Women in Health and Computer Science

Steps to Success - Strengthening Women in Medicine and Medical Informatics

In Germany, more women than men of the same age qualify for university admission. Women are also more successful at completing their university studies than men. However, despite their promising entry into professional life, women are still underrepresented in leadership and management positions. Often, it is differences in the choices of subjects that are cited as an explanation for differences in career options. Nevertheless, as a comparison between medicine and computer science shows, an increase in the proportion of women in certain subjects does not necessarily lead to an increase in the proportion of women in research and management positions. Women account for 21% of the students in computer science; in contrast, the proportion of women studying medicine is 63%. Despite these differences, both in medicine and computer science fewer women than men hold management positions and pursue a scientific career. Some reasons for this include the lack of career networks and the lack of opportunities to accommodate family and career. To counteract this situation, women should be offered additional support in both medicine and computer science right from the beginning of their career.

In this context, HiGHmed's goals include developing concepts that support women in their personal development, creating networking opportunities for them and identifying career paths for women to succeed in the digital healthcare system of tomorrow - especially in the capacities of specialists and managers.

Previous Activities


Podcast DigitalisierungDerMedizin.de

The Podcast, located at https://digitalisierungdermedizin.de/ (German language), offers exciting insights into innovative concepts and projects at the interface between medicine and computer science. It is aimed at all those who would be interested in the overlap of medicine and digitisation and seek new food for thought. Unlike papers, newspaper articles and websites, our podcast offers a modern, authentic and thematically wide-ranging listening experience that focuses concretely on people and thus conveys the topic in a way that is both accessible and personal.

Through interviews with various female scientists and founders, the podcast aims to arouse interest in the topic of the digitalisation of medicine, especially among women, and to illustrate to them career paths in the field.

Our podcast was launched in 2019 as a joint project of the Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, the Technical University of Braunschweig, the Hannover Medical School and the Institute for Medical Informatics at the University Medical Center Göttingen. From 2020 to 2021, the podcast was continued as part of the activities of the HiGHmeducation working group in the HiGHmed consortium. Since the beginning of 2022, the podcast has been designed as a joint project by representatives from the four consortia HiGHmed, DIFUTURE, MIRACUM and SMITH of the Medical Informatics Initiative.

Further information is available at https://education.highmed.org/podcast and https://digitalisierungdermedizin.de/.

Summer School for Women 2019

Workshops for women: Acquisition of competencies

With the aim of attracting more women into research at the interface between medicine and medical informatics, HiGHmed seeks to exchange ideas with existing women's networks in this field. Three workshops were held in 2019, which offered skillsharing opportunities for successfully shaping professional careers and also served as a platform for women to exchange experiences with one other. The first workshop addressed the topic of self-presentation in professional contexts; this included appropriate conduct, appearance and demeanour at congresses, scientific conferences and in committees. The second workshop dealt with teamwork and leadership qualities. Professions in the IT sector are strongly team-oriented and require close cooperation from all participants. This requires an understanding of the principles of teamwork, but also finding and reflecting on one's own leadership style. The topic of the third workshop was successful negotiation strategies. Having a good negotiating position fosters career prospects, often results in better salary options and can facilitate the individual seeking a family-friendly management structure, thus leading to greater appreciation of family tasks and more support from superiors and colleagues. The workshops were aimed at female students and women at the beginning of their professional careers.

Team (alph.): Dr. Marianne Behrends, Ina Hoffmann, Carolin Klembt, Joana M. Warnecke and Marie-Louise Witte