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WIE Germany–physical meeting May 2017

Berlin. Although the number of women in engineering is steadily increasing, they are still under represented in the field of electrical engineering. Especially in Germany, the proportion of women pursuing a technical career is far below the average in other European countries.

To strengthen our WIE Germany section a physical meeting on national level was organized in Berlin last May. With a wide range of participants, including students, professors and professionals working in industry, we had open and constructive discussions. Beside others we had a look on the current situation of women at technical universities and considered the question if being a woman influences the professional career in male dominant environment. As some participants originate from other countries, we also compared the situation of women in engineering in Germany to those of other parts of Europe. One interesting fact was that, whereas in countries such as France, Spain or Italy, good students at school are pushed by teachers and professors to become an engineer independently of being a man or a woman, in Germany there seem to be a division of girl tasks and boy tasks since the primary school, what leads women during their educational development to get further and further away from technical areas. Moreover, we developed goals for further actions to encourage and support women in the field of electrical engineering in Germany.

The workshop was concluded with an impressive tour through the former airport Tempelhof, a historically protected landmark and a symbol of the eventful history of Berlin itself. It is an expression of Nazi ideology and served in World War II as a weapon production site using forced labour and, at the same time, Tempelhof is also a symbol of freedom: the Air Lift of 1948/49 made the airport famous throughout the world.

The next step of the WIE Germany Section is to create a larger network which enables an active exchange between members as well as a mentoring platform. If you want to be part of the network, join us contacting WIE Germany via wie.de@ieee.org !