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WHU Shines Bright in CEWS Gender Equality Ranking

WHU ranks among the top 25% of all participating schools in several crucial areas of the CEWS equality ranking

Ensuring the highest degree of equality possible has always been a core strategic objective at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Indeed, diversity, equality, and inclusion have been stalwart values on campus ever since the school was founded. To improve even more in this area, WHU has defined in its Gender Equality Plan new goals and the best ways of pursuing them.

So, how do universities in Germany currently compare when it comes to gender equality? Where do the strengths and weaknesses of each school lie? The biennially issued CEWS ranking of higher education institutions provides answers to these questions. The most recently published edition of the overall ranking for 2023 finds WHU sitting at the top in three out of six categories. As such, WHU is among  the top 25% of all schools considered. CEWS does not assign the schools a true “rank.” Rather, it places them into three tiers—the top, middle, and bottom tiers—based on an analysis of several indicators.

WHU placed within the top group in the “post-doctoral academic qualification” category. The school is at the pole position within that top group, with an indicator score of 1.778 (regarding assistant professors and post-doctorates). The analysis lists a total of 30 assistant professorships at WHU between 2019 and 2021, 53.33% of which were held by women.

WHU also reached this upper echelon of schools in the “full-time academic and creative staff” category, with 42.98% of its staff in 2021 being women. With an indicator score of 1.228, WHU ranks quite highly at #5 within that top tier group. And lastly, WHU performed well in the category that examined “the proportional increase of women as full-time and academic staff since 2016.” Since then, the number of full-time female staff at WHU has, indeed, increased—from 32.11% then to 42.98% in 2021. The indicator for this category, which looks at trends over the course of five years, calculated a score of 10.87, showing that WHU has had the sharpest increase here out of all schools in that upper tier.

In several categories—“doctorates” (which shows the ratio of female doctorate holders to female students); “professors” (which shows the ratio of non-assistant professorships held by women to the number of female doctorate holders); and the “increase of professorships held by women since 2016” (which shows how the trend has changed from 2016 to 2021)—WHU reached the middle tier. A detailed look shows that 112 women completed their doctoral programs at WHU between 2009 and 2021, meaning 32.14% of graduating doctoral students at the school identify as female.

In total, 264 institutions for higher education were examined in the CEWS ranking. Generally, the work looks at all organizations that are a member of the German Rectors’ Conference, including universities, technical schools, and art schools. Additional, schools employing at least 30 professors are also considered. For some 20 years now, the Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS), as part of GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, has evaluated the level of gender equality seen in such academic organizations, using data available from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany.

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