Equal Opportunities for Women and Men

The creation of equal opportunities for women and man is seen as a basic condition for successful talent management by the Helmholtz Association. Only a fair selection process of the best candidates will keep research in Germany internationally competitive and fit for the future.

Ruth Thormann and Dr. Ulrike Schroller-Lomnitz are focusing on the following key aspects in 2019 as equal opportunity officiers:

  • participation in the hiring process at GEOMAR
  • improvement of work-life-balance and family-friendly work conditions
  • career advancement of highly qualified women and availability of advanced training for GEOMAR staff
  • development of a modern and transparent corporate culture at GEOMAR


  • together with the Gender, Equality & Diversity team: creation of the new gender equality plan 2022-2026
  • implementation and monitoring of the GEOMAR Gender Equality Plan 2015-2019
  • active participation in position advertisements, interviews, and hiring procedure
  • collaboration in various internal committees (e.g. trainees, phd policy)
  • networking with associated institutions for increased synergy (f.e. CAU Kiel, FH Kiel, Stadt Kiel, akfifz, network of family-friendly companies Kiel)
  • Inge-Lehmann-Fonds [PDF]: a fund for re-entry after family/care-taking leave
  • lecture on the AGG law abd sexual harassment at work

Background Information

The Equal Opportunity Commissioner (EOC) and her deputy were elected on May 15th, 2023 by the female employees of GEOMAR; in accordance with federal law (BGleiG). They have been approved by the GEOMAR directors. The term lasts for 4 years, from 1st June 2023 – 31st May 2027. A main objective of the equal opportunity activities is to eliminate, via targeted actions and specific measurements, structural discrimination against women.

The EOC’s duties and rights are as follows:

  • protection of employees, especially women, against discrimination based on sex/gender
  • protection of employees against  sexual harassment at work
  • the improvement of work-life-balance and family-friendly work conditions for women and men
  • support of the institute to ensure equity between men and women: In particular, the EOC will supervise the implementation of the current GEOMAR gender equality plan, along with all goals and quotas defined therein.

The EOC is allowed to participate in all personnel, organizational, and social measures of the institute, such as:

  • job advertisements
  • job interviews
  • selection procedures (employment, career advancement, recruitment of apprenticeship training positions)

Addictional information for GEOMAR staff is available in the protected Intranet.
  • Dr. Jan Helmke

    Central Affairs

    GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel 
    Wischhofstr. 1-3
    D-24148 Kiel
    Phone: +49-431 600-2803
    Fax: +49-431 600-2805