Equality and Gender Diversity
The city of Hamburg prides itself on striving for equality for everyone, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. Legal and factual equality remains the focus of the efforts, with female equality improved by the arrival of the 'Grundgesetz' ('basic constitutional law') in 1994 ─ but steps are still being taken today to create equal opportunities for everyone in life. In fact, gender equality encompasses many of the important tasks and decisions made today. The Hamburg Ministry for Science, Research and Equality (Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung) aims to ensure that gender equality is perceived as normality in every aspect of life. is a prominent organisation in Hamburg.
Hamburg was one of the first states to enact a legal political framework for equality. Hamburg's own equality act ("Hamburgisches Gleichstellungsgesetz") ensures equal treatment in all public works and services, foundations, corporations and institutions under public law. It also offers equality to Hamburgers in every stage of their lives, from school and education to employment and family. In the realms of employment, the act offers equal chances to equally qualified workers, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. The act is comprehensive and binding.
In public companies, there are several requirements to maintain equality ─ companies must have a commissioner and delegate for equal opportunities, an equality plan and must also give priority in training, selection and promotion to the underrepresented sex.
Equality in business
Hamburg's businesses have a responsibility of equality to their workers. So-called 'equality officers' ('Gleichstellungsbeauftragte') have the task to promote equality, implement equality laws and help companies to apply them. The equality officers are vital in helping to facilitate the creation and implementation of equality plans (that involve targets for payment, management positions and stipulations to ensure a good family and work balance). Not only this, equality officers are there to take action when workplace equality is lacking.
When jobs are advertised, the advertisement should be gender neutral. Thanks to Hamburg's gender equality act, the selection process must take into account skills and experience that a candidate may have which they acquired outside of a formal work environment ─ skills they perhaps gathered through family responsibilities. If both candidates are equally qualified, the underrepresented sex should be chosen in order to ensure a 50:50 balance in the workplace.
Equality at universities
Hamburg's universities also take pride in their forward-thinking schemes to encourage equality and diversity amongst students. Universität Hamburg offers Equality Funds, which can be used in order to conduct research into equality and diversity, and a Women's Advancement Fund (Frauenförderfonds) used for researching and reducing gender-based discrimination in studying, teaching and research.
The Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) promotes equality in their readiness to undertake a balanced share of responsibility, as well as by checking how all decisions made will affect the living and working conditions of the HAW’s students and staff.
At the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), there is a team of independent equality officers. The university's gender equality unit (Gleichstellungsreferat) also provides answers to all questions related to equality and can offer advice and information.
Schemes and actions
Hamburg also has a number of schemes aimed at promoting equality. Pro-Exzellenzia e.g. aims to increase the number of women in high management positions and is targeted at female students of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering & maths).