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.
In our research, as well as in our daily interactions, we benefit from a high degree of internationality and scientific exchange. Curiosity, a recurring change of perspective and the questioning of fixed views are essential for excellent research. Any form of discrimination contradicts the basic principle of science and research. Leibniz IPHT is therefore committed to diversity in the workplace and an environment characterized by tolerance.
Advancement of Young Female Research Scientists
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.
Women in Photonics
With the workshop “Women in Photonics” Leibniz IPHT would like to improve the networking among excellent young female scientists as well as the networking with executives from research institutions and companies.
From May 22 to 25, 2022, the workshop „Women in Photonics“ took place at Leibniz-IPHT, finally present again after a virtual version in 2020. A total of 40 female researchers from 14 countries actively participated in the scientific program – in the form of lectures and poster presentations. With more than 100 participants – including renowned female scientists and numerous representatives of institutes and companies from the photonics industry – the Women in Photonics Workshop 2022 was the largest of the event series in terms of numbers so far. This illustrates the great interest of young female researchers in events of this kind and that the promotion of young scientists, especially young women, will continue to play an important role in the future and is thus an explicit goal of the Leibniz-IPHT.
The scientific focus at this year’s event was on the two research areas:
– Biophotonics (vibrational spectroscopy, fluorescence, optical coherence tomography)
– Photonic Data Science (artificial intelligence, machine learning).
The next „Women in Photonics“ workshop will take place in the fall of 2023.
The first international workshop „Women in Photonics“ took place at Leibniz IPHT from April 17 to 20, 2018. The objective of the event was to improve networking among young female scientists who undertake research in the field of photonics and to point out different career paths in research and industry. More than 35 researchers from 13 countries actively participated in the scientific lecture program and presented their work in poster sessions. All in all about 90 participants visited the workshop – among them numerous representatives of companies operating in the field of photonics.