27,962 people work at the Helmholtz Centres, 8,763 of which in science and research and 4.124 as Ph.D. students.
The proportion of women among the research staff currently lies at 21% and among scientific and non-scientific management staff, as head of an institute or department, at 16%.
Because the Helmholtz Association is convinced that the creation of equal opportunity for men and women in research is not only a constitutional duty. Rather, the association believes that failure to tap into and to maximise the reserves of scientific potential in women is something that no research organisation aiming to achieve top-rate results can afford to do. Indeed, the special competences, creativity and motivation of its staff, both male and female, are essential to the Helmholtz Mission. As it says: "The Association attaches great importance to maintaining and enhancing these key qualities." And so it is only logical and consistent that one of the central strategic starting points for making these goals come true is the commitment to the equal opportunity of men and women in the research centres of the Helmholtz Association.
Equal opportunity in strategy ...
Equal opportunity as a Helmholtz strategy covers programmes with differing focuses depending on the age range of the target group. Programmes for pupils encourage girls and boys to become interested in research and technology at an early age. When it comes to making a career decision, the programmes particularly aim to raise the girls' confidence in their own technological competence. For the young scientists and experienced staff working at the research centres this policy is all about organising the workplace and its conditions in such a way that staff can develop both their personal and professional skills and qualifications. Consequently, the Helmholtz Association has drawn up several key points to address this, namely:
Equal opportunity as an assessment criterion for the review of research programmes
Programmes aimed at raising the compatibility of family and career that can be individually combined to produce tailor-made solutions
Networking the centres with the goal of disseminating examples of best practice