The equal opportunities work at TROPOS aims to strengthen equal opportunities, diversity and family friendliness at the institute. At the same time, it opposes all forms of discrimination and initiates measures that counteract discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, cultural or social background and enable a respectful everyday life at the institute for all.

TROPOS has a great interest in diverse, qualified employees. On the way to eliminating structural imbalances, the Equal Opportunity Plan is an essential tool. Through its implementation, equal opportunities at the institute are to be promoted and secured in the long term.

One focus of the equality work is the promotion of women, which includes, for example, the organization of workshops or the support of mentoring programs for female researchers who aspire to a leadership position or professorship.
The goal is to increase the visibility of women in science and to enable equal career opportunities for people of all genders at the institute.

Here is more on the basics of gender equality work at TROPOS.


As contact persons for the topic of equality and equal opportunities at the institute, the Equal Opportunity Representatives provide advice in case of interest or questions - for example, in relation to the EU's Horizon Europe framework program, which stipulates equality as a criterion for funding applications for EU funds.

The Equal Opportunity Representatives also provide confidential support in case of harassment and discrimination of any kind.

Employees can also inform themselves about the possibilities of reconciling science and private caring responsibilities at TROPOS and the institute's internal training programs with regard to the dimension of gender.


Diversity-sensitive language and science

When masculine forms of speech are used in everyday language, women are often "included". But socio-psychological studies show otherwise: rather, this so-called generic masculine mentally excludes women and persons of other genders.

Gender-sensitive language therefore attempts to address and represent all persons equally - regardless of their gender. In this way, TROPOS would like to contribute, among other things, to promoting the visibility of women in academic and scientific contexts and to enabling equal opportunities.

This guideline is intended to show how this can be implemented in concrete terms with regard to the german language. These are only current recommendations - language is always changing, and new research findings also require active reflection.

So this cannot be about perfection or "political correctness", but mainly about developing an eye for discriminatory language together. If we discover some such words or language patterns among ourselves, this is not a personal criticism of us as persons - it is rather an invitation to deal with ourselves, our environment and our power to shape it.


In general, TROPOS recommends

  •    to use gender-neutral formulations
       ("Alle Mitarbeitenden", "Guten Tag first name last name", "Personen, die...")

or as

  •   to use the colon as a gender-inclusive designation
       ("der:die Wissenschaftler:in", "jede:r", "er:sie")


Gender Decoder

Research shows that many words that seem neutral at first are ultimately linked to associations attributed to male or female stereotypes. This is also referred to as gender coding. Unconsciously, this can have an influence on the reader - which, for example, in the case of a job advertisement, plays a quite relevant role in who feels (not) addressed by it.

After writing a text, briefly considering which of one's own gender associations emerge during close reading and then ensuring a balanced ratio of agentic (with strong masculine connotations) and communal (with strong feminine connotations) terms can often already make a difference here.

The Gender Decoder, a free web application from the Technical University of Munich that checks inserted text for gender fairness, can also help.

Language Recommendations of TROPOS:

Gender-sensitive Language


More comprehensive German language guides (German):

Guide of the TU Berlin

Guide of the TU Dresden

Guide of the University of Cologne

Tips on the English language (English):

UNESCWA Guidelines

Guide of the University of Kassel

More tips on gender-sensitive language (German):




Compatibility of science and care responsibilities

Childcare or the care of relatives are important tasks and must not lead to the disadvantage of those providing care. Rather, it is therefore the goal of TROPOS to make use of all possibilities for organizing working time and place, to facilitate re-entry after leaves of absence, and to find individual solutions in career planning.

Last but not least, reconciling paid and care work is also a fundamental prerequisite for equal opportunities between the genders.


An initial overview of the topic of care is provided by the Long-Term Care Guide of the BMG.

Since 2011, TROPOS has been awarded the careerandfamily audit certificate, which is regarded as a seal of quality for a strategically designed family- and life-phase-conscious personnel policy. More information on the certification can be found here.

Together with more than one hundred partners, the institute also participates in the action plan "Child- and family-friendly city of Leipzig". With their signature, TROPOS commits to continue promoting Leipzig as a city that remains attractive and livable for families. The family office provides further information and addresses in this regard.

Since 2011, the institute has also been a member of the Dual Career Network of Central Germany, which supports partners in their search for employment in the Leipzig/Halle area in order to facilitate the professional integration of life partners in the region.