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Systematically developing a career: great interest in leadership

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Prof. Brooke Shaughnessy introduced the workshop “Leadership in Academia – Evidence based leadership for women” with the words of the 34th president of the United States, General Dwight David Eisenhower. The experienced trainer at the School of Management of the University of Technology Munich, who has just been assigned junior professor at the LMU, stated that leadership begins with self-reflection – about strengths and weaknesses, aims and expectations, values, standards and concerns.


The partcipants discussed leadership very lively and from different perspectives – according to their international background. Foto: Marta Mayer, DESY.

 “The topic of leadership especially for female scientists and in English still receives too little attention,” says Wiebke Kircheisen, CUI’s equal opportunity officer. “Again and again we also realize how important it is to offer the opportunity of networking,” adds Mirko Siemssen, coordinator of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School. Together with the Collaborative Research Centers SFB 676 and SFB 925 as well as Anna Logica, the women’s promotion program of Informatics for the MIN faculty, CUI and PIER had invited female PhDs of the MIN faculty to the workshop on the Campus Bahrenfeld.

In advance the trainer had asked the participants about their interests: “The topics Negotiations”, “Decision Making”, “Managing Upwards” and “How to influence others” were considered most important – and were discussed very lively during the well-attended workshop, particularly since the participants came from various countries and regarded the topics from different perspectives. “However, it also became clear that many female scientists repeatedly find themselves in situations for which they would like to get individual advice. At this point we might think about offering individual coaching,” says Kircheisen.

Especially regarding the topic of negotiations, the approaches of men and women differ significantly: 85 percent of men agree with the statement, that they themselves define their value for a company and thus they insist on an adequate payment. Among women only 17 percent agreed, according to Prof. Brooke Shaugnessy’s research within the BMBF funded project “Selection and Evaluation of Leaders in Management and Academia – How do Men and Women differ?”

For the winter term 2014/15 Kircheisen, in cooperation with the Career Center, the Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf and the MIN faculty, developed another module of four workshops that last one and a half days each for advanced female scientists, such as post docs, junior group leaders, private lecturers and junior professors. The focus will again be on leadership in combination with individual trainings. Kircheisen: “It is important for us to offer female scientists the opportunity to continue their education in this context on a scientific basis and to systematically develop their career.”