Susanne Plaumann (private)11.03.2021
“Careers are now easier to plan for women scientists”
Brain City Berlin is currently shining with a very good appointment rate for female professors: Last year it was 46 percent. The proportion of female students at many universities in Berlin even exceeds the 50 percent mark. Does this mean that equality between the sexes has been achieved in Berlin science - or must further demands be made? An interview with Brain City Ambassador Susanne Plaumann M. A:, Central women's representative at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Ms. Plaumann, what exactly has happened in the last few decades at the universities in Berlin in terms of equality?
The number of female professors has increased significantly in many subjects over the past thirty years. In 2020, the proportion of female professors ranged between 69 percent at ASH Berlin and 21 percent at TU Berlin. There are now many women among those appointed who have started a family with children in addition to a career. At this point, gender equality successes can be clearly seen. The number of subjects with a balanced gender distribution has also increased significantly. Nevertheless, there are still specialist cultures in which men largely stick together throughout the qualification process. In electrical engineering or mechatronics, for example, the proportion of women is still below ten percent. In the Berlin comparison, it is above all the universities with a MINT profile that have not yet achieved the quantitative equality goals.
And what about other subjects?
In areas such as life sciences, there is now a large number of excellently qualified female junior employees. Of course, not all of them can receive a professorship, as their number is limited. The unequal distribution between the subject cultures shows, however, that the choice of subject is generally open, but gender and gender stereotypes still have an influence on the choice of profession and degree – and therefore also on future career prospects.
What can be done about this gender inequality in the choice of subject?
In the training and further education of teachers in schools, significantly more gender competence must be transmitted. In this way, a direction can be established early for the choice of advanced courses and influenced more favourably with regard to gender equality. For example, we need more skilled workers who teach IT in broad terms already at school. Too few professorships in computer science are occupied by women.
What are the Berlin universities doing to create more equality?
Over the years, the universities in Berlin have put a wide range of measures and funding programs into action and defined long-term strategies regarding equality concepts. This means that careers for women scientists are easier to plan than used to be the case. Even during their studies, we can provide female students with information that will facilitate their access to a doctorate or professional practice. The Berlin program on equal opportunities for women in research and teaching has resulted in a wide variety of funding formats. Only recently, the women and gender equality officers at the Berlin universities considered the appointment processes at their universities together and identified quality standards. We will continue to work with the results and enter into dialogue with other parties involved.
If the increasing number of nominations and appointments of female professors in the recent past is considered, the approaches mentioned are very successful.
The proportion of women in professorships has actually increased, but the performance curve in recent years has been flatter. If a third of the professorships are occupied by women, it “feels” as though 50 percent of equality has been achieved. The hindrances that women face (the so-called “glass ceiling”) still seem to make access more difficult for women. The pandemic with the closure of daycare centres and schools has also impressively demonstrated just how fragile the gender equality successes really are. “Re-traditionalisation” is now a new stimulus word set in opposition to the successes in equality.
If you could wish for something, what would it be? What should stay, what has to change?
The programs for women with mentoring, coaching and women advancement agencies are still important because the paths into science are not as open as they seem. This has been proven by various studies. Networks play a prominent role in science and especially at universities. And access to those networks is regulated by gatekeepers: They decide from within the network who should become a member and who not. Since positive selection often works by means of social similarity, it is predominantly powerful men who regulate these gateways.
Do women perhaps also shy away from knocking on the doors of top-class networks?
In the consulting practice of female scientists in the doctoral phase, it can be observed very well that women concentrate very much on professional support and maintain their networks on a peer-to-peer level. Contact with influential people is avoided or is even feigned. Many women also fear selling themselves or having to pretend, if they invest a lot of time in this part of their career. And that is considered taboo. In short: The belief in achievement, luck and chance is more pronounced among women than the knowledge about the value of networking and connections. This represents a hurdle for women that is not talked about openly enough in the scientific community. However, other diverse groups also have more difficult access to professorships.
What career prospects does the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin offer career-oriented female scientists?
In the coming years, around 150 professorships will become vacant, particularly at the three major Berlin universities of applied sciences, the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin), the HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences and the Beuth University of Applied Sciences. These are good chances of success for female scientists with at least three years of practical experience. Network connections are less important here than a successful combination of academic qualifications and theory with practical professional experience in industry, business or non-university research institutions. Anyone who is highly motivated to teach students in small groups should consider applying. Potential applicants are welcome to contact me and I will go through their documents with them individually.
What is your personal conclusion regarding International Women's Day?
We are successful in equality, but let’s be honest: More can be done!
Insights Transfer – Stories © Stefan SchostokInsights Transfer – StoriesA guest article from Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Selin Arikoglu, Professor of child and youth welfare at the Catholic University of Applied Social…→
Giving a scientific voice to the relatives of prisoners
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories © Berlin PartnerFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesWith a new image film Brain City Berlin starts the year 2023. Our Brain City Ambassadors are the protagonists of the video.→
“We are Brain City Berlin”
Insights Transfer – Stories © HWR Berlin/ Franziska IhleInsights Transfer – StoriesWith the project “KlinKe”, Prof. Dr. Silke Bustamante and her colleague Prof. Dr. Andrea Pelzeter at the HWR Berlin are researching which of the…→
On the way to becoming a climate-neutral hospital
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories © Transfer WeekFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesFrom 21 to 25 November, scientists can once again discuss future-oriented topics on a practical level together with companies from Berlin and…→
Providing impulses for cooperation: Transfer Week 2022
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories © Falling Walls FoundationFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesAn interview with Christine Brummer, director of Berlin Science Week.→
Opening up science for dialogue with society
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories Image: Shutterstock © optimarcFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesFrom November 21 to 25, Transfer Week 2022 Berlin Brandenburg will once again feature many exciting events aimed at intensifying the lively exchange…→
Transfer Week 2022
Insights Transfer – Stories Shutterstock © Monster ZtudioInsights Transfer – StoriesWith the help of Artificial Intelligence, the research project “news-polygraph”, anchored in the Brain City Berlin, aims to identify manipulated media…→
“news-polygraph”: Funding by the BMBF
Insights Transfer – Stories © Felix NoakInsights Transfer – StoriesBrain City interview with Dr. phil. Thorsten Philipp, Advisor Transdisciplinary Teaching in the Office of the Vice Presidents of TU Berlin.→
“Everybody knows something”
Insights Transfer – Stories @ Ernestine von der Osten-SackenInsights Transfer – StoriesListening to sounds like the bat: On "Sound Walk" with Hannes Hoelzl, sound artist and lecturer for Generative Arts/Computational Arts at the UdK…→
Seeing with the Ears
Transfer – Stories Image: Shutterstock © Yurchanka SiarheiTransfer – StoriesThe Berlin AI Competence Centre BIFOLD will receive 22 million Euro annually in the future from the Federal government and the State of Berlin.→
Millions in Funding for AI Research in Berlin
Transfer – Stories Falling Walls Foundation © Judith SchalanskyTransfer – StoriesFrom November 1st through the 10th, the scientific world comes together again in Brain City Berlin. Scientific institutions or organisations can still…→
“Dare to know”: Berlin Science Week 2022
Transfer – Stories EUREF AG©Gasometertour.deTransfer – StoriesOn the site of the EUREF-Campus in Berlin-Schoeneberg the transfer of knowledge works particularly impressively.→
Hands-on Energy Transition
Transfer – Stories © SCC Events/Norbert WilhelmiTransfer – StoriesInterview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Gabriele Mielke, Vice President of the VICTORIA | International University of Applied Sciences and also…→
"Major Events Affect Life in the City on Different Levels”
Transfer – Stories Photo: Ernestine von der Osten-Sacken (vdo)Transfer – StoriesThe Charlottenburg Innovation Centre CHIC hosts around 50 start-ups. Situated at Brain City Berlin’s “Zukunftsort” Campus Charlottenburg, the CHIC…→
CHIC - Business Incubator at a "Zukunftsort’"
Transfer – Stories Photo: Mall Anders/Matthew CrabbeTransfer – Stories“Mall Anders” is an open learning laboratory which was launched by the FU Berlin, HU Berlin, TU Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in a…→
Science in a Shopping Centre
Transfer – Stories BHT/Martin GaschTransfer – StoriesInterview: Brain City Ambassador Dr-Ing. Ivo Boblan, Professor of the Humanoid Robotics Study Programme at the Berliner Hochschule für Technik, and…→
“Robots Can Save us a Great Deal of Work”
Transfer – Stories (Left to right) Prof. Christian Matzdorf, Police commissioner Turgay Akkaya, Stefan Graf Finck von Finckenstein, Photo: HWR Berlin / Sylke SchumannTransfer – StoriesPolice commissioner Turgay Akkaya has developed an anti-stalking app as part of his Bachelor’s project at the HWR Berlin. At the beginning of January…→
A Preventive App Against Stalking
Transfer – Stories (From left to right) Steffen Terberl/FU Berlin; Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe/ICN Business School, photo: Ernestine von der Osten-SackenTransfer – StoriesIn the BioTech sector, the Berlin region is not making full use of its innovation potential. This is the conclusion of the “Deep Tech Futures Report…→
“BioTech does not get up and running on its own”
Transfer – Stories Photo: Christina Lüdtke (private source)Transfer – StoriesFour universities, one network: The network “Science & Startups” groups the start-up services of the universities united in the Berlin University…→
Wide-ranging Support for University Start-ups
Transfer – Stories Photo: privateTransfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Anna Klippstein, professor of finance and Eliyahu Mätzschker, student at Touro College Berlin.→
The Pandemic and its Impact on the Capital Market
Transfer – Stories Credit: André BakkerTransfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr Anabel Ternès von Hattburg, Professor for International Business Administration at the SRH…→
Getting on Board with Digitality
Transfer – Stories Swen Hutter (Foto: David Ausserhofer), Gesine Höltmann (Foto: Martina Sander)Transfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Gesine Höltmann, research assistant and Swen Hutter, Deputy Director at the Centre for Civil Society Research.→
Polarisation and Cohesion in the Corona Crisis: a Look at Civil Society
Transfer – Stories Foto: "Lucid Dream", Elena Kunau and Mariya YordanovaTransfer – StoriesARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE is the name of an exhibition that can be seen from 8 to 12 September as part of Ars Electronica Garden…→
Interaction via Emotion
Transfer – Stories Credit: Peter Himsel/Campus Berlin-Buch GmbHTransfer – StoriesThe Campus Berlin-Buch in the north of Brain City Berlin has grown to become one of Europe’s largest business and research centres for life sciences.→
A Vibrant Healthcare Network
Transfer – Stories Credit: Markus KrutzikTransfer – StoriesDr. Markus Krutzik, Head of the Joint Lab Integrated Quantum Sensors (IQS), on the "Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft" (Science Meets Business") event…→
"I am Fascinated by the Possibilities of Quantum Sensors"
Transfer – Stories Foto: ESCP Business School BerlinTransfer – StoriesWhat to do when distance is suddenly the order of the day? A guest contribution by Dr. René Mauer, Professor of Entrepreneurship und Innovation at…→
Using Whiteboards to Combat Digital Fatigue
Transfer – Stories Credit: Alexander Rentsch/HTW BerlinTransfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Florian Koch of HTW Berlin brings together science, business and civil society in his research.→
“Increasing Urbanisation also Creates Opportunities”
Transfer – Stories Credit: Rudolf GrillborzerTransfer – StoriesGuest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr.-Ing. Onur Günlü, Technische Universität Berlin.→
Exploring the "ultimate limits"
Transfer – Stories Credt: Startup Incubator BerlinTransfer – StoriesThe Startup Incubator Berlin at the Berlin School of Economics and Law is particularly successful in supporting founder teams – as proved by the fact…→
“We Bring Ideas to Market”
Transfer – Stories Credit: Mimi Thian on UnsolashTransfer – StoriesGuest Contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences.→
“Proudly presenting Brain City Berlin in 2020”
Transfer – Stories Adi Goldstein auf UnsplashTransfer – StoriesStadtManufaktur Berlin conceptually unites research projects of the TU Berlin under a single roof. The long-term goal of this “open laboratory…→
Science in Dialogue with the City
Transfer – Stories Falk WeißTransfer – StoriesThe knowledge portal “humboldts17” presents current research on the subject of sustainability and welcomes open dialogue with the general public. The…→
17 Goals for the Future
Transfer – Stories Foto: Olga Makarova privatTransfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Olga Makarova reflects on being a microbiologist during the pandemic, and the urgent need for microbiology literacy in society.→
Guest Contribution: COVID-19 and microbiology literacy
Transfer – Stories HIIGTransfer – StoriesBrain City-Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Research Director at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).→
“A sustainable goal of our work is to make clear what the technology can actually do”
Transfer – Stories HTW BerlinTransfer – StoriesAn interview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Kai Reinhardt. On October 28, he will be speaking at the second SpreeTalk at HTW University of…→
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization”
Transfer – Stories dentalXr.aiTransfer – StoriesdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We…→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
Transfer – Stories Anna Raysyan (private)Transfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und…→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
Transfer – Stories ©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und TechnologieTransfer – StoriesMany top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of…→
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
Transfer – Stories ©Matthias PicketTransfer – StoriesDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career…→
"Science is not just about research"
Transfer – Stories © Pocky Lee on UnsplashTransfer – StoriesMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the…→
"Now is the time for innovators"
Transfer – Stories © AW Creative on UnsplashTransfer – StoriesJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and…→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
Transfer – Stories © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschTransfer – StoriesTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied…→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
Transfer – Stories Franziska SattlerTransfer – StoriesIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at…→
"Science needs the trust of society"
Transfer – Stories Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensTransfer – StoriesSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive…→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
Transfer – Stories ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPTransfer – StoriesBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of…→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
Transfer – Stories © hj barraza/UnsplashTransfer – StoriesOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a…→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
Transfer – Stories ©DexLeChemTransfer – StoriesLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after…→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
Transfer – Stories ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipTransfer – StoriesBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based…→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
Transfer – Stories ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykTransfer – StoriesAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical…→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
Transfer – Stories ©fotografixx - istockphoto.comTransfer – StoriesIn the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project…→
Exploring the future of learning
Transfer – Stories © Brain City BerlinTransfer – StoriesResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and…→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
Transfer – Stories ©ESCP EUROPETransfer – Stories29.10.2019 | Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is…→
"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
Transfer – Stories Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeTransfer – StoriesIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to…→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
Transfer – Stories ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeTransfer – StoriesThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to…→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years…→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeTransfer – StoriesTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität…→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBTransfer – StoriesBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is…→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashTransfer – StoriesSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn…→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtTransfer – StoriesIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%…→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafTransfer – StoriesBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are…→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in…→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinTransfer – Stories660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development…→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets…→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018