Gender equality and career development of women

Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions

Jointly organized by Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C. and FES China, this year’s Gender equality Online Seminar focused on the challenges in “STEM-Subjects”, that the female workers are faced with in their career, and the possibilities to support gender equality specifically in this area.

"STEM" (also called MINT) is a broad term that encompasses four academic disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which are also known as male-dominated fields. This means that women are not only underrepresented in these fields, but also face more challenges. Our guests of honor, Dr. Simone Raatz, a well-known chemist in Germany, and Prof. Burghilde Wieneke-Toutaoui, an outstanding engineer, pointed out the imbalance and the problems behind it, starting with the lack of incentive for female students to develop interest in STEM subjects. But more importantly, women are always ascribed the role of taking care of the household and children, making it difficult for them to advance in these challenging fields. Dr. Simone Raatz pointed out that the percentage of women who earn doctorates is 44 percent. Only 18 percent achieve a professorship and only 7 percent reach the highest pay grade in academia. In her view, there are many ways to balance the situation. For example, according to Dr. Raatz, a binding women's quota for leadership positions combined with financial incentives could be reliable instruments for increasing the participation of women at the various decision-making levels in the medium term. In addition, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Excellence Initiative and the Female Professors Program reward progress in equality at the structural level with funding. Without a gender equality concept from the scientific institutions, third-party funded projects or special research areas could not be approved. And there is also a great need for action in promoting children's interest in STEM subjects.

Career equality is an important part of gender equality. FES-Bejing and the Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C. plan to jointly organize more similar webinars to discuss the difficulties faced by women in particular in other areas as well.

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