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#WomeninPhotonics - Panel-Discussion
According to the American Physical Society, only about 20% of doctoral degrees in physics and engineering fields are given to women. And according to the American Institute of Physics, only 13% of all physics professors worldwide are female. But why is it (still) like that?

Various studies show that women tend to avoid competitive situations, whereas men prefer competitive tasks. Science also shows that these preferences are primarily acquired through our socialization - in matriarchal societies, for example, the pattern is reversed. The working environment, including that of scientists, is often very competitive – probably also because it has been male-dominated for decades. So young women are often afraid to pursue a career in science and often rate their own abilities not high enough.

But there is hope: a study by Meier, Niessen-Ruenzi, and Ruenzi (2017) shows that women are significantly more likely to choose competition if they have previously seen a successful women whose behavior they can orientate themselves on. This is exactly why we want to put our successful female PhDs in the spotlight – to encourage female students to think about a career in science and a PhD in photonics and to apply for excellence programs like ours!


Meet Esther, Lisa and Najd, three of our #WomeninPhotonics, in a virtual panel discussion, let them tell you about their path to PhD and exchange ideas with them!
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