Who we are

Diversity, equity and inclusion

The Hertie School is a community committed to shared values of equity, diversity and inclusion in order to achieve and sustain excellence. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core values of the school as well as a key element of the school’s strategic plan and organisational development.

We can attain the best results in research and teaching in a community that promotes different perspectives, new ideas, and celebrates the full spectrum of human diversity across all dimensions including gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and religion or belief/world view. Diversity is a source of enrichment, innovation and creativity for the school. It is a critical factor for achieving and sustaining excellence and for educating our students on how to understand today and shape tomorrow. 

The Hertie School is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse group of outstanding students, faculty and staff and by creating an inclusive learning and working environment marked by mutual support and respect. The responsibility for excellence, diversity and inclusion lies with all of us at the school: Leadership, faculty, staff, students and alumni. It is incumbent upon each member of the Hertie School community to create and maintain an environment of mutual support, respect, understanding, fairness, and equal treatment.  

In 2018, the Hertie School signed the Diversity Charter (Charta der Vielfalt e. V.), an initiative which aims to promote the recognition, appreciation and integration of diversity into Germany’s business culture.

Our leadership team is committed to bringing together our community to find ways to work together on mainstreaming equality, diversity and inclusion through collaboration and continued discussion.

Strategy process

A strategy process was launched in the fall of 2018 at the onset of Henrik Enderlein’s presidency to review the state of Diversity and Inclusion at the Hertie School and to develop a systematic concept and comprehensive approach.

This process was structured in two phases. In phase one, a Task Force, comprised of members of our leadership team, our administration, our faculty, academic staff, and student representatives was launched under the Chairmanship of Ba?ak ?al?, our Ombudsperson for Diversity and Professor of International Law at that time. Its mandate was to identify key challenges and recommend concrete measures and goals for action across all areas of our institution.  

The Task Force consulted widely across our community, including an opportunity to share perspectives, ideas and suggestions via a digital pin board. Additionally, a comprehensive climate survey was conducted among students, staff and faculty in the spring of 2019.

The Task Force provided recommendations for changes and action across all areas of our institution. 82 recommendations were adopted in the summer of 2019, and we are implementing those recommendations. The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy has laid the groundwork for further work and discussion.

Strategic objectives

The Task Force recommended that the school focus its actions on the following strategic objectives:


  • Equal treatment and opportunities for all members of the community
  • Reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities
  • Gender equality in all spheres of activity


  • A diverse student community
  • A diverse faculty and staff community
  • Diversity of perspectives in teaching programs, research and outreach


  • An equitable learning and working environment
  • A community characterized by mutual support and respect
  • A culture of appreciation and recognition
  • A welcoming and enabling environment for members of the community who wish to celebrate differences
  • A safe and positive campus climate

Goals and actions

In their report to Hertie School Leadership, the Taskforce provided recommendations for changes and action across all areas of our institution, including:
  1. Teaching and Studying
  2. Faculty and Research
  3. Communications and Outreach
  4. Organisation and Campus
  5. Students and Community 
In order to achieve these goals, a portfolio of 82 measures were approved. This includes for example:
  • Training for faculty and adjuncts on creating inclusive classrooms
  • A pledge by our faculty to not to participate in “men-only” panels; and a commitment to host more inclusive events at the Hertie School.
  • Provide our incoming students with diversity and inclusion workshops
  • Add more courses on Diversity and Inclusion and on Intersectionality in policy making
  • A revised strategy and procedures to increase the diversity of our PhD researchers
  • Diversity and Inclusion training for the administration
  • Include a diversity and inclusion review in professorial recruitment procedures
In order to mainstream diversity and inclusion and to ensure continuous monitoring, we: 


  • Commit to introduce diversity and inclusion as a standard reporting item in all relevant school committees and meetings
  • Ensure that all respective units review and report on relevant measures at least once per semester
  • Earmark annual budget for proposed diversity and inclusion measures
  • Establish a stocktaking process and publicly report to what extent strategic objectives are met

A full list of all goals and measures is available on the Diversity section on Moodle (for Hertie School members).

Code of Conduct and complaints

Our Code of Conduct requires all members of our community to act in accordance to our values. This means respect for academic integrity, academic freedom, transparency, mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion for the stewardship of the public good.

The Code of Conduct also stipulates the standards and rules regarding discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment at the Hertie School as well as the procedures in cases of misconduct and violation of the Code. In case of a suspected discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment, the Diversity and Inclusion Officer shall be informed; the Officer shall investigate the matter and initiate respective proceedings.

Complaints shall be reported to the Diversity and Inclusion Officer Katalin Karsai via email: DI-Officer[at]hertie-school[dot]org.