28% Women Representation in the Professoriate in Germany, 2022

At the outset of academic careers, women are slightly overrepresented; however, their presence steadily declines as they progress through the academic hierarchy.

According to the latest data from the Statistical Federal Office (Destatis), women dominate among first-year students and successful graduates in the academic year 2022/2023, accounting for 52% and 53%, respectively. However, this majority diminishes progressively through the academic ranks, with only 28% of full-time professorships held by women among the 51,200 main academic professors by the end of 2022.

While the proportion of female professors has steadily increased over the years, rising from 20% in 2012, women remain noticeably underrepresented in full-time university professorships.

Key Findings:

  • Women in Promotions: Women constituted 46% of successful doctoral candidates in 2022.
  • Women in Habilitations: The proportion decreased to 37% in habilitations, signifying the recognition of teaching qualifications at a university.
  • Women in Full-time Professorships: This figure dropped further by 9 percentage points, resulting in a 28% representation at the highest level of the academic ladder.

Discipline and Regional Disparities:

  • Engineering vs. Humanities: Engineering fields recorded the lowest representation of women at 16%, while humanities boasted the highest with 42%.
  • Regional Disparities: Berlin led with a 36% representation of women in full-time professorships, while the Saarland reported the lowest at 23%.

The data underlines the need for continued efforts to address gender disparities in academic leadership positions.

For more information:

Additional insights into the status of women and men in German universities can be found on the “Hochschulen” (Universities) section on the Destatis website. Comprehensive educational indicators, covering school through higher education, are available on the “Bildungsindikatoren” (Educational Indicators) page.