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|Name of Organisation:||Conference of Equal Opportunities Officers at universities and academic institutions in Baden-Württemberg (LaKoG), Universität Stuttgart|
|Main implementing organisation:||Conference of Equal Opportunities Officers at universities and academic institutions in Baden-Württemberg (LaKoG)|
|Line of Business:||LaKoG is an association of equal opportunities officers at research universities, universities of education, universities of art and design as well universities of music and performing arts in Baden-Württemberg, to support higher education institutions and universities to establish equal opportunities and gender mainstreaming.|
|End Date:||Still Ongoing|
|Number of Employees||15||86.67 %|
|Number of Employees in Top Positions||2||100 %|
|Transferability of the initiative||Programme is considered to be transferable to another context|
|Type of initiative referring to strategic objectives||individual|
|gender in research|
|Type of initiative, located on the stage of career progression of women scientists||Qualification (Higher Education)|
LaKoG’s primary aims are to reduce discrimination against women in academia and to avoid such discrimination in the future. This comprises:
Activities to achieve this tackle:
Women are actively supported and encouraged to overcome existing obstacles and to pursue a career in science, research or business in spite of the lack of female role models. The barriers addressed are:
- Cooling out effect
- Tackling “Old Boys Networks“ in organisation structures
- Gender Bias of assessments and performance evaluation
- Insecure and temporary employment conditions
- Visibility of women researchers in associations.
LaKoG is very successful in individual support of female scientists and is very well accepted by its target groups. As word is being spread, there is an ever growing number of participants, partners and users. There is a big pool of young women academics making use of the information and consultation offers, but also making their expertise and experiences available in return. The network’s power grows in line with its duration, as more and more of the participants reach leading positions.
However, a lot of aims have not been achieved yet, like for example obtaining more political influence or already getting involved in university policy initiatives at an early stage (when things are being conceptualized rather then when they are already being settled).
LaKoG holds the lack of quota responsible for this (gender mainstreaming quota, minimum 40% men and women).
The main motive is to avoid and reduce structural barriers and discriminatory structures faced by women in research and academia. The foundation of LaKoG’s work is that women’s creativity and research competence will be needed in the future to solve prospective problems. Further actors in the field of gender issues in research and science will have additional motives and viewpoints, like for example the lack of workforce and talents and the effective exploitation of female workforce and ‘resources’.
An equal opportunity ‘consortium’ has existed for nearly 10 years. The initiative has generally existed since 1989 before institutionalisation in 1996. LaKoG was founded to support equal opportunity measures and can be thought of as an institutionalisation of the consortium.
The main target groups are:
As LaKoG convenes the regional equal opportunities officers from higher education institutions, LaKoG is conducted by and internally settled with the respective equal opportunity officers of the universities and colleges. However, there is a LaKoG coordination office run by its head, Dr. Dagmar Höppel, comprising a total of 15 members of staff.
Members of LaKoG are the equal opportunities commissioners of the institutions of higher education involved, as well as their deputies. LaKoG is a decision making-body in which each university has one voice. In addition, there is a board, and LaKoG elects a spokesperson who may act on behalf of the association and functions as its representative towards stakeholders and decision-makers.
According to its statutes, LaKoG's responsibilities include:
LaKoG’s core activities to achieve its aims are
LaKoG is publicly funded. 1.5 staff posts are financed through the general Baden-Württemberg Länder budget, while the remaining posts are sponsored mostly by the MWK. MWK conferred certain tasks to LaKoG, funds LaKoG’s business needs items and supports some of its projects. MWK is LaKoG’s main sponsor, however, there is no direct dependency.
• In the beginning, LaKoG faced competition with rival initiatives also seeking support (LaKoG was able to stand its ground due to profound analysis and high quality resolutions).
• One main obstacle is the fact that changing structures is impossible within a short-term perspective.
• Another obstacle is the great difficulty of reaching decision makers who are mostly not gender aware.
It was especially important and useful to:
LaKoG is in the process of building a diverse team in order to reach change agents in a more targeted way. LaKoG perceives itself as an independent player within the higher education political scene which is capable of creating its own networks and lending its voice to policy goals.
Combining many small measures with main stream initiatives proved useful. Now, LaKoG is part of the mainstream itself, which results in sound and secure funding, and, consequently, a certain extent of independence with its own networks and channels of influence.
LaKoG was the first initiative of its kind among the German Länder. Two other German Länder have established corresponding bodies and offices so far, following LaKoG’s example. LaKoG has also been a model for the establishment of the Baden-Württemberg Rectors Conference’s office (LRK).
LaKoG is an initiative in itself and does not belong to a broader strategy or set of measures. However, on the one hand convening the equal opportunities commissioners of several types of institutions of higher education in Baden-Württemberg is a systematic approach in itself. On the other hand, LaKoG builds on existing commissioners’ offices/posts and now functions as a means to coordinate their activities and positions, to exchange experience and know-how, and to join forces.
LaKoG was the first initiative of its kind among the German Länder and has functioned as a model for similar bodies in other parts of Germany.
A particular approach of LaKoG is to link its initiatives to public programmes, thus pursuing a constant process of reinforcement and establishment of its initiatives. Furthermore, LaKoG is represented in various bodies single universities would not have access to.
LaKoG takes stock and reports on its work three times per year during its conference meetings. There is a written report which keeps records of LaKoG’s work and also lays down its thematic work priorities and working groups.
LaKOG is a good practice as it is an organisation which has served as a model for the set-up of similar bodies across Germany. LaKoG successfully convenes the main people responsible for gender at universities and colleges and serves as a forum for discussion and coordination among them. In addition, LaKoG runs a broad portfolio of measures, capitalising successfully on its coordination office’s resources as well as the support of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg.
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