Today, women are still underrepresented in engineering - a situation that is challenging for many female career starters despite their very good qualifications. There is usually a lack of opportunities to exchange ideas with other female engineers and to learn and benefit from the experiences of others. With "Breaking the Glass Ceiling - early installation of professional networks for female civil engineers", the Faculty is launching a mentoring program that will enable female students at the Faculty to engage in this necessary exchange at an early stage and help prospective female engineers to be better prepared for starting their careers in the form of a structured, integral program.
The participants of the program (mentees) are accompanied by experienced professionals and alumnae, the mentors, for about 9 months. Topics that concern them and/or that they would like to work on can be discussed openly. At the same time, the mentees have the opportunity to network with each other and exchange ideas on an equal footing with regard to their professional development (peer mentoring).
In addition, the BreakING team organizes fireside evenings for the participants, during which they can get to know female managers from professional practice, especially from typical "male industries". Experts help the female students in coaching sessions to promote their personal development in specific areas and provide support. The diagram provides a compact overview of the program:
If you are interested in participating in the mentoring program, we only need the following information from you by Juli 25, 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org (please use your RUB address):
SHORT APPLICATION BY E-MAIL
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the project team at email@example.com.
After the first group coaching on the topic of "Profile Analysis & Career Planning", the BreakING participants were now given the opportunity to deal with central questions about networking and their own visibility in another workshop on 1 and 2 March 2023, led by Heike Schubert (comsense). In the usual protected space offered by BreakING, the mentees exchanged views on their previous roles in groups, worked out networking goals and collected tips on small talk. The aim of the coaching was also to expand self-awareness and sharpen their own individual profile.
On October 6, 2022, the first kick-off event of BreakING took place. After the application and preparation phase, the content work of the mentoring program "BreakING the Glass Ceiling - frühzeitige Installation von beruflichen Netzwerken für Ingenieurinnen" has now started: The mentees have met their mentors! Now the first metaphorical bridges have been built - time for a first conclusion.
On 12.09.2022, the mentoring programme BreakING successfully celebrated its opening. During the meeting, the mentees got to know each other better and exchanged their expectations and wishes within the framework of BreakING. We are looking forward to the upcoming time and are excited about the big kick-off event on 06.10.2022, to which we also expect the mentors and other exciting guests!
"For me, the program represents an opportunity to learn from the experiences of the female experts, to recognize new perspectives, and thus to expand my own understanding of the broad scope of the construction industry. All this is made possible in a protected space, so that even difficult topics in career development can be discussed at eye level. Mentoring promotes important social skills that will be helpful in one's professional life. And all this is realized in a group of female students with similar thoughts, concerns and desires - for me, the perfect situation to become part of BreakING mentoring."
"Mentoring female students is important for providing orientation, good tips and contacts for the start of professional life. The mentees can benefit from their mentors' experiences and use feedback to boost their self-confidence and as an incentive to start their careers. In the process, options are highlighted, because "many roads lead to Rome." In addition, it is to be conveyed what equal opportunities can mean in the everyday life of a female civil or environmental engineer, whether with or without a family. But also that as a woman, you have to hold your own in the male-dominated field of engineering. At BreakING, you can learn that there are other women dealing with these and similar issues."
With the Lore Agnes projects, the RUB Rectorate has been funding innovative equality measures at RUB every year since 2015. BreakING is also funded under the Lore Agnes program and is pleased to receive the support.
Faculty for Civil- and Environmental Engineering
Dr.-Ing. Britta Schößer
Project Leader BreakING
Tel.: +49 (0) 234 / 32 - 26313