Equal Opportunities

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Colourbox

We celebrate diversity and gender equality, and are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment and fair treatment for all our members. We attach great importance to fostering a multinational community.

We are determined to achieve a balanced ratio of genders in all of our administrative and scientific branches. Therefore, we pay attention to it from the bottom up when employing new faculty members.

We promote a family-friendly working environment. Special support is given to groups likely to face structural disadvantages, like early career women, non-binary people, people who are discriminated on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and physically challenged researchers.

We are committed to raising awareness to avoid discrimination.


Our Achievements

In accordance with our commitment, we have achieved the following recruitment quotas:  

BCDSS International Recruitment

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The overall quota of 57% non-German recruitment out of a total of 29 countries bears testimony to a multinational research environment at the BCDSS.

BCDSS Female Recruitment

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With an overall percentage of 63,5% of female recruitment (including researchers, management team and BCDH team), we have exceeded our goal of 50% female employees across all positions.

Our Commitment

We develop all these solutions together with our members. We are enthusiastic about bringing diverse perspectives together to create an environment where we can all grow together. The Equal Opportunity Representative is elected by all BCDSS members. They are a member of the BCDSS Steering Committee and, therefore, an integral part of the main decision making body of the BCDSS.

To promote and advance equal opportunities, help combining family commitments with an academic career, and to foster diversity in all its forms across the BCDSS, 

we commit to:

All BCDSS members are invited to an annual meeting to discuss and develop ideas to improve equal opportunities for all members of the BCDSS. All ideas and especially open discussion are an exciting opportunity to get to know each other better. The results of the meetings are implemented by the BCDSS Equal Opportunity Representative.

The BCDSS considers equal opportunity and diversity one of our top priorities. We strive for gender balance and diversity in the filling of all positions. Records are kept of all hiring processes, making them transparent for all. The BCDSS actively aims to recruit a minimum of 50% female researchers on all levels. 

Find out more about our Equal Opportunity Strategy

The BCDSS is committed to providing a family-friendly working environment. Working hours are flexible. We aim to have meeting times that are compatible with family duties. Parents can be supported by student assistants at short notice. We are committed to finding individual solutions for individual needs. The University of Bonn has been certified as a “Family Friendly University” since 2011 and, therefore, offers great central institutional support through its Family Office.

The University of Bonn is a signatory of the “Charta der Vielfalt” (Charter of Diversity). The BCDSS as a part of the University of Bonn is committed to creating a safe place for scholarship that is free from any racist and discriminatory structures. Through the BCDSS’ Diversity Certificate, we not only raise awareness of all topics related to racism and discrimination, and how to build a safe space for all our researchers: we also actively train our members in dedicated courses and seminars on how to embrace and enhance diversity in the work place.

In cooperation with the University of Bonn’s Equal Opportunity Office, the BCDSS offers mentoring and training within the MeTra program especially for female post-docs. To ensure that all BCDSS members have access to mentoring and training, the BCDSS offers consulting on how to identify a mentor. The BCDSS also offers trainings and seminars on leadership, recruitment training, supervision of theses, time management, etc. upon request of our members.

Our MA programs not only create awareness and encourage reflections on the connections between (historical) strong asymmetrical dependencies and discrimination and social injustice through their contents, we also aim to reduce unequal access to them and to create equal opportunities among the student community by digitization and financial support.

We work towards a hybrid mode of teaching in order to also make our programs accessible for students with disabilities or those who are carers for children or family members.

Limited financial means can create inequality and discrimination when it comes to international students. In order to include students who cannot afford to move to Germany, we offer positions for student assistants and actively support applicants in finding funding for their studies in Germany.

In autumn 2021, we will be launching our Diversity Certificate

Diversity is a vital asset of our society today. At the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, we therefore see it as our task to contribute to ensuring that diversity in all of its dimensions - age, dis/ability, ethnic origin & nationality, gender & gender identity, religion & belief, sexual orientation & identity, and social origin - is understood as a strength and an element contributing to the success of our joint work at the BCDSS.

With the Diversity Certificate, we have created an institutionalized framework in which we not only draw attention to elements of diversity, but also offer our students, researchers and staff the opportunity to further their education. Through the information and the training program we offer, we create spaces for interaction and the exchange of knowledge. These contribute to making diversity the norm/normal. At the same time, the members of the BCDSS will be trained as a diverse team, thus further sharpening and enhancing our sense of community. We are all responsible for a constructive, open and positive working environment.

Components of the Diversity Certificate:

(I)              Awareness Building

(II)            Trainings and Seminars

While an attendance certificate with be given for participation in any of the activities, members who complete at least seven of all the offered activities will be awarded the BCDSS Diversity Certificate. The Certificate can also count towards the BCDSS’ Masters and PhD programs.


Awareness Building:

Introductory Lecture: “Diversity – What, Why, How?”
Panel Discussion: “Racism and Discrimination in Academia”
Interactive survey: “How biased am I?”
Lecture Series in cooperation with the University of Bonn’s Equal Opportunity Office:

  • Dimensions of diversity
  • Dealing with diversity – an international comparison
  • Challenges of diversity programs and goals
  • Legal implications of racism and discrimination
  • Why language matters


Aspects of diversity
Unconscious bias training
Anti-racism training
Diversity conscious language

Equal Opportunities  Representative

Sarah Dusend

Head of Research and Study

Niebuhrstraße 5

53113 Bonn

+49 228 73 62446

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