June 22, 2024

International Women's Day: Where is the role model in science?

International Women’s Day: Where is the role model in science?

04/03/2022 – 11:16

SRH Fernhochschule – Mobile University


press release

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 for 111 years. Anyone who thinks that we, as a society, have come a long way in the twenty-first century than we were back then, soon faces reality. For example in science: here there are still no role models for young women and girls. There are a lot of them – but they are very few in public perception, as current research at SRH Fernhochschule – The Mobile University shows.

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“Why is it always just Einstein? And not Marie Curie? Angela Pettner-Wesseler does not ask this question without reason. She is professor of media and communication sciences at SRH Fernhochschule and researches mediated and public representation of women. an example In other words, their achievements in science and in many other areas of society could be role models for young women and girls – if they were, yes, if only they were more present.

Not always just Einstein, please!

“Einstein is a compelling historical example,” says Bettner-Fissler. “We all know the old, white, shaggy-haired man who has been an icon for brilliant scientists for generations. Without neglecting Einstein’s groundbreaking research: Why not also consider Marie Curie?” The French scientist (1867-1934) made pioneering contributions to the field of radiation research, and none of Yes, she is one of only two people to have won a Nobel Prize in two different disciplines – physics and chemistry. Einstein did not succeed!

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But it is necessary to highlight these achievements and to present women differently – in their active role. “Today, female professors have gone from being marginalized in academic life to being taken for granted. These advances are helping to break down the gender barriers that still allow men to make better progress in research. This encourages young women to go their own way in the sciences. In order to accelerate this further, the achievements of women scientists must be conveyed further – in media reports, but also by the universities themselves.

There is still a lot of room for improvement, unfortunately

Her colleague Dr. Petra Arenberg, Professor of Social Sciences and Skills Development: “Women can be role models in two ways. It is not only girls and young women who see that they can achieve outstanding achievements – men are increasingly recognizing this.” The gender-non-conforming structures described above eventually dissipate themselves. But here, too, the professors agree: even then, there is still much room for improvement, to put it completely unscientific.

Assess that your male colleague Prof. Dr. Can Ahmed A. Karim just confirms. The neuroscientist and psychotherapist published a book on Women Pioneers in the Middle East to point out the importance of the psychological and educational policy of female role models. “What women achieved in the Orient, from ancient Egypt to the present, is little known, even in their countries of origin. It will be of great importance for girls and women of immigrant Eastern backgrounds to know the life achievements of these pioneers and adopt them as role models.”

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Or did you know, for example, that the oldest existing educational institution in the world, Al-Karaouine University, was founded by a woman? Or was it the young Iranian Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017), the first and only woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, the “Nobel Prize in Mathematics”? You see, neither are we. Unfortunately!

about the book

Karim, aa et al. (2021). Pioneers of Ancient Egypt and the Middle East: On the Impact of History on Gender Psychology. Springer Nature. ISBN: 978-981-16-1412-5

We will be glad if you report the matter. Our experts are at your disposal for further questions and interviews.


Amelie Störk
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
SRH Fernhochschule - The Mobile University
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Sponsor: SRH Fernhochschule GmbH | Registered office: Riedlingen, District Court of Ulm, HRB 736223 | Management: Prof. Otmar Schnick

SRH Fernhochschule is institutionally accredited by the Science Council.

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