Targeted Addressing of Female STEM-Students (Fraunhofer EMFT)

Home/Targeted Addressing of Female STEM-Students (Fraunhofer EMFT)
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Description of Issues and Targets
The Fraunhofer Research Institution for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies EMFT offers a specially designed workshop for female students of STEM-subjects. The aim of the workshop is to increase the recognition of Fraunhofer in general and of Fraunhofer EMFT and its research activities in particular in the university environment. Another aim is to personally get in touch with female students of STEM-subjects. In this way, it is intended to win over women for a job as student researchers, for bachelor or master theses or as future employees of Fraunhofer EMFT.

Offer/ Action Description
The duration of the workshop ranges between 3 and 4 hours, the size of the group varies but may not exceed 20 female students. The workshop consists of short lectures on the Fraunhofer Corporation in general, the research activities of the EMFT and on activities concerning equality of opportunity. Centerpieces of the event are laboratory presentations based on ongoing research projects which take place in small groups. Afterward, while offering a snack we give space for discussion with particularly female scientists but also with female EMFT-student researchers and master students.

Implementation Approach
Originally, the event was part of a cooperation with the mentoring program of the TU Munich. Evaluations of the workshop, however, showed that the event also is of huge interest for other students. Because of that, the offer was expanded to additional target groups (e.g. female high school graduates).

Results and Modes of Action
The event is evaluated by a questionnaire which is handed to the participants at the end of the workshop. In doing so, the Fraunhofer EMFT wants to make sure that the event is actually meeting the interests of the participating students.

Previous findings show that the participants are especially interested in personal employment histories and career paths. Another important topic for the respondents are measures which make working in research attractive for women. Finally yet importantly, female students use this event to find interesting topics for their bachelor or master theses.

This Offer is Part of the Category
Career promotion of women

Success Criteria and Possible Obstacles
As laboratory work is only possible in small groups, a relatively huge expenditure of personnel needs to be considered for planning and realizing the event.  Conductive for the workshop is the long-term experience in career advancement for female students at Fraunhofer EMFT. Contacts to universities, their equal opportunity officers and/or active professors facilitate the institutionalized organization of such an event.