AcademiaNet does not only exist virtually. It has brought forward 27 local clubs, where members have the opportunity to meet up in an informal setting and talk about interdisciplinary issues, particularly those revolving around gender, equality and anything that affects the lives of female researchers. Above all, it gives members a platform to network and further increase their visibility.
The AcademiaNet Club Bremen-Oldenburg, the 25th of its kind, took it one step further and used this platform to organise a workshop aiming at developing a project to support young female researchers in the region. On April 10th 2018, they established a White Paper and with it passed a package of measures intended to optimise the essential prerequisites for women to obtain leading positions in science. The North-Western region of Germany has already seen an increasing number of female scientists in leading positions. The AcademiaNet Club wants to make use of this positive development to further improve the situation with a pilot project using innovative ways of advancing women’s careers in science.
The aim of the programme is threefold: Firstly, it stipulates targeted recruiting efforts towards women in scientific institutions. Secondly, it adapts proven mentoring and coaching programmes already established in the region to provide ideal support for women of all career levels. Thirdly, it envisions a multidimensional strategy to make careers and family more compatible. On the one hand, this includes reliable and flexible child-care opportunities. On the other hand, issues concerning pregnancy and child-care are scheduled to be compensated by structural adjustments and additional staff.
This initiative created by the AcademiaNet Club Bremen-Oldenburg is strongly supported by the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg as well as policy makers. Notably, Prof Eva-Maria Feichtner, deputy head of Internationality and Diversity at the University of Bremen, and Prof Esther Ruigendijk, vice president of Young Academics and International Affairs at the University of Oldenburg, actively contributed to the workshop. On the same day the meeting was held, the participants handed the White Paper to Prof Eva Quante-Brandt, who is senator of science of the state of Bremen as well as patron of the AcademiaNet Club Bremen-Oldenburg.
The successful workshop organised by AcademiaNet members shows: There is much tailwind in Northern Germany for the promotion of women scientists.
(© AcademiaNet / Spektrum.de / AcademiaNet Club Bremen-Oldenburg)