Equal Opportunity at ECONtribute

Women are substantially under-represented in the field of economics. The promotion of diversity and gender equality is therefore a central structural objective of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy. ECONtribute prioritizes the promotion of female researchers by creating a diverse and inclusive environment and by offering a variety of support measures to female researchers.

Since its start in January 2019, ECONtribute has implemented several measures to promote equal opportunity. Based on current research by leading experts in “Women in Economics” the Cluster has developed a diversity concept with focus on gender. In recognition of its commitment to workplace equality, ECONtribute received the Jenny-Gusyk Price  in 2019.

Increasing the Representation of Women

ECONtribute is committed to increasing the representation of women in higher-skilled roles where women are currently under-represented. This includes research positions as well as management positions. ECONtribute offers flexible career pathways and women also receive special assistance in advancing their careers.

Another important objective is also to enlarge the pool of women in the early stages of the academic career, starting at the undergraduate level. Together with the departments of economics in Bonn and Cologne, the Cluster organizes events such as the national “Girls’ Day” to convey the fascination of economics as a field of study.

Fostering Networks and Providing Role Models

ECONtribute actively invites female researchers from renowned universities for temporary research visits and seminar presentations. The Cluster encourages the visitors to offer courses and mentoring events and to serve as role models to our students and junior faculty.

ECONtribute regularly organizes women’s lunches and informal meetings between female visitors, faculty, and students. CoffECON is an event organized by our female YEP students. The events give female early career researchers an opportunity to cultivate a professional network among women in economics and create a community of female researchers around the Cluster.

Raising Awareness

One goal of the Cluster is to provide information and raise awareness of equal opportunity issues not only within the Cluster, but also in society. For that purpose, the Cluster has established a public lecture series, the ReStart: Reinhard Selten Equal Opportunity Talk. Twice a year, leading ECONtribute scholars and well-known guest speakers hold public lectures on equal opportunity topics to raise awareness and encourage a discourse among the profession and the broader public.

The Cluster actively combats cognitive biases and gender stereotypes. For this purpose, ECONtribute organizes short courses by specialists on cognitive biases to become aware of such distortions. In 2019, the ECONtribute cluster faculty participated in a workshop by specialists on cognitive biases to become aware of such distortions.

Family Support

Our Cluster addresses the challenge of balancing family needs and career and provides its members with structural measures and resources to spend sufficient time on both.

The Universtities of Bonn and Cologne provide their own childcare facilities close to their campuses. The Cluster supports higher childcare expenses in privately run facilities. Funding is furthermore available for short-term babysitters for researchers with sick children or sudden childcare needs outside of the childcare facilities’ opening hours. Parent­–­child offices are available in the Cluster buildings at both Bonn and Cologne to accommodate researchers who have to bring their children to work.

The Cluster addresses the challenge of balancing family needs and career.