Equal opportunity

The situation of women in the sciences has changed enormously in the 20th century. While Max Planck still considered the inclination towards science in women to be something unnatural, today there is a consensus that women can do good science.


However, there is no consensus on the question of whether women are disadvantaged in their careers as scientists. Many women, but few men, agree. Opinions are equally divided when it comes to the question of what or who makes women's careers more difficult.

The first women's and equal opportunities officer at the IPP was appointed in 1989 to provide general support in this area. She drew up proposals for the advancement of women at IPP and was able to realise many of them in close cooperation with the management. As early as the end of the 1980s, the networking of the research associations on the subject of gender equality work began. In 1998, the MPG's framework plan for the advancement of women created the institutional basis and provided scope for numerous initiatives and campaigns.

Since April 2008, the General Works Agreement "Equality of Women and Men in the Max Planck Society" has been in force, replacing the framework plan for the advancement of women. Since December 2008, the Equal Opportunities Officers for the two IPP sites have been appointed by election.

In order to further promote this important networking, the IPP Equal Opportunities Officers are delegated to the Working Group Women in Research Centres (akfifz) of the Helmholtz Association and belong to the circle of Women's Representatives of the Max Planck Society.


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