Career Re-Entry in Academia – “Family Times in Science and Research” Conference


On May 31, 2012, as a closing event to the two-year research project “Family Times in Science and Research,” the Department of Gender and Diversity in Engineering (GDE) held the conference “Career Re-Entry in the Sciences” at RWTH Aachen University.

  Career Re-Entry in Academia – Conference on “Family Times in Science and Research” Copyright: © RWTH Aachen Panel Discussion as part of the "Family Times in Science and Research" Conference

As part of the conference program, the renowned social scientist Professor Sigrid Metz-Göckel (TU Dortmund) provided up-to-date evidence for the high level of childlessness among German academic staff. Drawing on findings from the “Family Times in Science and Research” project conducted at RWTH Aachen, Professor Carmen Leicht-Scholten from the Department of Gender and Diversity in Engineering discussed the reasons behind this and presented possible approaches to remedy this problem.

At the heart of the “Family Times” project is the development of a career re-entry strategy for employees at RWTH Aachen who return to work after a break due to family commitments.

The University’s Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development, Professor Doris Klee, lauded the career re-entry strategy and the other activities initiated by the project. Klee is confident that RWTH will continue on its successful path towards becoming a family friendly university.

In a panel discussion, the participants discussed the research results and the factors required for a successful career re-entry. It became clear that a re-entry program for academic staff is to focus on the implementation of structural measures.