Based on ten years of experience in supervising doctoral students in the social sciences and the research-based discussions on diversity, intersectionality and empowerment, the GGG focuses on the interaction of five diversity dimensions that are particularly central with regard to doctoral students: (1) gender, (2) reconciliation of family/private life and academia, (3) internationality, (4) social origin, and (5) disability and chronic illness (for the genesis of the five dimensions, see background). These five dimensions do not act in isolation. Rather, the privileges and barriers associated with them reinforce and intermingle.
In the first step, the five dimensions and the challenges associated with them are outlined here, while their intersectional linkage is addressed in the concept.
(1) Gender still acts as a "glass ceiling": Although equal numbers of men and women now successfully complete school and university studies, the proportion of women in the transition phase from doctorate to postdoc, during the postdoc phase and especially in appointments to professorships and management positions in universities is falling rapidly. This applies to varying degrees to all subjects, including the social sciences.
(2) Compatibility: Studying, science and work are still difficult to reconcile with childcare, family in the broader sense, care responsibilities and private life. Although measures for childcare, teleworking, part-time doctoral studies and flexible working hours already exist and more are conceivable, these are not yet sufficiently available to parents and people with care responsibilities. In addition, the often delimited working hours, weekend work, travel, committee work, etc. are hardly compatible with private life, preventive health care and voluntary work.
(3) Internationality: PhD students who come to Germany to do their doctorate face particular challenges with regard to residence rights, social issues (such as housing, insurance, childcare) and the local academic culture. Therefore, they have a high demand for additional information and counselling services.
(4) Social background: Especially in Germany, social background still strongly determines educational opportunities and the course of qualification phases. People study and do their doctorate significantly more often if they come from a household of academics. This becomes more pronounced with each qualification stage up to professorship.
(5) Disability and chronic illness: Physical or mental condition affects how someone learns, teaches and researches. A lack of barrier-free access to rooms, information and events can lead to unequal opportunities.