The number of women in science and academia drops with each increasing level of qualification in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields). In Germany about 50% of the students in mathematics and natural sciences, but only 20% of the professors are women. As a result, the STEM fields lack the rich diversity of the German 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, produced, printed and distributed in November 2020. 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 happy and fulfilled life as a scientist.
Please click on the scientists below to read their illustrated interview. May these people inspire you and encourage you to pursue your dreams!
To read the German version of these interviews, click here.
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.