Review of the Women@DGM New Year's Brunch 2024

Discover how women in materials science and engineering discussed excellence, leadership, and challenges at this year's Women@DGM New Year's Brunch.

This year's Women@DGM New Year's Brunch on the topic "Is 'to be good' good enough?" took place at the end of January 2024. Organized by the Women@DGM committee, this event offered women in materials science and engineering a platform for exchange and networking. Around 30 participants took part in this brunch, coordinated by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Birgit Skrotzki, Dr. Blanka Lenczowski and Prof. Dr. Martina Zimmermann. The discussions focused on issues of excellence, leadership and the challenges faced by women in science.

A central question was whether it is enough to simply be "good" or whether women in science should strive for excellence. It was emphasized that a good leadership style is characterized by calm, confident energy and that an inspiring leader is crucial for scientific success. The event offered insights into various funding opportunities such as the DFG Walter Benjamin Program for postdoctoral researchers, the DFG Emmy Noether Program and the Horizon Europe program with the Marie Curie project, which provides 100% funding. These programs enable young female scientists to advance their careers and fund their research projects.

The discussion also covered the challenges faced by women in science, such as visibility in the scientific community, networking and work-life balance. Women in materials science in particular should therefore increase their presence in the scientific community and continuously improve their scientific profiles. The attendees emphasized how important it is to be involved not only in one's own scientific discipline, but also in the various networks within the university and industry. The Max Kade Foundation and the German University Association were mentioned as valuable resources for women in materials science and engineering. It was also made clear that it is never too late to develop personally and professionally, whether through international collaborations or exploring new fields of research in collaboration with other scientists.

Finally, the importance of self-confidence and self-presentation was highlighted, as these factors are crucial for success in science.

This coming September, the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Congress will once again feature a Women's Breakfast. As with MSE 2022 and EUROMAT 2023, this event aims to create an inclusive and supportive environment for women in materials science and engineering and encourage them to stay in touch and support each other.

The Women@DGM New Year's Brunch thus provided a space for sharing experiences, discussing challenges and deepening the network to support women in materials science and engineering.

If you would like to become part of this network and the Women@DGM committee, you can register here. Your participation is very welcome and appreciated.

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