The number of women in science and academia drops with each increasing career step in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields). In Germany about 50% of the students in mathematics and natural sciences, but there are only 20% of female professors. As a result, the STEM fields lack the richness of diversified population. This has serious consequences on the research system. Diverse workplaces have been shown to be more productive, more innovative and more creative because people with different background address problems in different ways, ask different questions, and come up with different hypotheses and strategies to solve problems.
One way to address this systematic under-representation of women towards the top of the academic career path ("leaky pipeline") is to provide role models, women and men, to the students and scientific community.
To this end, a comic book called "Of course!" has been designed, coordinated and printed in 2020 (first edition) and 2021 (second edition). It features eight illustrated interviews of researchers who experienced gender biases and imbalance at home, during their education, and at their work place. They actively made positive changes allowing them to lead a fulfilled life as a scientist.
You can also click on the scientists below to read their illustrated interview. May these people inspire you and encourage you to pursue your dreams!
New stories of inspiring scientists will be posted here regularly.
To read the German version of these interviews, click here.
Read about some responses to this project, e.g.,
- an interview in the Italian newspaper "Il Piccolo"
- a presentation at an Equal Opportunity Lunch Seminar
- an article in the MünchnerUni Magazin
- a blog post on the EGU Blogs
- a presentation at a webinar on addressing gender imbalance in science
- a panel discussion on gender discrimination
This project has been made possible with the help and active participation of the scientists interviewed and with the financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG), in particular by CRC 165 and SFB 1114.