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Family and Work

In order to achieve long-term professional success, the balance between work and life must be maintained. Our family-friendly employment policy has received a generally recognised seal of quality. In 2006, the Max Planck Society was the first German research institution to receive the certificate of the non-profit organisation “berufundfamilie” (“career and family”).

Principles of equality:

The Max Planck Society has set itself the goal of taking into account women and men in all its decisions in their diversity and targets on the prevention of discrimination. Balanced employment and equal opportunities for both sexes and the reconciliation of work and family life will be promoted. All employees, in particular those with managerial responsibilities, are responsible for this.
The attainment of this goal is to be supported by applying the following principles of the Equality Enforcement Act (in German).

Furthermore the Max Planck Society has developed a policy against sexualized discrimination, harassment and violence.

Equal Opportunities Officer:

The Equal Opportunities Officer has the task of promoting and monitoring equality between women and men, as well as the elimination of existing discrimination and the prevention of future discrimination on grounds of gender in the institution.

It participates in all personnel, organisational and social measures relating to equality between women and men, the reconciliation of work and family life and protection against sexual harassment in the workplace. She's in job advertisements and selection procedures.

In this sense, it also has an advisory and support function for individual employees.


The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung emphasizes the promotion of equal opportunities and the compatibility of family and career. To draw near to this concern, the MPI established a childcare for the employees.

Since November 1 in 2019, the “KOFO-ZWERGE” offer care for nine children aged between 0 and 4 years in the former premises of the Micro-Analytical Laboratory at the Höhenweg 17 in 45470 Mulheim. The kindergarten is run by the operator Kind & Co. and the Equal Opportunity Commissioner Sigrid Lutz (2373) is available as contact person at the institute. Care will be offered between approximately 8.oo am until 4.00 pm which depending on the scope of the contract (35h/45h).

Additional information on questions concerning childcare can be found on the homepage of the city of Mülheim.

Family-friendly working hours:

A flexible working time, the regulation of which is covered by a works agreement, makes it easier to look after children and/or care for relatives.

Promoting young talent:

We want to inspire young people with enthusiasm for science and science-related professions. To this end, school projects and student internships take place again and again. In order to present the professions in which one's own gender is underrepresented to the schoolgirls in particular, the Girls' Day is offered every year.

The Max-Planck-Society supports female scientists with certain programs:

  • W 3 Program for the Advancement of Outstanding Female Scientists in senior positions
  • Minerva-FemmeNet: a mentoring network for female doctoral students and diploma students, for postdoctoral students and those working on their habilitation
  • Option for female scientists to extend a fixed term contract by six months to allow for pregnancy and childbirth
  • Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation: supports talented young female scientists with children
  • Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg

For detailed information, please visit the homepage of the Max Planck Society.