• Ideation
  • >30.04.17
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  • Voting
  • >13.06.17
  • Implementation

Gender stereotypes about role, appearance, and behaviour of women and men

Fri 28.4.2017 8:31 pm

The stereotypes about the role, appearance, and behaviour of women and men still exist in the German society and are also present at the University on Muenster. The conducted internal gender audit has revealed that some lecturers call female students “Fräulein” (old-fashioned for “miss” in German) instead of their names, because they are the only female students. Although it is not meant in a negative way, it makes the addressed female students feeling uncomfortable.

Another stereotype is the perceived incompatibility of looking fashionable and being competent in the Information Systems (IS) field for a woman. Female students feel obligated to think carefully about their appearance and fear that if they dress up they will not be taken serious or will even be accused of trying to “buy” good grades with their look.

Further aspect is the different perception of the same behaviour performed by men and by women. For instance, self-confidence is perceived positively in men, but rather negatively and even arrogant in women.

Some female students have concerns that their future employers might not support them in their desire to combine career and family. They are afraid that they might not manage to do it and will need to refrain from either pursuing a career or having children. On the other hand, some male students feel that there is still a societal image of a successful man as a family breadwinner who focuses on career progress. This might be the reason, why men tend to take no or only very short parental leave in spite of the opportunities guaranteed by German national regulations.

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Challenge area(s)

HR practices and management processes
Institutional communication
Teaching and services for (potential) students

Target groups affected by the Challenge

Academic staff members
Non-Academic staff members
Students (Bachelor or Master)
Prospective students (schoolchildren)
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