Sunday, December 1, 2013

Women Power

In its weekend edition the Badische Zeitung published an article: Women catch up, slowly. The title is surely misleading when the female author proudly compares the number of female students with the number of male students in Freiburg and its sister (sic!) cities with the result that the former are dominating. With percentages ranging from 52.2% in Madison to a record 60.2% in Iran's !! Isfahan female students have the majority throughout. With 52.5% female students Freiburg is only slightly "better" than Madison. Red Baron attending physics lectures was never distracted by long-haired fellow students sitting in front of him. Those days are long gone.

A determined female student is entering Freiburg's Alma Pater? through the main entrance.
The photoshopped picture shows Homer's statue with red varnished fingernails
(©Badische Zeitung).
With respect to master degrees the figures are 51.1% compared with 51.6%. Here Madison's female students are ahead of Freiburg's students as well as in the percentages of doctor degrees with 45.4% to 50.6%. When it comes to the numbers of professors Freiburg is a "developing" university. It carries the red lantern among all sister city universities with only 17% female professors compared with 25.9% in Madison.

Why? Red Baron's experience with female bosses is only positive. When doing my thesis I was working at an institute headed by a male professor who was rarely visible. Instead the institute financed by federal money was "governed" by a lady whom the Ministry of Science had sent. She gave us youngsters all the attention needed during our entry into the world of science and I am still grateful for her encouragement and assertion.

What Freiburg really needs is a female university rector whereas the University of Madison has already its third female Chancellor.

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