Since 2014, the Higher Education Act (Hochschulgesetz) of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) contains a subject-related equality quota (section 37a). The aim is to increase the proportion of women in professorships at universities and universities of applied sciences sponsored by the State of NRW. The quota is based on the "cascade model" and has to be applied in future appointment procedures. According to this model, the proportion of women at the next lower qualification level forms the target quota for filling positions (here: professorships). The subject group-specific quotas are defined for three years within each university. The rectorate, deans, equal opportunities officers, members of the senate and departmental councils are involved. In order to provide an orientation guide for the calculation of the equality quota according to the Higher Education Act NRW, the Coordination and Research Office of the Women's & Gender Research Network NRW has developed a statistics tool, which is accessible via the statistics portal. The statistics tool addresses all those involved in implementing the quota at universities and universities of applied sciences under the patronage of the state of NRW. In addition, the tool can also be used at the federal level as an orientation parameter for calculating an equality quota for academic subject groups.
An equality quota can be calculated in five steps, taking into account the requirements of a department or faculty. In the first steps, a specific subject group is formed for which current percentages of female professors are calculated. Then the nationwide pool of applicants eligible for a professorship is determined (e.g. academics with a habilitation or doctoral degree). In the last step, an equality quota is calculated for the selected subject group. This quota can be used as a target figure for the future recruitmentof women for professorships. An up-to-date inventory is also mapped, thus enabling a comparison to be made between the actual and target status of equality at the level of professorships. The tool was released in March 2015 and is regularly updated.