moving around/climate for women

Sabine Dippel sabine at
Fri Jun 21 03:42:40 EST 1996

In article <4qbup4$mme at>, mbrown at fred (Megan Brown) writes:
|> Dorothee,
|> Thanks for contributing to this discussion. It is very interesting to hear
|> the situation in countries besides the U.S. Now could you tell us what all
|> those women in Germany do who drop out of research after their PhDs? Do
|> they teach? Do they work at Biotech companies? Do they do something
|> totally unrelated to biological science, e.g. work in the computer
|> industry? Are many of them unemployed? Or fulltime mothers?

I don't have any statistics, but I think that a large portion simply becomes
fulltime mothers, others work in industry. I don't think any of them teach,
because here in Germany most schools and nearly all universities (I think there
are only 2 private universities in Germany, one of them only offering stuff
like finance etc.). That means that the state regulates what kind of education
you have to have to teach; in high schools that is a special teaching degree,
in universities you have to be a professor (which means that you also have
to do research). You can't just go and teach a few courses at a community 
college (these things don't exit here).

|> Anyone from France out there? I heard a while ago that the way the French
|> Universities choose their professors is through a sort of central
|> application procedure, where all the openings at all French universities
|> are processed through a central ministry that matches up those looking
|> for professorships with the available slots that year. The top candidates
|> (judged by whom, I'm not sure) are assigned the available jobs. These
|> lucky ones go to the university to which they are assigned. There is no
|> choice of what university to go to or what city or any opportunity to have
|> more than one offer to choose from. The candidates don't even
|> interview at the university they will be working at. Whether your spouse
|> can find a job in the designated city certainly never enters into the
|> equation. So even more so in France than in the U.S., having a portable
|> spouse is essential for academic career advancement. This system makes all
|> the "family-unfriendly" policies in the U.S. that have been discussed here 
|> seem quite friendly by comparison. I would appreciate comments from French
|> readers to verify or correct what I have heard. I have also heard that
|> these policies are not the case at French government research institutes
|> such as CNRS.

I'm not from France, but a colleague of mine just went through this whole
french application process (and landed a position as a prof in Nice), so 
I got a glimpse of it. Part of what you heard is true, part is not, though
I don't know if it maybe was true before (they changed their system somewhat
last year). 

In France, all job openings in universities and CNRS are announced at the same
time once or twice a year. Though the application procedure is centralized
in the first stages, the applications (after those who do not fulfill certain
requirements have been sorted out) go to the universities, where a selection
committee selects candidates to be interviewed and in the very end decides on
the candidates. Sometime in the middle of all this process, the candidates
also have to appear in front of some committee in Paris for a 10 minute 
interview, but in the end the university decides. 

However, the university (just like here in Germany) does not really have the
possibility to create a position for e. g. a spouse (or anyone else they would
really want to have. They might however, in the following year, try to apply
for the opening of a position which they will specify in a way to fit the 
spouse, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they will get the position.
BTW, my colleague's wife is a nurse, so she will have no problems to find a 
job there. 

In Germany, I don't think I ever heard of a case where a university was able
(or even tried to) fix up a position for the spouse of a candidate they wanted.


| Sabine Dippel     | e-mail: s.dippel at                | 
| HLRZ              | phone : [++49] (2461) 61-2318                  | 
| KFA Juelich       | fax   : [++49] (2461) 61-2430                  | 
| 52425 Juelich     | WWW   : | 
| Germany           |                                                | 

|> Megan
|> --
|> Megan Brown
|> mbrown at
|> --------------------------------------
|> Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
|> Seattle, Washington
|> --------------------------------------

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