flexible and simplifying it in order to provide more support to smaller universities; 2. expanding opportunities for peer learning between universities; 3. expanding the programme to the decentralised university level (departments), and 4. examining the inclusion of further target groups and types of measures.