A network with three cornerstones - professorships, research associates, gender studies institutions. The core of the network consists of professorships with a (partial) denomination in women's and gender studies, which were funded by the Ministry of Science of North Rhine-Westphalia (network professorships). Between 1986 and 1999, 56 professorships were created. Since 2015, professorships have also been added in subjects such as physics, medicine and law, in which gender research had previously hardly been anchored. This focus contributes to the profile of North Rhine-Westphalian universities. In the meantime, the network also includes professorships without an explicit denomination that focus on women, gender and gender-relations in research and teaching (associated network professorships). This networking of professorships forms the first cornerstone of the NRW Women's and Gender Research Network.
In 1997 research associates founded a network of their own to exchange ideas on gender research. This networking forms the second cornerstone.
Since 2012, gender studies institutions have also been networking. They form the third cornerstone of the Women's and Gender Research Network NRW.