Meta Project

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiated the funding line “Women in Science, Research and Innovation: Making Achievements and Potentials Visible, Anchor Visibility Structurally (Innovative Women in Focus)” to support research projects and implementation measures that contribute to increasing the visibility and representation of women in science, research, and innovation.

The „meta-project innovative women in focus“ (German: “IFiF” – Innovative Frauen im Fokus) started its work on March 1, 2022 and will accompany the funded projects over the next five years. It is implemented by the German Competence Center Technology-Diversity-Equal Opportunities e. V. (kompetenzz). The aim of the meta-project is to promote exchange and networking among the projects and to consolidate structures that strengthen the impact of the actions and thus contribute to the visibility of women in science, research, and innovation.

WISEMS is one project of this funding line investigating the visibility and perception of female professors in sport economics, sport management, and sport sociology. The goal of our project is to identify perceptions of female professors in everyday university life and at congresses, as well as analyze possible gender differences in visibility through publications and citations.

A (German) list of all funded projects can be found here.

In October 2022, the meta-project already organized a network meeting, where all funded project leaders and analysts got to know each other and could share fruitful experiences and enriching knowledge. A detailed report of Prof. Pamela Wicker and Dr. Katrin Scharfenkamp about this network meeting can be found below.

Interview with Professor Dr. Pamela Wicker and Dr. Katrin Scharfenkamp

Professor Dr. Pamela Wicker and Dr. Katrin Scharfenkamp were interviewed as part of the project presentation of the meta project. In addition to current findings applications and prospects for the future were also discussed. The (german) interview can be found here.

Network Meeting of the BMBF Funding stream ‘Innovative Women in Focus’

24.-25. October 2022, Bonn

Prof. Dr. Pamela Wicker and Dr. Katrin Scharfenkamp participated in the networking event of the meta project to discuss this research project.

After a short presentation of each project of the funding stream, the workshop organizers invited all participants to join the World Café. The world café included three parts. Firstly, project participants reflected on the relevance of key words “innovation, excellence, and visibility” in their projects. Afterwards, Prof. Wicker and Dr. Katrin Scharfenkamp were invited to reflect on how the input measures of the project result in outputs, outcome, and finally have a community relevant impact. The third part of the world café contained a reflection on practical initiatives of the projects and the suggested short-/mid-/long term impact of these measures. Furthermore, the target group of the measures in terms of politics, society, and academia should be defined. This part of the workshop was very useful to get new impulses on how to increase the awareness of our research from other projects but also reflect more critically on the impact possibilities of our own project measures in module 4.

On the second day, a bar camp was organized to discuss several topics in subgroups. Session topics varied from the professional versus private visibility of female professors in social media (and hate speech), strategies to increase the visibility of women in science, strategic project communication via LinkedIn, to discussions on how for develop a social media format for women researchers. At the end of the workshop, Prof. Pamela Wicker was a participant in the discussion panel “On the way to more visibility – innovative women in focus”. In the discussion panel of five further women researchers, Prof. Wicker discussed the pitfalls and challenges academia faces to increase the share but also visibility of women professors.

Prof. Wicker and Dr. Scharfenkamp enjoyed sharing ideas and discussing the next steps of their project with other researchers of this funding initiative. As the project started one year ago with a currently ongoing data collection, we received lots of helpful advice on how to optimize our further work on this project in the following two years. We are looking forward to present first results of our three research modules at the next network meeting.

Networking Meeting at the International Women´s Day

8. March 2023, Frankfurt

On this year’s International Women’s Day (March 8) – an international day of action for equal rights for women, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research organized an event for the research projects of funding line “Women in Science, Research and Innovation: Making Achievements and Potentials Visible, Anchor Visibility Structurally (Innovative Women in Focus)”. Therefore, Prof. Pamela Wicker and Dr. Katrin Scharfenkamp presented this project and first results in a poster presentation and provided personal arguments on why they like being researchers.

Starting with the inspiring opening speech by Federal Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, a keynote speech by Prof. Manuela Rousseau entitled “Having the courage to be more visible” followed. The key message of the keynote speech was that women’s visibility would be more like a marathon than a sprint.

Afterwards, the Federal Minister of Education and Research took the time to look at the posters and was informed about first results of the project. The event ended with a stimulating panel discussion on the topic “What to do for the visibility of innovative women in Germany? – Measures and Strategies”. Discussants in the panel were Prof. Dr. Sandra Ciesek, Stephanie Keppler, Uta Menges and Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee.

Workshop at the network meeting at 'Inovative Women in Focus' 2023

28.-29 September 2023, Berlin

At the network meeting of the IFiF projects, Dr Katrin Scharfenkamp (Bielefeld University, WISEMS project) and Maike Braun (University of Hohenheim, Diversity-X project) moderated a workshop on ‘Visibility and perception of women academics at international conferences’. 

The first part of the workshop focused on the visibility of women academics at international conferences. Besides giving input, gender diversity in the participants’ own field of expertise was assessed using an only survey with results directly presented afterwards. The first part ended with a discussion on the share of women at conferences. 
A second part addressed the gender differences in behaviour at these conferences. In this context, the participants had the opportunity to reflect on their own conference behaviour. The workshop ended with an open discussion and the development of possible approaches for gender diversity.