Posted: April 14, 2010

Max Planck Society launches website for junior female scientists

(Nanowerk News) Minerva-FemmeNet, the Max Planck Society’s mentoring programme for junior female scientists, has launched a new website: provides information on programmes for junior and senior female scientists, alumnae and anyone interested.
The new bilingual website (German / English) consists of several sub-pages: e.g., the menu links "mentees" and "mentors" lead to a set of guidelines on how to successfully set up a mentoring cooperation. Experience reports of (former) mentees and mentors and a summary of the programme’s benefits for female scientists can also be found on these sub-pages.
The menu link "Training and networking" lists several mentoring programmes set up at universities. These programmes offer workshops and seminars which members of Minerva-FemmeNet can attend under certain circumstances. This link also provides information on so-called regional "Minerva-Stammtische" (regular’s tables) where mentors and mentees can share their experiences and discuss career or family plans in an informal manner.
Answers to frequently asked questions can be found by following the "FAQ" link, whereas "Das Netzwerk" provides information on the origin of the mentoring programme that is now open to all female scientists from all sections and all institutes of the Max Planck Society.
Minerva-FemmeNet is the mentoring programme of the Max Planck Society for junior female scientists. It was set up in early 2001 by Barbara Legrum at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt when she was her institute’s equal opportunity commissioner. Objective of the programme is to initiate contact between a junior and a senior female scientist, so that each mentee can share in the experience and the expertise of her mentor. Equal opportunity commissioners of other institutes also adopted the idea and started recruiting mentees and mentors. Marlis Mirbach, the central equal opportunity commissioner of the Max Planck Society, also supported the growing programme and helped spreading the word throughout the Society.
Today, the programme has expanded and is now open to all female scientists of the Max Planck Society, whether bachelor / master student or junior professor. More than 200 mentees and over 190 mentors who are or have been working at one of 50 institutes of the Society with Mentees are taking part in the network. Barbara Bludau, Secretary General of the Max Planck Society, is also a member, acting in an advisory capacity. The mentors have several years of work experience in science or in industry. Quite a few can also pass on their experiences on how to balance professional life and family.
Source: Max Planck Society