The CHESS project was conducted conducted as part of the University of Zurich’s 2017-20 Gender Equality Action Plan.
Universities are facing new and increasing challenges, which affect their academic and administrative leaders. These include the shortage of skilled professionals as well as the tendency towards the dissolution of boundaries between work and private life in academia - intensified by the digitization of daily work life. Furthermore, the complexity of management and leadership tasks at universities continuously increases. Along with the changing demands, there is also a shift in values that impacts the university's understanding of leadership. In this context, the introduction of flexible work models can contribute significantly to foster the compatibility of work, family, and other activities outside the university as well as equality between women and men in leadership positions.
With this project, the CHESS followed one of its objectives which is to initiate a university-wide debate on relevant topics of higher education development. On this basis, concrete models were developed and implemented together with involved actors at the UZH. The aim was to develop organizational models for part-time leadership based on their organizational scope for action. These are particularly important with regard to the implementation in the various faculties and disciplines.
The aim was to present a sustainable package of measures tailored to the different disciplinary cultures at the UZH with concrete organizational models for part-time leadership functions. These were designed to be compatible with taking on family responsibilities or other professional or voluntary commitments. UZH benefits from the development of these innovative and flexible working models for leadership roles by positioning itself as an internationally attractive employer in teaching, research, and administration.