Central Office for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunity & Family

Project Baltic Gender

Scientific marine research has been a work area dominated by men for a long time. This has considerably changed in recent years. On research ships as well as in laboratories ashore women and men from all around the globe work together in research on interdisciplinary projects. However, this pleasant development is not yet visible on the management level of marine research. As in many work areas the percentage of women drops significantly after PhD. It is even more distinct in professorships and leading positions in technical deparments.

With the "Baltic Gender Project" eight research institutions from five states from the Baltic Sea area (Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithunia, Germany) have sought to change this imbalance. This project, which the EU sponsored with 2,2 million Euro, was coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. The overall aim of "Baltic Gender" was to develop effective and meaningful indicators which can be used by the institutions to achieve their goals of gender equalitiy in their development planning. This shall also contribute to the improvement of career opportunities for women in marine sciences.

The work package located at the Kiel University was concerned with structural changes that have the potencial to promote gender equality in institutions. The central question was how structures and processes within the partnering institutions affect women and men. The main focus lay on recruitment procedures, decision-making structures and the allocation of resources. The best practice catalogue "Gender equality in marine sciences. Best practices on structural change" (2018) comprises a collection of measures which especially support the improvement of gender fairness in institutional processes and structures. An additional brochure "Progress in gender equality. New practices on structural change in marine sciences" (2020) presents the measures that emerged over the course of the project which have led to a structural change in the institutions. It includes recommendations for all institutions planning to adapt the presented measures. Additionally, indicators to measure structural improvements are developed in this work package, in order to derive targets for gender equality plans from these indicators.

Other work packages of "Baltic Gender" concentrated on issues like career development of female scientists, network building, the compatibility of family and sientific research and the integration of gender aspects in research and teaching into marine sciences. In addition, "Baltic Gender" was brought to life by various activities, information and oppurtunities for participation. For example, female scientists were presented in a blog, a mentoring programme was established and workshops on topics like gender aspects in teaching have been offered.The project's results are summerized in a "One Pager" .

The mayor project's results are available here:

Gender-sensitive Teaching: An introduction for teaching staff in STEM

GenderWave:A digitool to support incorporation of gender perspectives into marine research and innovation

Leaflet "Dealing with sexualized violence on expeditions"