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6th HLF – Scientific Interaction: Gender Roles & Career Routes for Mathematicians and Computer Scientists

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Title 6th HLF – Scientific Interaction: Gender Roles & Career Routes for Mathematicians and Computer Scientists
Title of Series 6th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), 2018
Author Piene, Ragni
Wienhard, Anna
Regitz, Christine
Contributors Mirski, Peter
License No Open Access License:
German copyright law applies. This film may be used for your own use but it may not be distributed via the internet or passed on to external parties.
DOI 10.5446/40184
Publisher Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation
Release Date 2018
Language English

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Subject Area Computer Science, Mathematics
Abstract Gender Roles & Career Routes for Mathematicians and Computer Scientists Prof. Dr. Ragni Piene – University of Oslo, Departments of Mathematics Prof. Dr. Anna Wienhard – University of Heidelberg, Department of Mathematics Christine Regitz – Vice President of the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI) Moderated by: Prof. Dr. Peter Mirski – Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) In this session, participants gained insight into the gender roles of mathematicians and computer scientists, and what career prospects they have in both the academic and business environment. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation or any other person or associated institution involved in the making and distribution of the video.

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[Music]
welcome ladies and gentlemen please take a seat feel comfortable I hope you enjoyed lunch did you do you know what
TGIF means it's like thank God it's Friday and this time I think that it might be Friday afternoon even but we still we still have a very interesting and inspiring session here for you we prepare that because we are very much motivated in adding one additional focus to this wonderful forum and the idea which we had was to bring the spotlight on on you to bring the spotlight on young talents and the question what career path is out there for young talents what expectations would young scientists have if they stay in academia what expectations would they have if they would go to the business and the corporate world right and I think it is quite obvious and we all might agree that the Generation Y has a different lifestyle then we were practicing our lifestyles before but still if you see a classical academic career path is still a classical academic career path and we were talking and discussing that also during the week the classical KPIs for scientists or classical KPIs for scientists and the same is true for the business world right and perhaps it is it is my growing and really interesting to look once again behind the scenes and opening up their discussion if we shouldn't kind of bring the two worlds together bridge the two world's because as everybody talks about innovation and bringing bright minds into cool projects perhaps corporate project or even research project we have to think about how we can do that what are the expectations of young talents so this is the idea which we had when we came up with this Friday afternoon session and as we totally understand
Bavarian evening a lot of interesting talks and inputs lunch break for sure we wanted to make that interactive and inspiring for you beside the fact I forgot to introduce myself my name is Peter I'm from Innsbruck Austria I'm serving as a Dean for management and computer science and more since more than 16 years and one of my favorite fields of research is understanding skill patterns educational items and job profiles and bringing them in a meaningful way together in order to optimize labour markets for example so the idea which we have is inviting an outstanding panel which we have here and
this outstanding panel would we'll provide you with three keynotes
three keynotes addressing the the idea of understanding job roles gender roles and career pathways and after each presentation we will have the possibility we will strongly invite you to make this session a very interactive one and I asked my colleague deep Marquis Leon to take care of the catch box which you are already familiar with so there are always two options after a speech we could throw that randomly in the audience or you could just ask for getting the catch box and coming up with
your question we will play that by ear and see what what questions we'll do you have so that we can discuss that with you so here on the panel we have dr. Ronnie pnm and she is professor for
mathematics at the University of Oslo we also have dr. Anna been hard she is professor mathematics at the University of Heidelberg and we have Christina Daggett's here with us and she is vice president of the German Informatics Association please give our panel the big pen so I would like to ask the first speaker to come up and inspire us give us some brain food after lunch so that we have a
fruitful discussion thank you so let's see if this works can you hear me good so I want to start actually by saying that during this week I have talked to very many of you and we've discussed various career possibilities also I have been impressed by by all of these flash
poster presentations and in some sense it doesn't seem like you really need career guidance it seemed very well settled in what you're doing so but still I have also encountered a lot of questions so let me just say a few words about myself I'm as I said the mathematics professor at the University of Oslo my field is algebraic geometry it's not accidental that I ended up in academia in some sense I come from a very academic family my great-grandfather was a professor of chemistry and actually came in 1860 to Heidelberg and spent a year in the lab camp in the chemistry lab of Bunsen so this goes way back the building is still standing here actually in Heidelberg my father was a mathematician so when I started studying I started to study mathematics by default I had no plans of becoming a mathematician I studied in Oslo I went to Paris because it was cool to learn French and to be aware algebraic geometry was thriving at the time and then I got more interested and I went to MIT to do my PhD and then I eventually got a job back in Oslo so I'm I'm sort of home again I have no experience outside academia I've spent all my life in the university but I have had quite a few number of students and not I mean most of them have not stayed in academia first of all I want to mention that of my students more than half my students and postdocs have been women and that's not accidentally of those who did not stay in academia they have had they have gotten jobs in places like research institution Institute's banks insurance company what else teller companies one just got a job in a
bank and he's supposed to now do artificial intelligence and machine learning and what one is innovation Broadcasting Company it's a real variation of jobs and what I want to stress is that none of them have had any problems getting a job either after a master degree or after a PhD degree and the reason they're attractive in the market is actually because they did mathematics the mathematics or mathematically trained young people are very much sought-after at least in my country and I think it's probably the same other places too now I should say that when they end up outside academia they end up programming or doing computer science except for the one person who actually became a professional poker player just one of my best one of my best PhD students so I proposed to talk about poker playing here and now suppose you don't want to go to industry suppose you want to stay in academia talk to many of you who really would like to stay in academia and what are the obstructions in that case and of course the main problem is to get the permanent job once you have that as everybody knows who is in academia in a permanent job you know that you have a flexible job you're doing exactly what you want to do if you like students and you have to like students you'll enjoy teaching you'll enjoy mentoring students advising students you get to travel as much as you want almost you get to meet a lot of interesting people and everything is fine but the problem of course is how to get this permanent job and I think from my experience the the sort of difficult part is to go from the PhD to the permanent position and this period is called postdocs or it's called the tenure-track depending what kind of country you're in and where you actually where you make your career and the problem that I see with my students who could have would have wanted to stay in academia but you choose to not do it is because of they have a partner who doesn't want to travel because the partner has a job somewhere they have already a child or two they have plans of getting children and how do you combine the two body or many-body problem with your wish of staying in academia and I know of several young couples one live in one country one lives in another country and they're trying to solve their one body problem the two body problem and I think this is this is a problem which I don't see any obvious solutions and you all know about them because you probably know people who have those problems and it's of course a big hindrance in getting the necessary research experience in order to be able to apply for a permanent position and things are getting I must say seems to me worse and worse it's getting more competitive there is more demands on like getting grants you have to publish I mean not only do you have to publish papers that's always in some sense been the case but you also have to apply for grants and you have to have even as apposed of you should have teaching experience because once you apply for a permanent position they're going to ask you what's your teaching experience what is your teaching philosophy I mean when you know in the old days nobody asked those questions so it was much much more easy to apply for a job at that time and as has been said by many of the speaker's earlier today and also other days you really need to love what you're doing if you want to sort of support I mean try to to stay in this process of getting a job and even once you get the job you're still in the competitive situation and you need to really love what you're doing so if you're not sure you really love to do mathematics or computer science then it's not such a good idea maybe to try to stay in academia listen you do it you don't do it for the money if you want to get rich go to finance or assignments or you know whatever but don't stay in academia because you're not going to get rich in academia unless you get a big prize but I think statistically not all of you are going to get a big prize it would have been nice but most of us never do that so and and you should I mean my advice is also actually that you should like to teach if you want to stay in academia I mean after all teaching is a big important part of academia if you only want to do research maybe you should think about something else what I also wanted to point out is that as I see it there is a big difference between countries and between continents a situation in Europe and northern America is very different from the situation for example in Africa and in parts of Latin America parts of Asia and the situation of the universities the level of mathematics in the countries is different from one especially from one continent to another and I just want mentioned when I was at MIT there were several Brazilian students there in the in the math department and Brazil at that time was not a big mathematical power to say the least but what they had realized was that if they sent out their brightest students to get the PhD abroad this was mostly in the u.s. I think they would give them a grant and they promised them a permanent position once they had finished their PhD in Brazil and they all went back and so Brazil slowly built up very good math departments I mean in addition to info which had already started and now they held the Congress they're the ICM 2018 was in Rio this year and this at the time would have been not very thinkable to put it that way so there is a way of building math in your own country and I think you have the possibility of contributing you should not all go away from where have you but it's it's nice to come back and be where you do that I should probably stop soon there's the question of role models so and this I think is something which is better discussed maybe in the discussion groups afterwards is it necessary to have role models some people say yes some people say no I was never ever in my life taught a math course by a woman professor not in Oslo not in Paris not at MIT not at Harvard rehearsal two classes because there were just no women professors but you can still I mean you can be her own model to put it that way you can just go on anyway now things are changing but the situation is not changing as much as we thought many many years back it suffices to look at this picture behind me and you see that we have a long way to go for sure for those of you women who would like to get in touch with other women there are several organizations which because these organized some of them were organized a long time ago when we thought we were not going to need women's mass organizations in the future because we figured everything would even out there is the American Association for Association for women in mathematics and this is the u.s. organization it's European women in mathematics there's the African women's mass organization there is one in India there's one in Latin America if you go to the web page of the International mathematical union and you look up the committee for women in mathematics you get a lot of information not only about these organizations but the various events conferences there are now conferences like women in number theory women in topology and then some of you may like to go to conferences organized by women some of you may not but at least there is now getting to be a choice so I think this is my time and look forward to discussing with you in the group
[Applause]
would you have spontaneous questions or shall we summit some of the questions up but perhaps he could we could try to have a spontaneous one people are might you just randomly choose somebody who could come up with a question it's the thing about Friday afternoon here you go thank you that was a nice discussion from my setting from African setting I discovered that there is a wide gap between male scientists and women scientists so I want to know what hard it is that you are put in place to
actually be a bridge clapping so there we have more women in science they're from below right now I think we are very few we may be represented and I would like to know what are the things that I in place to sort of bridge a gap thank you I'm not sure if I understand you want to
know what things are in place in order to bridge the gap between women in science and men in science so the way the core concepts behind advice yeah you think of remedies in order to to change it and I think the change can only come from the women actually of course also the men but I mean this is why the idea of organizing that's how you change things but as we have seen it takes time and there is no miracle cure I mean sometimes one gets a little discouraged I have to say one just has to work on it we can get back to it in the discussion in the front row thank you very much for your talk so what would you say are
today the biggest barriers for women in science are there still barriers and if so which are the most important are they still barriers for women to various
barriers for women to to be successful in science and if so which would be the most important ones yeah no I think I
think many women will say yes and many women will say no it's really up to yourself these days to if you're a woman you should you know not feel any limits barriers whatever other people will tell you their stories and you'll see that there are lots of stories out there and this has to do with being a being and under represented minority put it that way so we take two questions bearing in mind
that we will after what's going into breakout sessions and a half time to have a deep dive into the topic but I'm happy to to still have two questions here you go so there were no female laureates giving talks this week and I don't know I know that comes from like a lack of them existing but do you have any suggestions for how the HLF could do a better job in like you
know improving the situation of having no female speakers like obviously there's still successful females in existence so yeah I'm not sure I really got your question sorry I just I mean yeah it's not well formed I mean how could the Heidelberg laureate for him do a better job of showing that females can be successful when there aren't female laureates giving talks could you still help us a little bit we need more laureates women Laura but like could we
would learn to fight a minute Orient's talks or something I don't know all right boxes in the back
just one more question and then we have in the breakout sessions that's very dangerous play the back row this is working all right all right tonight exactly amazing contain your hunt dangerous okay thank you for this for surviving the dangerous situation please come up with your person yeah so I wanted to hear our thoughts on what do you think are the grass root level reasons for the skewed number of women
coming into camera science and math versus number of men coming into camera science and math like I understand at the higher level there is the numbers are pretty cute do you think there's a at the much more primary level there is a there is some societal troubles there yeah I think this goes back to I mean
the way we actually raise our children in some sense and the way society is and you see changes in certain fields like in to give an example in in Norway in medicine and I think like 60 or 65 percent of the medical students are women same happens in law whereas in mathematics computer science and physics the situation is more or less like it's always been there we haven't seen any big change and now you can ask why and I think nobody really has a good answer but again we can discuss more in the discussion box yeah thank you so much all right thank you
miss Tina the floor is all yours Thanks thanks a lot and probably I can also give you some insights and what you just asked and probably you want you to ask always when I'm asked to talk about what are the possibilities in the computer science informatics however you want to call it this industry it is very difficult because how can I transfer what is done in a job which is mainly
done you know with your mind with sometimes your hands but a lot with team working with colleagues so it's not so easy to explain what are the possibilities in a computer industry what you can do as an engineer as a scientist in this industry but I always try to this is why I'm engaged in the German informatics society because I want on the first hand side inspire young people to come and join that industry be it as an engineer be it as a mathematician or a computer scientist and on the other hand side diversity is my big topic and I mean diversity mainly for gender but the other dimensions are getting more and more important as well so the German informatics society is the biggest Society for computer science scientists in Germany so informatics translates in Germany into computer science and round about 20,000 persons in Germany are joining us and we just I'm just coming from Berlin where we had the last three days our annual conference and that was very interesting the future of work was the topic and so it fits to what I'm telling you today as well and I want to give you more this is why I want to give you more food for thought and less let's say a direct
advice because this we can discuss afterwards but I want to raise your attention to some facts and figures and that probably help you to understand what is happening out in the world first of all from the European perspective there's an from the European Commission
and there's something which they always do some reporting and it's obvious that in the ICTs are in the informatics computer and techn telecommunication area we need a lot of people to work in and if you look there and if you look at the gender percentages all across Europe we have still a way to go what you can see is especially in the eastern part of Europe and traditionally historically we have more women because this is coming from really the old eastern part of Europe so that was even a historical trend we can see and then you see the other figures but the most important thing is that we have by 2020 approximately 800,000 jobs not filled in the industry and you know with all the machine learning and AI stuff also ongoing the automation so the need for engineers or for people working in an engineering area it's much more important so this is a big space in Europe and I think it's all over the world that you your skill set is needed in many industries and you must not work
in the ICT industry because if I look
today at BMW they have so many software engineers and should just to give you an idea Fox wagons just announced that they will take people who did not finish University and will train them
themselves to become software engineers because they don't get the people on the market so the job opportunities are huge not only in Germany or Europe and it is not that it's kind of diversity is a thing that you will it's a nice thing to be or to have but it is proven that if you have diverse workforce that you are more successful as a business and if you have more women in the workforce you are more successful but if you then go to the other dimensions of diversity it's increasing again so it's evident that diverse companies are more successful in the market it is proven by studies so this is why also diversity and I'm happy that I see here is such an international crowd of young people that diversity is a real big thing for you and for your future as well so you have the best opportunities you can have and there's a big company which is called Blackrock who knows what is Blackrock any idea just correct this is the this is the largest investor of the world I think the Norwegian state fund is still bigger as Blackrock but let's say Blackrock is a big investment fund I think around about six billion dollars what they are managing and they have a CEO and the CEO is called Larry Fink and this Larry Fink wrote at the beginning of this year a letter a letter to all CEOs they are invested in so all heads of the companies they invested in and in this letter there was one sentence and just imagine this guy's responsible for six billion dollar investments and he said we also will continue to emphasize the importance of a diverse board boards with the diverse mix of genders ethnicities career experiences and ways of thinking half as a result of more
diverse in a way of mindset and in the end he wants to have this business as a successful business so he wants the companies he's invested in to be successful this sauce has asked one of his asks to the companies in the world
and I think this is a big thing because this was the first time such a guy wrote a letter to the heads of the other companies so you see that versity is really a thing which is bid business-critical and which is also seen
in the business as important and if you look at a study from the UNESCO which comes coming back to the gender gap this is about and this is only about people in engineering and science so the UNESCO researched globally how we are doing with women in engineering and science and you can see here this is what we see probably in many countries we have this drop from bachelor students when it comes to PhDs and in the end as professors so we see here that we have a drop of women after the master degree which is a pity and which we have to fight against and I think we have to discuss what we can do what we all can do and you can do as well because you are now in a position where you are also a role model for others you're participating here which is already making you a role model probably some of you will become the next touring water touring prize awards or Fields Medal receivers and if you look at this UNESCO study which is even more interesting is if you look from a global perspective so if you look from a global perspective and I always have to explain its I think
you can't very well read it but you see the yellow countries are less more or less at least between 40 and 50 percent female researchers engineering and science and if you look at the grey ones or even the green ones they are below 10% so you can see that there is a regional also a regional diversity so you look if you look at South America you have a pretty yellow appearance which shows that there we have a lot of Women Engineers or women scientists and the same for like Kazakhstan or Mongolia if you look to Europe this is not so well it's about 25 to 30 percent so you can see here this is a way to go and there's regional difference season if you're interested look for that study because it's very interesting they pick out some examples from countries where you have really about around about 50 percent women in engineering and science and where you have less they also investigate why because sometimes it is country specific sometimes it's coming with a culture so but it's also worth thinking about it so and this is what I also want to give to you because is also something we should depending on the country you're coming from we should have a look at and finally it starts early I think this is also what's shown in many studies if we don't have a good education system and if you don't have science and computer science right from the beginning in the education systems it'll get very hard for for the guys and
girls to become then in the engine then in the end engineers or computer
scientists so it has to start in school it has to it has a lot of has had a lot to do with education with early education and to bring these topics to the schools because if we don't if we stay with the numbers we cannot fill the positions which we need in the future so and yes we can do a lot here and my ask to you is you are already a role model
so you can already change things you can engage you can engage your networks you can engage at universities you can engage at schools and you can be then also a role model when you get a role model when you get a job right or if you stay in academia and become a famous professor so for the rest I would like to invite you for discussions afterwards in our sessions and yes by that thank you and back to you thank you Thank You crostini any not dangerous
questions from the auditorium I know
something from your diagram about the percentage of women in research I'm not
sure he's balanced because I did see Africa so what I saw there was South America South Europe has a stand then no I'm a Africa if he's so if supposed to be a balanced equation so we need Africa there those that will make us know what is going on among women because they are women in Africa doing research and is not calculated thank you okay thank you that was not a question I guess so that was more observation and observation thanks thanks a lot thank you for your
talk and everything my own problem comes from Africa you know who can compare myself with the European country in Africa we are kind of yeah running your program yeah maybe a raising children there for example how can you balance your kaya raising children gene your PSU apples dog but sometimes we have intention to do research while you look back based in our own culture we have to also look at a children so sometimes if I need difficult's has to deal with the children I or carrier so I don't know because I feel that someone dies in Africa so I can tell me how to do we've got some data as senior colleagues who Africa's how Eugene it's how how do you get to become a professor they will say that you know how you manage it so I won't really know thank you okay thank you that was also an observation I would say
he's coming I think I think he's now a
hesitant throw again thank you very much for the presentation I have one question is I think it's also something that really matter to all of us and you know as a white guy in mathematics like I
feel pretty bad about the situation and I would like to know like two thing like is there stuff that we can do as a white
man to promote like diversity and these are also stuff that without understanding it sometime you can also you know promote sexism without realizing it and can you give us some thoughts or some advice about it yes I think first of all I think the first step is to make yourself aware of things we all have biases by the way so we live with stereotypes this is why well humanities are structured in a way so we have our draws and this is sometimes culturally found that sometimes coming from a family but we are not free of biases so the first step is to make make where you make of make yourself aware that you have biases and that you always challenge and reflect a little bit on yourself and there are a lot of I think support what you can do for instance there's a big UN initiative which is called he for free so we're we're men explicitly engaged in groups in companies to support women so that the man connect between each other and then support women and then I think this is the first step to support such initiatives and the fact that the thing is also well and that the hidden biases you can't do and then you have this awesome sometimes indirect sexism which you don't even see that use it that you do it you will not you cannot avoid you can try to but in the end my advice always is if you experience such a thing first try to excuse and second take it with a little bit also of humor if you are the victim of sexism sometimes it's easier if you just yes make a joke out of it and say no got your no kidding this is not what you wanted to say and you know to not make it a hard situation but to kind of soften the situation by a little bit of humor or by a little bit of kidding the other guy so that would be an advice for the guys and for the victims of it but you can't really avoid it you can't be only if you're stay self reflective I think you avoid 80 to 90% of such situations for the presentation you talked about Avenue Ramudu then I thought about each of this mentor-mentee everything ok this time really be a barrier to mentor-mentee can ask a
mentor been on Africa in Europe how how helpful would that be thank actually I
currently have a mentee and she is based in India so I was asked to do this and I said well this is an experience because normally a mentorship is something very personal where you give personal advice or you explain personal stories with to experience and it's also and I was a little bit afraid of you know Indian culture is so different from European culture and also then the question before from the from that young gentleman and I don't want to you know make something wrong because it's culturally probably inappropriate but still I have started this mentorship and I really love it because it is also giving me some new perspectives because she is sometimes asking question way I think wow this is now a good question so this is in her life this is something very important which is in Europe probably not an issue and so I think it could be very fruitful for both and probably this is also the value proposition for the mentor you also learn something and you know it is kind of like this we call it today reverse mentorship where you have a young guy mentoring someone pretty senior and but I think also you can do it between cultures because also this gives a very good understanding and helps then also building bridges and understand the different cultures because also in this you know very personal dialogue you can also ask probably questions which you never would do in official meeting because it's partially politically incorrect but in a personal discussion you can say hey guy can you explain that to me so I would think this is very helpful in in today's world you know Skype is everywhere or FaceTime or whatever tool you use so I think this is a very good idea to do that okay thank you yeah sure pass it
down please thank you that's teamwork thank you so this is not a question I just want to know your perspective and this will also be nice for others to think about it so you know when we apply for you know some positions or some prizes they have age limit so don't you think there should be some relaxation for women I mean for some positions I have seen that you are all for some scholarship that your age should be below 35 then only you can apply so don't you think like there should be some relaxation for women like for one year or something or based on some you know history they should give relaxation to some women because this question came to my mind when I joined my PhD there was only one female faculty member in my department at my Institute and when I joined she just she also joined after her maternity leave so one year of high life somehow she has you know put do too okay so don't you think that things should be you know taken by taken care by communities or gone and so to give them some kind of relaxation so what do you think yes and I think this
is depending on the legislation for instance in Germany you have a law which also kind of prohibits you to work after you know when when you get a child so I think this is depending on the country but still I think in modern companies this is just a normal way and it's for both for men and women and because you could also call it a sabbatical because what what are what are the guys doing they're doing you know sabbaticals or you go on maternity leave or you go on a long vacation and I think in really you can see also a person in the device you see a modern company which always supports these time out periods as an employee if you have a company which does not do or which does not allow to be on a sabbatical or on a longer maternity or paternity leave I think you should really question if this is a modern company you can go to a traditional one if you like to because this is also depending on what you want but modern companies offer this and so I think this is yeah this is would be my answer to you and I think also this is depending first on the legislation because sometimes law also say that for these absence types you also get at least a seller a basic salary so that you are not you know don't get no money but this is depending on the country and I know that we are you know in the Europe we have the social system which is very strong I know unfortunately in India this is not at all the case and
ah mmm-hmm I got that question so the question is if you are on a longer leaf beard but with the child or B because you are sick then it's universities you should be compensated in a way that there's no limit of applying for a job from an age perspective that's the question honestly I'm not a university person so I cannot answer I totally agree that this should be the case and I could just say yes and encourage you to fight for it all right thank you thank
you thank you for your strong statement thank you thank you that's we move on all right this is on D hear me so I want to start well let me start just with the first slide to take out so I think if we look in career perspectives you should not worry you
are smart otherwise you wouldn't be here you're interested in mathematics and computer science and that the best prerequisite to have a successful career
you would find a good job so don't worry before I cut of course you don't just
want to find a good job you want to find your dream job right before I go further I want to just say a few words to introduce myself so my name is Anna win heart I'm professor for mathematics here at the University of Heidelberg I did my PhD and Germany where I'm from and then after my PhD I left to the US and spend seven years in the US as a postdoc mainly in Princeton and Chicago and then as an assistant professor at Princeton University and six years ago I came back on a permanent professor position to Germany I was during the time I was at Princeton I was also director of Graduate Studies so being in charge of somehow organizing things seminars for the graduate students selecting graduate students another thing which happened during my time at Princeton that my two older children were born and I want to just make one comment since we had this discussion I was very happy to be in the u.s. at that point and not in Germany so that I was forced not to take leave but I got a teaching reduction so I was relieved from administrative duties and from teaching duties so I didn't have to teach for a year but the expectation was that I continued in research and that was precisely I think what you want to do as a young scientist you'd want to continue in research as much as possible even while building your family so when I came back 2012 to Germany I came back as I said on a permanent position and I have two younger children twins which were born one and a half years ago and so being back in Germany and with a lot more responsibilities I decided not to take a leave again so I had to take three months mandatory maternity leave in Germany but I was able to using grant money to arrange things again that I didn't have to teach for a year but I didn't have to take a leave and so I'm happy to I mean in the discussion this discuss more about that so now I first want to I don't want to talk about women in science first but really about a career and I think the first thing you should always remember for successful career there is no elevator but you have to take the stairs and what what it means is you have to build your career step by step you never go from being an undergraduate to be a full professor and this might sound I mean trivial this observation but I think there's really something to it so I mean if you progress from being an undergrad to being ready soon to be posted to be a faculty I'm depending on your system or also going to industry at every step of your career there are certain things you should learn and you should prepare yourself well for taking the next step of your career so for example when you're an undergraduate you should learn the basics really to be well prepared and have a good fundament for the future career as a it's you should for example start building your own research network not just through your advisor but so we're making contact internationally and by yourself to be prepared to function as an independent postdoc and at every step of this career letter I mean I'm in
academia but every step you can go into industry and I think they're I mean similar things which which are true the other I want to say at every step you should find mentors and mentors from perhaps one step ahead of you two steps ahead of you and these mentors don't have to have the same gender as you have so it's really I think in role models and one thing as a young woman you don't have to have female mentors you might have female mentors but a lot of good mentors are also me and so if I look at my career all of my most important mentors were men and not women the other I think important thing to realize that you move from one step to the next and you should do it in a timely manner it doesn't help your career if you are postdoc for six years or nine years it's if you have the chance to move up one step it's good to take the chance and you should worry about things when you have to worry so if you are beginning undergraduate student or undergraduate student and you don't want to start building a family at that point don't vary too much about combining family and career you should worry about the things and aspire to the things you want to do and not worry about everything burry when you have to worry about it so I mean of course we learned this morning nothing
goes without hard work so you have to work hard you have to enjoy what you're doing but you also have to find your way so throughout your career other people
do it other wise but there's a lot of diversity there are many different ways to build a successful career in mathematics and computer science and you have to find your way of doing it so you have to take the freedom and have the self-confidence to pick your own priorities to follow your dreams your instincts and go where you want to go and do what you want to do I think it helps to be open positive and persistent so sometimes things come different than you think and sometimes situations which were unexpected and perhaps not the situation you wish for are actually good for your development so it's I think always good to be open and see what the future will bring and be optimistic in it so don't be too pessimistic I mean there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of possibilities in academia and in industry and the be optimistic without too high expectations so I think a lot of hard feelings also come from someone having expectations which are not met and you should I mean you should aspire to what you want to do but perhaps don't keep the expectations too high to be too disappointed but be open and flexible to deal with new situations so I want to add a few more also personal comments so it was a saying somehow tradition is saying behind every successful man there is a successful woman or it is that there there is a woman in the background so I mean concerning with the the topic you raised before in the question so it's actually I mean also behind many successful women there are men supporting them so for example my career would not have gone the same way without my husband I'm taking care of our family responsibilities as well and of course we should have a society and working conditions academia where you are not dependent on some of what your partner does in order to have a successful career but it's I mean it's your personal life and your career is interlinked in that and it will never I mean you can't can't separate the two completely so I think for I mean both men and women in computer science and mathematics you have really a bright future and a lot of possibilities in front of you and this is not just for man and not just for women but for both of us thank you questions from the audience
[Music]
the notion of sacrificing life for the pursuit of science and as I as I've grown older I've kind of realized that it's actually a pretty privileged position to come from because I can now say that I'm okay I can spend the next seven years of my life how much ever it takes to get to a permanent position being you know probably more underpaid than going somewhere else and making that money and the previous speaker also said something like that don't come to academia if you want to make money but that precludes a lot of people for whom that's probably not a choice due to either societal reasons or family pressures so I suppose my question is what what is there a fundamental reason why there is you know this pay disparity assuming that you know the work is the kind of work hours are you know you have to do too you know for the science but is there a fundamental reason why there is a disparity in pay between academia and Industry or is it just a matter of us in academia standing up and demanding to be paid better because obviously industry is recognizing that people are smart because which is why you know you get to saying that you know don't worry you'll get jobs then why don't we pay a researchers more because that way we include more people and I it seems to me like that's good for science so I mean I
would first say that it's not I mean I mean you don't earn I mean you can live very well on a scientists salary in Germany at least I mean and in do you yes that's in some sense the two countries I experienced so I don't think that you I mean it's something you cannot afford I agree that I mean the disparity between salaries in industry and salary assigns is huge and I would I personally think that universities in particular in Germany but also universities and there should pay better I mean should pay scientists better but I think that there's also one thing one factor what you should not forget about as a scientist you are free to do what you want and you are free to work when you want except when you have to teach a class and this freedom and self responsibility is something you don't have when you work in industry I mean you have to if you work in industry someone else tells you I mean there's a goal which someone has set for you and I mean you're not that flexible to to adapt your work schedule so a colleague of mine in at Brown said well and I like the saying we can't decide how much we are paid in total but we have a lot of freedom to decide our hourly rate right and this is something
I agree and that's what people used to justify it to ourselves but I don't know if that that's really know but I I mean I I completely I agree that salaries
should be higher but I don't think that you can expect tellers to be as high as in a if you work in industry chance so we take the last question I just wanted
to second her comment from last time and say there are a lot of these age based Awards just like the Forbes 30 under 30 I think they level it up price until age
40 or something given out every four years so if you really have kids I'm just hearing this from some female friends you know they're very small chances you can actually get those Awards so that was one comment then the second comment so you pointed at the poster and you know for the Turing award I can somewhat understand the distribution because maybe 40 50 years ago there were very few woman and computer science now two years ago I applied for some of these dissertation Awards so the diee dissertation award and the ACM dissertation award knavish was surprised by the numbers because that was the first time I really dig deeper into how many women are in these awards list so just some numbers so the ACM dissertation award has a main prize and two honorable mentions so that's really year and over the last ten years so that's 30 Awards there was one woman who wanted that's represent over the last 10 years and I think they're more PhD student female PhD students represent the same for the GE Awards not quite as extreme so I got it lucky leaders like last year but I was also the first woman and 10 years right and it was split yeah it was split between me and the man which is fine you know I don't care but that basically goes down toward like 5% for women or so I'm not sure what the female PhD raters and computer science in Germany but I think it's more than 5% did you check how many applying so that's the other thing right so if they're not so you know how do you actually apply right it always says all the department has to nominate you but somebody is to tell the department who should be nominated right and the only reason why I got all of these awards ever on my CV is because I just my advisories again and again to nominate me I'm not sure how many no seriously and I'm not sure how many female students have the confidence to do this right so we should probably make sure that equal at least I'm not saying more common than we have in computer science right but equal amounts should apply or we should try to you know put some effort behind like making sure that equal applications at least come in so actually I would like to comment on that sorry I mean I agree that there should be more we it would be great to see more woman laureates and I think it's also not there's no I mean even in mathematics for currently we have none right because Miriam is a Connie passed away it's and it's not that they weren't I mean even if the other parts they weren't women studying mathematics and doing great research and mathematics before but I must say for me the prize is not really I mean we're at the lower it forum so yeah of course you look at it but it's not the main thing you should look at it because I also know many male mathematicians for example who deserve the Fields Medal but didn't get it because they're 4 in 4 years so I think it's I mean it's important to raise the awareness but I pursue must say at all these decisions is it prizes is it faculty positions I don't think that we should have any quota it should remain decision on quality and not on quota okay thank you
a very nice one that's the idea okay your last words so I'm a master student and what I done so far I was applying for graduated schools and creative schools right we strongly encourage women to apply okay I was admitted some
of my course mates Mayo course mates wasn't and after this there is a question kind of I'm a admitted because I'm a mathematician or because I'm women so from my perspective every time I see that we encourage women students or we have this quarter it's kind of discriminate me much more because after this I'm not sure I'm here because of my qualities or because I'm just women so I think nowadays in some ways we haven't so in some ways we need to have some encourage but in some areas we go other way around and it's kind of new discrimination type but so I I want to tell you one thing
whenever you get a prize or position or anything you got it because it deserved it and you should never ever know but you should never ever think there might be someone who tells you I had this happen to a friend of mine who got the position at MIT and some guy told her oh he just got it because you're a woman the your answer to such a comment should be you jerk you are just ending but I think and and this is why I think
it's one of them in some sense most important things for for your careers too I mean we had this this morning there's a fine line between courage and arrogance but I think it's very important especially as a young woman in math and computer science to have self-confidence and this is not arrogance but to have self-confidence if you get admitted you got admitted because you deserve to be there when I was a postdoc at the Institute for Advanced Study my first post on the first two weeks I was I mean they were my office made was actually Venkatesh who just got the feeds medal this year and there were tons of people of that sort running around and so the first two weeks at on well do i I mean do I really belong here or not and after Twigg excited I don't care so I'm here I'm here for a year the the only thing I should do is do the best I mean make the best of it and not care whether I mean perhaps I was weaker or stronger or when then someone else who got admitted or not admitted so if you are there you are there and you should make the best out of it thank you [Applause]
thanks again what we've learned is that
we all have deserve to be here thank you for appalling it thank you so much also thank you for for your open
questions and for this really open discussion and I think this is something which makes a forum a forum that you can come up with each question and each opinion and discuss that Vanessa learned and we learned that you are you are very active in discussing things we therefore also designed these tea to breakout workshops which will take place in the first floor in the seminar room W 1 and W 2 one will be moderated by Keith McKeon and one will be moderated by me
and we will separate our panel towards the field of careers in academia and careers in on the business side so that will directly take place after this
session in the first floor and in this
auditorium you will have the possibility to watch a film with the title head
heart and soul by ekaterina Eremenko so this will be here then in the auditorium thank you so far just one remark one
little remark because I just can't resist to say that in in terms of the position being a Dean of computer science even if a lot of companies would say quit your studies and we educate you on sight from my perspective this is not a good idea thank you so much [Applause] [Music]
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