Photonics is a strongly growing sector of the economy and a major research area in Europe. In Thuringia and in particular in Jena, the scientific and industrial location is shaped by universities, research institutes and companies in the field of optics and photonics. While the number of young, well-trained female graduates is high, women who hold a leading position in academia and high-tech industry are still underrepresented.
Equal opportunity for women and men is a central issue at Leibniz-IPHT. The goal is to guarantee both women and men – irrespective of their corresponding qualifications – the same opportunity and chance to fulfill their career aspirations. This applies to all organizational levels.
Although women represent a comparably large percentage of scientific personnel within the Leibniz Association, the percentage of women in higher scientific status groups is still relatively low. The Leibniz Association is, therefore, dedicated to continually and swiftly increasing the percentage of women in management positions. Leibniz-IPHT welcomes the dedication of the Leibniz Association and is committed to implementing the targets within a reasonable period of time. Over the course of the past few years, structures have been introduced at Leibniz-IPHT to promote top female research scientists in a targeted manner, thereby increasing the percentage of female managers at the institute.
The fact that the percentage of female students majoring in physics and thus the number of female graduates is much lower than the percentage of male colleagues (e.g., compared to the liberal arts) has proven to be a challenge in the search for suitable female candidates.
This means that Leibniz-IPHT will have to begin promoting the advancement of young female research scientists in a targeted manner as early on as the graduate and post-graduate level. The long-term prospects for suitable young female research scientists are very positive at Leibniz-IPHT. Women will be encouraged to take on responsibilities that prepare them for leadership roles and integrate them more fully into the institute. This strategic approach has already proven to be very fruitful. The female leaders of several workgroups began their successful scientific careers at Leibniz-IPHT, simultaneously gaining the required leadership skills.