For more than ten years, there have been technical faculties "only for women" in German universities. Here, in the absence of machos, they raise the tomorrow technical elite.
Astonishment, astonishment, astonishment – this is the first reaction to the information that there are technical faculties which are off limits to men in German universities. Women's faculties are not trumpeted in society: one can expect everything from a young generation of women, but not the building of a wall between the genders. However, on closer inspection, it turns out that the idea of creating a faculty "without men" is not only good but excellent.
The Model Works!
"Apparently, we came up with a good idea if the model became popular among people," says Kerstin Abel, who teaches at the women department of economic engineering at the Jade Hochschule Wilhelmshaven. "And by the way, we are very proud of our role as pioneers."
Indeed, the first women's technical department arose precisely in the small coastal Wilhelmshaven in 1997. Over time, the model really "became popular" – now there are five purely female high schools throughout the whole Germany, in which about 520 students study. In addition to Wilhelmshaven, there are the Hochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft, Hochschule Bremen, Hochschule Furtwangen University, and Fachhochschule Stralsund.
Of course, the discussion about women and technology has been going on since the invention of the wheel. But if you look at things without prejudice, then there are interesting facts. The fact is that the requirements for technical workers over the past decades have changed radically.
Modern "techies" should have broad knowledge in related fields, be able to present their work in a foreign language, and work in a team. The journal News of the Berlin Technical University presented data according to which only one among three young people entering the engineering faculties in Germany possess both good technical and communicative skills.
It turns out that women whose trump cards are communication and teamwork are simply worth their weight in gold in technical industries. "I often receive information about job vacancies specially for women," Kerstin Abel says, "female engineers are sold like hot cakes."
Curriculum Without Macho
But how to entice girls on technical faculties? Be that as it may, we must admit that men are better prepared to study in technical universities. In the end, the girls are not given a meccano, and the drawings of generators are not printed in woman magazines. It turns out that young men entering technical schools initially find themselves in a more privileged position: there are more of them, they are better prepared and, in addition, armed with an inexhaustible supply of jokes about women and technology. It is not easy to sustain this pressure.
In the Wilhelmshaven High School, it was decided to compensate the privileges of men, making the entrance for women to the "world of technology" as comfortable as possible. "When you know that you will have to study in the environment of women, it's much easier to take this step," says Kerstin Abel, a lecturer at the Women's Department of Economic Engineering at Wilhelmshaven High School. At the disposal of girls, there are smaller groups, a more attentive attitude of teachers and, last but not least, the absence of machos.
Support is Provided
"The curriculum remains the same, just as in the mixed groups," says Kerstin Abel, "the curriculum is not any easier for us." In fact, a group remains purely female only for the first three semesters, and then the groups are again mixed – to the general pleasure." A girl can go to a mixed group at any stage of training if she wants it.
The website of the faculty is full of parting words for girls who plan to enter the "women's department." The main motto is not to be afraid! Here's how one of the female students addresses applicants: "Do not worry, almost all of us had to start from scratch; and professors do not expect us to be technicians." Before giving you serious things, teachers will first explain all the basics. If something is not clear, we with the girls stick together and help each other, and professors are always ready to help."
Why Women are Inferior in Science
It is not enough to have purposefulness, diligence, and qualification. You need to be able to present yourself. As we had already said, many women feel better with communication or so-called “soft skills.” However, it is not an inborn feature of the woman. "The more you progress in your studies and career, the more noticeable is the difference in the behavior of men and women," said Astrid Wallrabenstein, professor of law.
The 42-year-old professor believes that at the first stage of the studies the students of both genders show the same activity: they write for the seminars and make presentations. But over time, girls take a back seat, while boys are eager to talk about their knowledge to the whole world.
Walrabenstein herself succeeded in science. Today she proudly bears the title of professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. And the support program helped her in this. At special seminars, she had to learn how to declare herself.
All in all, a modern progressive world gives the fair sex even more privileges, providing opportunities, moral support, and a good start. Female technical faculties play not the last role in this process. On the one hand, they have become very this environment where a woman does not have to be afraid to be teased. On the other hand, is this not crazy to establish special educational institutions just because of someone’s unwillingness to change their perception regarding the woman?