Getting Started and Getting Ahead: Career Entry for Women


At the third “Futures Day“ for women students and doctoral candidates on December 11, participants had the opportunity to visit information booths, participate in a moderated discussion, and ask career-related questions: Is there a recipe for success when entering the job market? Would a career in science suit me? How will I be able balance family and career?

  Copyright: © Heike Lachmann The Futures Day for women students and doctoral researchers offered information on getting started and getting ahead in the job market.

The Futures Day brings women students and doctoral candidates together with women professionals from business and industry who answer their questions.

This year, attendants had the opportunity to network, talk to HR managers from companies such as Air Liquide, Bosch, McKinsey & Company, Porsche, and Continental, and learn about application processes and entry-level jobs.

RWTH representatives were present to introduce the attendees to job and continuing education offerings at RWTH.

A moderated talk with the companies and a networking get-together with beverages and snacks rounded out the day.

Forum for Women

The 2018 Futures Day was attended by more than 150 women students and researchers, confirming the need for such an event.

"We wanted to create a forum for the women at our university of technology – only about 30 percent of our students are women. In some disciplines, the proportion of women is even lower: the proportion of female students in mechanical engineering is a mere 13 percent. As a result, at some fairs and career events, women can almost be seen as a marginalized group,” said Ulrike Brands-Proharam Gonzalez, Equal Opportunities Officer at RWTH.

Comprehensive Support Program

In the past weeks, the Career Center offered various events preparing the students and doctoral researchers for the Futures Day; topics included negotiation skills, business etiquette, repartee, and small talk and networking skills, among others.

As Anja Robert, head of the Career Center, explained, “Starting in the first semester, we offer many support programs for our women students. The Futures Day helps them to envision their future professional lives and to get first insights into different corporate cultures."

The Futures Day is a collaboration between the RWTH Equal Opportunities Office, the RWTH Career Center, and the Gender Working Group of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.