WIAI Women’s Equal Opportunities Officer
Tasks of the Commissioner for Women's Affairs
The tasks of the Women’s Equal Opportunities Officer at Bavarian Universities are defined in the Bavarian Higher Education Act as follows:
“The Women’s Equal Opportunities Officer seeks to avoid women scientists, teachers and students from being disadvantaged. Through the performance of their duties, the universities promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men, taking them into account as a guiding principle; they work towards the elimination of existing disadvantages. In order to enforce the equality of women and men, women are promoted in accordance with the priority of suitability, competence and professional performance. The objective of promotion is an increase in the proportion of women at all levels of science.”
Essentially, the university's Women’s Equal Opportunities Officer is responsible for general advice on specific women’s issues, promotion of women, public relations and reporting. In contrast, the CS-Faculty’s Commissioner for Women’ Affairs, is the first point of contact for suggestions, complaints or issues within the Computer Science Faculty.
While the proportion of female students at the University of Bamberg is about 60 percent, the CS-Faculty—the only technically oriented faculty—with 29 percent female students has only a small proportion. Accordingly, a central goal of the faculty's commissioner is, through specific events, to attract more female students for courses in business computer science and applied computer science.
In order to better support female students of the faculty, we introduced a mentoring program in the winter semester of 2006/2007. We offer first-semester women students support from women in the faculty (in particular, drawing on students from higher semesters). We make it possible for students nearing graduation to make contact with, and ask for professional advice from graduates of the faculty already in active employment. The atmosphere of exchange at our meetings is relaxed.
Another major concern (which usually affects women, but can just as equally affect men), is to advance the reconciliation of scientific career and family (caring for children, caring for relatives). Here, we are involved in the project "Familyfriendly University".
To attract potential computer students as early as possible, the CS Commissioner Prof. Dr. Ute Schmid has, in recent years, initiated several workshop programs. These programs build on each other.
In the autumn holidays 2005, for the first time we offered for girls the Workshop-days named "On your marks - Technology – Go!" as part of the "MUT – Mädchen und Technik (Girls and Technology)" project initiated by FH Coburg. Since 2006, we have participated in the nationwide Girls' Day Project.
There are further offers for age groups ranging from preschoolers to high school seniors.