Gender bias of women’s career paths engineering and information technology through informal support relationships and networks

Starting point of the project are the poorer career perspectives of women scientists in engineering and information technology. During their qualification process, which often leads to an activity in the industry after the PhD, networks represent a key for achieving a professorship or leadership position in industrial research. The project will investigate how these networks between science and industry research are composed, which mechanisms they apply for using network potentials in career promotions, and how gender bias is embedded at a microprocess level.

Based on biographical occupational interviews with PhD scientists in engineering and information technology at universities and in industry, the project will generate insights into the importance and functioning of informal supporting structures of relevant networks. In the sense of direct scientific communication, the knowledge gained will be transferred back into the scientific and industrial practice through participative exchange formats, considering change agents, transfer agents and career-relevant gatekeepers.

Aim of the project is it to increase and foster equal opportunities in (information) technological science careers by examining disciplinary micro-structures and micro-processes, especially of informal networks and their influence on successful career promotion in science and industry, with a subsequent reflection by relevant actors in these organisations.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research from November 2017 until October 2020.

Papers and presentations in English can be found here:




Dipl.-Soz. Wiss. Jennifer Dahmen

Dr. Andrea Wolffram

Team members

Matthias Dorgeist