Equal opportunities officer
The 20th century has seen major changes in the status of women in the sciences. While Max Planck still considered a penchant for science in women to be something unnatural, it is generally agreed today that women are capable of doing good science. There is, however, no consensus on the question whether women are at a disadvantage in their careers as scientists. Many women, but few men think so. When it comes to the question what or who it is that impedes women's careers, the views are equally diverse.
In 1989 IPP's first women's representative was appointed to lend general support to promoting equal status for women. She worked out proposals on furthering women's status at IPP and achieved a great deal in close collaboration with the management. By the end of the eighties a start had already been made in networking research establishments on the subject of women's equality. The women's equality promotion scheme launched by the Max Planck Society in 1998 later constituted the institutional basis and afforded scope for numerous initiatives and activities. This scheme was superseded in April 2008 by the general industrial relations agreement, "Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern in der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft" (Equal Status of Women and Men in the Max Planck Society). Since 2008 the women's representatives for IPP's two sites are appointed by election.
In order to intensify the important networking activity, the women's representatives of IPP are delegated to the "Arbeitskreis Frauen in Forschungszentren der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft" (work group for women at research centres of the Helmholtz Association) and are members of the "Kreis der Frauenbeauftragten der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft" (women's representative group of the Max Planck Society).