Equal Opportunity

The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics values and relies on exceptional scientific talent, creativity, and passion. Irrespective of gender, nationality, religion, disability, age, cultural background, or sexual identity, we aim to nurture and support young academics. As part of our commitment to equal opportunity, we place especial importance on harmony between work and family, which includes supporting early-career women scientists in particular.

Focus on equal opportunity in the Max Planck Society


"Work and Familiy" Certificate

The Max Planck Society is the only German scientific organisation that qualifies for the non-profit-making PLC "work and family" certificate, which acknowledges its family-oriented personnel policy.

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation

The Foundation for the promotion of science and research, initiated in 2004, supports talented young women with children. It aims to enable them to create the freedom and mobility required to further their scientific careers. The Foundation wishes to help prevent science from loosing excellent talent. It is aimed specifically at graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the fields of experimental natural sciences and medicine.

Mentoring Hessen

The MentorinnenNetzwerk aims to support female students in natural science and engineering in planning their careers, and it has established a platform for women coming from these backgrounds. The goals range from strengthening women in their professional competencies to providing them with more visibility (role models) as well as to support female students and doctoral candidates in their transition between their studies, dissertation and professional work.

more ...

Diversity Charta

The initiative aims to promote the recognition, appreciation and integration of diversity into Germany’s business culture. Organisations are to create a working environment free of prejudice. All employees should be valued – regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or worldview, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity.


more ...

pme Familienservice

The Max-Planck Society cooperates with the Familienservice-Unternehmen pme. pme’s services range from the arrangement of individual care solutions for children and dependants in need of care to crisis consulting and the provision of places at over 60 childcare and educational establishments.

An important new addition is the extension of pme family service’s offers to children of school age. The service portfolio now includes the arrangement of childminders at home or emergency childcare in back-up facilities. The actual childcare measure is paid for by the parents. The costs for consultation and placement will be covered by the Max-Planck Society.


Minerva-FemmeNet is a network for female scientists in the Max Planck Society. Its aim is to pass on the expert knowledge of experienced female scientists – including former institute members – by mentoring junior female scientists.

Flexible working hours

The MPIEA strives for an equal gender balance. We consider equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of gender, nationality, religion, disability, age, cultural background, and sexual identity, to be a vital necessity. Furthermore, we promote and support flexible working hours in order to facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life.


Career building program "Sign Up!"

The Max-Planck-Society has long been committed to promote young female researchers and bring more women into leadership positions. Our active commitment is already showing success. Within our framework, the "Sign Up" program focuses on the pivotal target group of female post docs. The pilot program developed jointly by the MPG and the EAF Berlin was completed with great success in 2010.


Thanks to the Max Planck Society and the support of the MPIEA, I got the opportunity to participate in the 4th "Sign Up! Career building for female post docs" workshop. The program is organized by the MPG and the EAF Berlin. It immediately attracted me, as its scope is unusually intense. It extends over about a year and builds on the exchange and networking within the Sign UP group. The aim of the program is to promote women postdoctoral researchers in their career development and prepare them for leadership roles in the scientific community. It does so by providing a very well balanced program, including more theoretical sessions, e.g. about fundraising, or the legal situation for scientists in Germany, as well as hands-on session, such as the communication and leadership training. A crucial aspect of the program is the experience exchange between scientists. Smaller “success teams” meet frequently and consult each other about how to manage the next career step. Furthermore, we had the chance to discuss and listen to the experience of distinguished female scientists, who were invited to our meetings. I highly benefited from the experience exchange across different career levels, and besides that very much enjoyed the program!