As opposed to other natural sciences, more women study biology than men. Despite this, as statistics show, many of them become lost to science some time along their career path. This phenomenon, called 'leaky pipeline', is not unique to biology and can be observed in all fields. The MPI-MP therefore provides women at the institute support for their career advancement at different levels.
Commitment of the Institute's Leadership to Equal Opportunity
Equal opportunity is a major issue for the institute's leadership. Our leadership understands its responsibility, within the frame of educating and training scientists, that talented female researchers find their career path all the way to leadership positions. Women discrimination can only be overcome by early-stage, targeted identification of talented female scientists, and their promotion and support right from the beginning. Our leadership welcomes and supports any activity that serves the empowerment and career development of talented women.
This starts with reports and individual talks regarding a project's status, conducted by a PhD advisory committee (PAC). This is an independent body, composed of two or three scientists, that accompanies and advises students and regularly meets with them and discusses advances in the project. In parallel we offer several activities specially designed for the requirements of women.
Aside from scientific and technical knowledge, a career in science requires communicative and strategic skills, too. For this purpose the institute regularly offers trainings in English on key topics.
Measures: Women Role Models and Positive Empowerment
The institute offers every week scientific seminars, held by guest scientists. Scientist are invited—female and male as equally as possible—to present and discuss their research and results. It thus becomes evident that successful women scientists do exist, whereby they can serve as role models for young female scientists.
In addition, invited female scientists participate in our Minerva Lounge event series, where they discuss their career path so far. The institute's female employees get the chance to come in contact with 'women in science' in order to perhaps learn how to plan their own careers. This series is organized by the Coordinator of the PhD program and by the Equal Opportunity Officer.
Aside from the scientific seminars and the Minerva Lounge, our institutes regularly invites scientists to the more general "Foresight Talks", where they talk about their position and activities within and without the world of research.