Wir laden alle interessierten Wissenschaftlerinnen zu unseren regelmäßigen Treffen des “CECAD Female Faculty Clubs” herzlich ein. Während dieser informellen Treffen diskutieren wir allgemeine und genderspezifische Themen (z.B. Karriereplanung, Möglichkeiten der Vereinbarung von Familie und Beruf, Mentoren-Programme, Unterstützung von Frauen und Familien durch die Universität). Der „CECAD Female Faculty Club“ richtet sich an alle Wissenschaftlerinnen auf allen Karrierestufen, um ein vertikales Netzwerk zwischen unseren Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen und den bereits etablierten Wissenschaftlerinnen zu fördern.
CECAD kennt die Problematik, dass Frauen in einer männerdominierten Umgebung bei Diskussionen oder Gesprächen aufgrund von Unsicherheit sich oft weniger zu involvieren oder bei Bewerbungsgesprächen zu zurückhaltend sind. Deshalb bieten wir spezifische Workshops für Wissenschaftlerinnen an, bei denen männliche und weibliche Kommunikations- und Verhaltensmuster reflektiert werden, um den richtigen Umgang damit zu üben und Selbstsicherheit zu erhöhen.
Um unsere Wissenschaftlerinnen zu ermutigen ihre wissenschaftliche Karriere weiterzuverfolgen, unterstützt CECAD die Teilnahme an den Angeboten des „Female Career Centers“ der Universität zu Köln und dem Cornelia Harte Mentoren-Programm, das Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen die Möglichkeit bietet, Frauen in führenden Positionen in der Forschung, Industrie, Wirtschaft oder im Forschungsmanagement zu treffen.
CECAD Ph.D. student Lena-Sophie Dreher participated at the CECAD supported mentoring program that has been designed exclusively for female scientists by the University of Cologne.
Lena-Sophie, please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you, what do you do and what triggered your decision to take part at this mentoring program?
· I am a third year doctoral student in the laboratory of Prof. Thorsten Hoppe at CECAD. I really enjoy working in science, however I aim to understand what other possibilities there are besides a career in academia. Therefore, this mentoring program was a great opportunity to learn more about job opportunities outside of academia.
What are the core elements of the program and how long is the program duration? Were you able to easily integrate it to your busy lab schedule?
· The program takes 1 year and consists of 3 different parts. One part consists of at least 4 meetings with your mentor. Secondly, there are workshops to strengthen your soft skills and to learn more about jobs outside of academia. Further, you meet at least 4 times with your peer-group, which consist of 4 - 5 other mentees to exchange experiences and talk about problems and chances. As the majority of the meetings took place in the evenings, it was possible to integrate the program very well into the busy lab schedule.
How was the matching between you and your mentor organized?
· The program starts with a kick-off workshop. The aim of this workshop is to find out what goals you want to achieve during the program duration and what kind of mentor would be the best fit. After this workshop you were able to talk to the coordinator Ms. Anne Schiffmann and let her know what kind of mentor you are looking for. In most cases Ms. Schiffmann can then provide you with some suggestions but you also have the option to look for a mentor yourself. As soon as a mentor has been found, the first meeting can be set up.
Who was your mentor and what were the main inputs you gained from her?
· My mentor was a female product manager working for Qiagen in Hilden. She was still quite young, however already working in her second position. This combination was great as she still very well understood what kind of fears and questions you encounter from a PhD student’s perspective but on the other hand she already gained experience in 2 companies that she could share. I was able to learn from her what a daily routine looks like in her job and what kind of skills you require to succeed as a product manager. Further, I was able to visit her at Qiagen to get to know the company and her colleagues.
In what ways has the program provided you with insights on how to grow professionally?
· The workshops that were offered by the program taught us many soft skills to succeed in our career as a female scientist. We had workshops about career-planning, application-training, self-presentation and project-management. Further, we were able to meet several speakers from industry to tell us more about their experiences outside of academia.
What do you consider the greatest benefits of this program? Would you recommend mentoring to other doctoral candidates?
· The greatest benefit from this mentoring was to shed light on working outside of academia. Since as a PhD student you get to know mainly academia, it is very difficult to decide whether you are suited for other jobs or whether you might enjoy working in a different field. During the Cornelia Harte Mint Mentoring Program I learned a lot about myself, about my options outside and also inside of academia, about the job spectrum that exists as a biologist and it taught me a set of soft skills to succeed as a biologist. I would definitely recommend this program to other PhD students and am very happy that CECAD enabled my participation.