International Day of Women and Girls in Science

High proportion of female scientists at all levels at IGZ

12. Februar 2024
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IGZ © sevens[+]maltry
IGZ © sevens[+]maltry

Last Sunday, 11 February, the "International Day of Women and Girls in Science" was celebrated for the ninth time. The global underrepresentation of women in science is still a challenge. This trend is also still noticeable in Germany. This is especially true for the advanced academic qualification levels. We take a closer look at the figures at the Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ).

The research institute in Großbeeren, Germany, employs 110 people (as at 31 December 2023), around half of whom are scientists. The institute is currently well positioned compared to the national average: The proportion of female scientists at the IGZ is 54%, while the German average for scientific staff at non-university research institutions in 2022 was 35%.

Although the proportion of women in the group of doctoral candidates at the IGZ falls just short of parity at 40%, it is 60% in the group of postdocs. In the three management levels of the IGZ, from the Research Group and Programme Area to the highest level of the institute management, at least a balanced gender ratio has been achieved for several years and scientific excellence has been promoted. Three of the four members of the Executive Board are female scientists: the new Scientific Director, Prof Dr Nicole van Dam, who took office in autumn 2022, and the Deputy Scientific Directors, Dr Rita Grosch and Prof Dr Monika Schreiner.

The impressive careers of many young IGZ researchers and alumni show that the institute supports its excellent female scientists. One example of this is Dr habil. Franziska Hanschen. She started as a postdoctoral researcher in 2012 and completed several research stays abroad before taking over the leadership of a junior research group at the IGZ and completing her habilitation in the following years. She has been a regular research group leader at the IGZ since 2021.

At 70%, the proportion of women at the IGZ is also very high among the science support staff, which includes laboratory assistants.

For the IGZ, equal opportunities are an essential component of both strategic decisions and the culture of science that is practised. In promoting gender equality and equal opportunities, the institute is guided by the Leibniz Gender Equality Standards of 2016 and the target quotas formulated by the Leibniz Association by 2025. In 2022, an equality plan was introduced at the IGZ to promote equality and diversity.

The IGZ is not only committed to promoting the scientific careers of its employees, but is also actively involved in fostering girls' enthusiasm for scientific careers at an early stage - for example through its annual participation in "Girls' Day". You will soon find further information on this career’s orientation day for year 5 and above in the events section.

We will be showing you more about our IGZ female researchers, their career paths and strategies from 8 March on International Women's Day.