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The IWM promotes equal opportunities for women and men. As a member of the German Leibniz Association, the IWM is committed to implementing the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality of the DFG and having the institute's policy on gender equality officially certified.

Furthermore, people with various cultural and religious backgrounds, as well as different genders and ages, work at the IWM. We view the diversity of our employees as an asset because the plurality of perspectives contributes to good research. That is why we actively work to ensure that everyone has the same professional opportunities.

Representative and Commissioner for Equal Opportunities

At the IWM, this topic is of high priority for the directorate. To ensure close communication between the Scientific Steering Committee and the IWM’s Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Executive Director Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress has been appointed Senior Representative for Equal Opportunities on the Scientific Steering Committee.

The Equal Opportunities Commissioner at the IWM is elected by the female employees of the IWM and is assigned for a term of four years. The position is currently held by Dr. Anne Schüler and her deputy Dr. Yvonne Kammerer.

The Equal Opportunities Commissioner is responsible for all matters that concern questions of gender equality at the IWM. In particular, this includes supporting internal communication processes, implementing the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality of the DFG, taking part in hiring procedures, and participating in the auditing process berufundfamilie.

Audit beruf und familie (audit work and

In March 2012, the audit workandfamily certificate was awarded to the IWM. This certificate testifies that the IWM defined and implemented more than 45 objectives concerning equal opportunity matters that help to ensure a better work-family balance at the institute. In May 2018, the Institute was successfully recertified and permanently obtained the certificate in September 2021. 

About 50 measures have already been put into practice, including:

  • a childcare subsidy
  • a mobile parent-child office
  • flexible work schedules
  • support of employees in non-work phases such as parental leave or care for relatives
  • an internal information platform for topics regarding the balance between family and career, and equal opportunities

Equal Opportunity Plan

IWM's Equal Opportunity Plan was published for the first time in 2022 for the years 2022-2026. The aim of the Equal Opportunity Plan is to analyze the current situation with regard to the distribution of women and men at the various functional levels. Based on this, measures are described that serve in particular to increase the proportion of women in management positions. Every two years, a survey is to be conducted to determine the extent to which the objectives of the present Equal Opportunity Plan have been met and the measures implemented, or whether the defined objectives appear appropriate. If necessary, aims and measures will be adjusted or newly developed.

Funding Instruments for Women

As a member of the Leibniz Association in Baden-Württemberg the IWM supports several funding instruments to promote the academic career of women:

  • Mentoring Programme for Female Scholars at Leibniz Institutes
  • Funding Lines of the "Leibniz Competition", such as the Leibniz Programme for Women Professors
  • Margarete von Wrangell habilitation programme


Since 2022, the IWM has structurally anchored the topic of diversity in the institute by appointing a diversity representative. The position is currently held by Dr Bettina Drees. The aim of the work in this area is to recognise the diversity of people - in all conceivable areas - to value it and, if possible, to use it to everyone's advantage. To make this visible internally and externally, the IWM has signed the Diversity Charter and is developing measures to strengthen diversity at the institute as part of an internal dialogue process.