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Increasing proportion of women working in science - ...

30.07.2014 - (idw) Statistisches Bundesamt

In 2012, the number of male professors amounted to 43,900, while that of female professors was only 9,000. At today's press conference on "Heading for gender equality? Education, employment and social matters - differences in the situation of women and men", Roderich Egeler, President of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), stated that 20% of the professor posts at German institutions of higher education were held by women. He underlined, however, that a comparison of the relevant structures showed a strong trend in favour of women in the past ten years. In 2002, the relevant proportion had been only 12%.
As a matter of fact, the higher the level of academic profession, the smaller the proportion of women at German institutions of higher education. While, in 2012, nearly half of the first semester students and graduates were female, the proportion of women pursuing a doctoral degree was only 45% and that of women with a post-doctoral lecturing qualification 27%.
The phenomenon of higher positions seldom being held by women occurs not only at institutions of higher education. Women are underrepresented in senior positions in private business and public administration, too. In 2012, their proportion was only 29%.
In Germany, the gender pay gap continues to be high - also in comparison to other European countries. Since first calculations were made in 1995, the difference in the average gross hourly earnings has remained almost unchanged (over 20%). In 2013, the gender pay gap was 22%.
Roderich Egeler mentioned a number of other issues to describe the different situation of women and men in Germany from a statistical perspective:
Starting a family and caring for children have a strong impact on women's employment. Only 32% of mothers with a child under the age of three were actively employed in 2012. The labour force participation of mothers increases with the increasing age of the child. The employment rate of fathers was permanently between 82% and 85%, irrespective of the child's age.
Part-time work is more common among mothers than among fathers. In 2012, 69% of working mothers who had a minor child worked part time. The relevant proportion of fathers was only 6%. There were different reasons for part-time work. 81% of mothers working part time reduced their working hours for personal or family reasons, while fathers reduced their hours of work mainly because they did not find a full-time job (39%).
Child care is mostly the responsibility of mothers: As a matter of fact, mothers received parental allowance for 96% of the children born in 2012, while fathers were beneficiaries regarding not more than 29% of those children. However, the proportion of fathers has increased continuously in the recent past. In 2009, fathers received parental allowance for not more than 24% of the newborn children. Though, generally, the proportion of fathers has increased, the periods over which they receive parental allowance have become shorter. While the average period of receipt was 3.5 months for children born in 2009, it was only 3.2 months in 2012.
The indicators of poverty and social exclusion, too, show differences between the genders. In 2012, 21.5% of women and only 18.2% of men aged 18 and over were affected by poverty or social exclusion in Germany.

Both the lower labour force participation and smaller income of women create a situation where more female pensioners living alone have to get by on a low net income (below 900 euros). In 2012, one quarter (25%) of women and only 16% of men aged 65 and over lived in such circumstances.

For detailed results please refer to the press conference material and supplementary tables at -> Presse -> Pressekonferenzen.

For further information: Press Office of the Federal Statistical Office,
tel: (+49-611) 75-3444,
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