Pathways, Potholes and Persistence - Advancing Women in Academia

Course description

Since a few decades the rights of women and in particular of working women have changed dramatically. But does this also translate into a world full of possibilities or are we still stuck in the process of climbing the various ladders under the glass roof?

In particular, academia is a very challenging environment, even more for women. Careful planning of your career is therefore an essential task, not only for climbing up the career ladder, but also for living a balanced work-life. In any case, a career as a female scientist demands not only careful preparation, appropriate tactics and a comprehensive strategy, but also continuous reflection and review. 

This seminar will explore various career planning issues faced by female doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers. It will provide both guidance on how to navigate your life as a working female scientist and a forum for discussion and networking.

Target Group

Female doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.


Dr. Karin Bodewits

Karin originally comes from the Netherlands where she studied Biology (University of Groningen). To broaden her horizon she then worked in Spain and China. Besides conducting research in industry, she gathered her first experiences in giving seminars to scientists and engineers in Shanghai, teaching debating skills and “Western culture” to team leaders at Unilever and at a state-owned electricity company.

Then she lived for over three years in the lovely Scottish city of Edinburgh and finished her PhD at the University of Edinburgh (School of Chemistry and the Medical School). Thereafter, she moved to Germany and worked as a coordinator at the LMU in Munich.

After arrival in Germany, she soon became mother and experienced how difficult it is to combine motherhood and a career in natural science in Germany. Hence, she founded the social enterprise ScienceMums (2012) that aimed to help women bridge the gap between motherhood and career. Almost three years later, she founded the career platform NaturalScience.Careers (2015). ScienceMums became part of this broader platform.

She became book author, speaker, trainer and published a wide range of articles around the topic “women & career”.


The workshop is organized by the Equal Opportunities Department and the International Office.