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Attractive Sciences Recruiting And Retention Activities For Women In Academic Cset Education

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.243.1 - 13.243.13



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Paper Authors

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Nina Dahlmann Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Maria Elsner Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Sabina Jeschke University of Stuttgart

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Nicole Natho Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Olivier Pfeiffer Technische Universitaet Berlin


Christian Schroeder Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Christian Schröder was born, grew up and lives in Berlin, Germany. After school, he studied History and Mathematics at the Technische Universität Berlin. The theme†education at the universit⁹ became one of his favorite topics. He started working within the academic structures. In January 2004 he became a member of the Commission for Teaching and Studying (LSK) of the Technische Universität Berlin (since 2007 vice chair). In January 2006 Christian Schröder was appointed as a member of the OWL-advisory council of the Technische Universität Berlin (10 mio.†¬ for the improvement of the Teaching) and in 2007 he took on the role of a study dean. At the same time he commenced his work for the studies reform project GALILEA.
Outside the academic life, he is a member of the THW (Technisches Hilfswerk) as a group leader and instructor. He is also a happy father of 3 years old daughter.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Attractive Sciences - Recruiting and Retention Activities for Women in Academic CSET Education


Academic education of engineers and natural scientists has to be adapted to today’s social and economic needs. One of the goals of the project GALILEA 1 is to design and implement innovative new undergraduate courses that attract a gender-balanced ratio of students at the Berlin Institute of Technology. In this article we describe the design and implementation of an exemplary new course. The bachelor course of “Natural Sciences in the Information Society” was the first of the GALILEA courses starting in winter term 2007/08. Its goals and innovations are illustrated in detail.


Our society needs qualified specialists. Industry 2 has been referring to the increasing demand of experts for years. According to the German Federal Statistical Office DESTATIS 3, a slow increase of undergraduates in engineering and natural sciences has been recorded over the past seven years. The VDE 4 (German Society for Electrical Engineers) even expects this increase of undergraduates to continue over the next years. The numbers are encouraging, but since we rely on technology more and more, common sense tells us that we have to increase the number of students in technology-related areas significantly.

Additionally the challenge for the education of engineers is not only a problem in terms of quantity but also in quality. The general demands on engineers have changed in the past years. A good engineer still needs an excellent technical background, but this has to be accompanied by solid communication skills, international experience and general management knowledge. More and more companies are also aware of another problem: the general lack of diversity in technical departments and research facilities reduces the potential for ideas and innovations. For companies this can affect the quality of products and in the worst case lead to a loss of competitive ability.

The ideal partners to establish modern forms of engineers’ education are universities. They have the advantage that they can pursue a rather short-term and quite simple approach: develop new courses and redesign old ones. Associated with target-oriented public relations, school graduates can be recruited for engineering courses and natural sciences within two years. These new courses can also focus on the potentially biggest group of new engineers and scientists: young women. DESTATIS shows a large increase of women taking into consideration an education in the natural sciences or engineering. The growth rate is significantly higher than by the comparable male group, although of course there are still more than twice as many men studying these disciplines. This is based partly on the rather negative and technocratic image engineering and natural sciences have for a majority of women 5, 6. The image often contradicts the demand of many young women (and an increasing number of men) to work in areas that address more than the purely scientific or technical aspects of a problem. They want to see that they work also takes economic, social or ecological implications into account.

Dahlmann, N., & Elsner, M., & Jeschke, S., & Natho, N., & Pfeiffer, O., & Schroeder, C. (2008, June), Attractive Sciences Recruiting And Retention Activities For Women In Academic Cset Education Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3864

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