Equal opportunities monitoring
Since 1998, the University of Basel has been actively committed to equal opportunities and has implemented the appropriate structures, measures and initiatives in order to make equal opportunities a reality. These wide-ranging activities are aimed at increasing the percentage of women at higher levels of the academic career ladder and in leadership positions.
Our equal opportunities monitoring documents progress towards the goal of increasing the proportion of women at the University of Basel as of December 2019.
Academic career stages
Since 1980, we have seen a clear increase in the numbers of non-professorial academic staff (1980: 693, 2019: 4,418) and professorships (1980: 253, 2019: 389) (see Fig. 1). In 2019, the upward trend of recent years continued at professorship level. However, the increase in the percentage of female professors was minimal. The figure remains at 24%, as in 2018, while the number of non-professorial female academics rose 1% to 44% (see Fig. 2).
At professorship level, there has been a clear increase in the number of female professors since 2013, and this was consolidated in 2019 (2013: 69/305, 2019: 90/285). At over 40%, the career stage with the highest proportion of women in 2019 was “assistant professorship” (assistant professor with tenure track: 46%; SNSF/assistant professorship without tenure track: 42%) (see Fig. 4). In 2019, there was an equal 50% gender split between newly appointed professors, counted across all categories of professorship, although the majority of new female professors were appointed as SNSF/assistant professors without tenure track (see Fig. 5).
Overall, we observed an increase in the number of female professors, lecturers and research associates/academic staff in all Swiss universities. With 24% female professors, the University of Basel continues to hover around the mid table, on an equal footing with the University of Zurich. Among institutions with full university status, the University of Geneva has the highest proportion of female professors (29%), while ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne share bottom place with 17% (see Fig. 6).
It is important that gender balance at the university is reflected in the composition of the university boards and heads of faculty. Women make up around 35% of all Senate members and 30% of the members of university committees. This relatively high proportion of women, however, falls short of the proportion of female employees at the University of Basel at 44%. Among the deanships and heads of the deans’ offices, the proportion of women is below 10%, which is significantly lower than the proportion of female professors at 24% (see Fig. 7).