Equal opportunity at the DKFZ

Since 1999 Equal Opportunity has been strongly advocated at the DKFZ. Measures to implement equal opportunities have therefore been long established.

What started in 2004 under the direction of the former Equal Opportunity Representative Dr. Barbara Bertram has been dutifully continued and developed by Dr. Karin Greulich-Bode and since April 2017 by Dr. Lorenza A. D'Alessandro.

  • Since 1994 the DKFZ has sponsored the daycare center “Die Wichtel” and since 2011 also the facility “Glückskinderwelt”. Through the continuous expansion of both daycare centers, we have been able since 2013 to offer a total of 70 daycare slots for the children of DKFZ employees. By this measure the DKFZ wants to support its employees in their endeavor to balance family life and work.
  • Several of our equal opportunity measures are designed to support women in leading positions with the aim of putting more women into leading positions. For that purpose the DKFZ offers mentoring programs to fully prepare young female scientists for future leading positions by imparting informal and organization-related knowledge.
    • Currently, the Helmholtz network mentoring program  “Taking the lead” is successfully offered and well attended.
    • In addition, the DKFZ could offer in cooperation with the Medical Faculty Heidelberg a personalized network-mentoring-program  which accompanies and prepares female scientists on their way to professorship. After a period of two years the program successfully ended in July 2013. A new network mentoring program is scheduled for 2014.
    • The DKFZ offers additional advanced training through the possibility to participate in other programs, for example, of the Center for Science Management.
  • Since 2005 the DKFZ has been assigned the certificate “Audit Career and Family” by the non-profit Hertie Foundation. Re-auditing in 2009 and 2012 confirmed that. The audit is a strategic management tool which establishes a structure and promotes the process of improving the balance between work and family in an organization. The jointly formulated catalogue of objectives is relevant for the DKFZ and appropriate measures are taken accordingly.
  • Since 2010 a special unit “International Staff Services (ISS) has also become an integral part of the Personnel Department. This service unit supports foreign employees and their families during their stay at the DKFZ and has proven to be very worthwhile.
  • Within the framework of “Dual Career Couples” spouses of newly employed female and male scientists are supported in their search for a suitable job in the region. The cooperation with other research institutes in Heidelberg as well as with the Dual Career Job Exchange in the region has proven to be very successful in recruiting Dual Career Couples the number of which has increased considerably. Our head of the personnel department, Ms. Bettina Crispin, will provide further information.
  • The Girls’ Day takes place every year all over Germany. Since its introduction in 2001 the DKFZ together with the Life Science Lab organize the Girls’ Day and since its introduction in 2011 also the Boys’ Day. Girls and boys are playfully given an insight into the various professional fields at the DKFZ.
  • Since 2010 the DKFZ together with its union partners have devoted themselves to the topic “Family care and work”. Since then, within the framework of a series of lectures, informative events have been organized every year for DKFZ employees to help them better manage work and family care issues. A family care counselor (Dr. Carol Bacchus-Wermke) is our personal contact at the DKFZ who is always open for questions regarding the topic of family care.
  • Besides the public-oriented events the Equal Opportunity Representative is also responsible for checking on recruitment procedures as well as advising female and male employees. If you should feel the need for a personal talk with the Equal Opportunity Representative, you can contact her per email or telephone.


Dr. Lorenza A. D'Alessandro
Equal Opportunity Representative

German Cancer Research Center
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 6221 424485


Dr. Carol Bacchus-Wermke
Deputy Equal Opportunity Representative

Phone: +49 6221 42 1676


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