Important documents

1. Legal and regulatory texts currently in force


University Act, 13 June 2008

Art. 3, para. 1

The University contributes to the democratisation of knowledge and promotes equal opportunities.

Art. 3, para. 2

The University guarantees equal opportunities for men and women. It encourages parity in positions of representation and responsibility. To this end, it takes appropriate measures in favour of the underrepresented sex.

Art. 13, para. 3

With the exception of cases set out in the University’s Personnel Regulations, posts at the University are advertised publicly. For renewable professorial, teaching and research positions, if two candidates have equal qualifications, preference is given to the underrepresented sex.

University statutes

Art. 4, para. 2

An equality delegation, consisting of at least two full professors and one full-time representative, is appointed by the rectorate. Men and women must be equally represented among the full professors on the delegation.

Art. 4, para. 3

The delegation helps the rectorate in implementing the principle of equal rights and opportunities for men and women. It takes part in the work of appointment panels and follows any oppositions or appeals that may arise regarding appointments.

University Personnel Regulations, 17 March 2009

Art. 6

The University ensures that it: a) creates conditions that allow members of the teaching staff to work in a climate of respect and tolerance, free of direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of any personal characteristic, particularly origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability or physical characteristics and religious or political beliefs; b) ensures equality between men and women in reality; (…) e) considers – as far as possible and taking into account the requirements of tasks conferred to structures – the family commitments of teaching staff by developing methods that make it possible to better reconcile professional and family life. The organisation and content of a post can take family commitments into account.

Art. 98, para. 6

During the appointment procedure for a position advertised publicly, the representative of the delegation for equality for men and women shall participate in all stages of the application review.

Art. 99, para. 1

The delegation shall examine all applications that meet the formal requirements for the post. Candidates who do not meet the formal requirements shall be informed, as soon as possible, of the reason for their unsuitability. If the formal requirements can then be met immediately, this shall have no impact on their application.

Art. 99, para. 2

The delegation can include other members of the professorial staff in its work in an advisory capacity; it shall ask members of the teaching staff, and students, about the teaching skills of candidates.

Art. 99, para. 3

Applications shall be examined on the basis of the following five criteria at the very least:

a)   the compatibility of the application with the requirements of the post concerned;

b)   the candidate’s research skills;

c)   the candidate’s teaching skills;

d)   the candidate’s capacity for sharing management and administrative tasks;

e)   the candidate’s capacity for contributing to the external influence of the main teaching and research unit (UPER).

The five criteria are weighted differently depending on the post under consideration.

Art. 99, para. 4

When evaluating academic output, time that the client has spent on activities other than research shall be taken into account, in particular time devoted to family responsibilities.

Art. 100, para. 2

The rectorate shall ensure that:

a) the procedure was carried out in accordance with legal requirements and these regulations;

b) sufficient attention was paid to evaluating the candidate’s teaching skills;

c) the panel and the UPER College of the Professors took into account whether the principle of equal rights and opportunities for men and women was promoted.


2. Rectorate’s Directive on women making up 30% of shortlists



Prof. Jean-Dominique Vassalli


Prof. Anik de Ribaupierre

Vice Rector

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Geneva, 28 January 2010

Measures to increase the number of women professors appointed

Dear Deans,

As has been mentioned several times since the beginning of the academic year in meetings of the Council of the Rectorate and Offices of the Deans, the rectorate is concerned with meeting the objectives set by the Canton of Geneva regarding the appointment of women. We have therefore decided to implement three measures.

A minimum of 30% of women on shortlists for professor posts

The rectorate requires women to make up at least 30% of the people on shortlists (lessons and interviews with the appointment panel) for professorial appointment procedures. Should this prove impossible, the deans and the equality delegates should inform the rectorate as quickly as possible so that a decision can be made on how to proceed.

It should be noted that in some cases, the number of applications by women is very low at the closing date for applications. In this case, deans are strongly encouraged to request an extension of the deadline. To make it easier to apply this measure, the rectorate will allow a period of around a fortnight between the application deadline and an extension of the deadline, to allow faculties to rapidly examine the applications received during the application period. With the extension of the deadline, a proactive attitude should be taken to attract the maximum number of applications by women.

The most important thing to remember is that the rectorate must be informed as quickly as possible if the number of applications by women selected is less than 30%, to make is possible to respond in a timely manner.

A broader perspective in describing posts and analysing applications

The rectorate asks that the job description advertised be as broad as possible (for full, associate and assistant professors), whilst meeting the needs of the subdivision.

Faculties generally favour the most experienced applicants, e.g. those who have a recommendation for a full professor post. Opening a post at multiple levels is often viewed as a way of employing a candidate at associate level when there is a lack of applications at full professor level. The rectorate suggests that appointing associate or assistant professors – people who may be at an earlier stage in their career – rather than full professors, be used as a way of increasing the number of female professors. Appointment reports should include an analysis of applications in light of this.

Analysing applications received for professor posts

In parallel, the rectorate has decided that applications received from both men and women should be analysed more thoroughly – both quantitatively and qualitatively – in order to better identify the reasons why it is difficult to increase the number of female professors.

This will be done using a table (cf. document enclosed) filled in first by faculty secretariats using the information that can be taken from applications (first two tabs of the Excel chart) and then by the members of the equality delegation as the appointment panel’s work progresses. The information to be filled in was decided on in agreement with the delegation. We are counting on you to send this information to your secretariats.

It would be good if the increased amount of communication that this measure will entail is carried out electronically. However, we will have to wait for the HR information system to be further developed (draft legislation has been awaiting the Cantonal Parliament’s decision for several months). Please note that the majority of the information required can be taken directly from applications. You can also submit a table in a different format as long as it contains all the information required.

The table entitled ‘Analysis of applications received for professor posts’ should be filled in as quickly as possible and sent to the relevant equality delegation member. At the end of each professorial appointment procedure, it should be sent to: Juliette.Labarthe(at) Ms Labarthe is happy to answer any questions you may have.