Typical male? Typical female? Room for your own life model!

Mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology – the classic MINT professions, have always been male-dominated. But meanwhile, the proportion of women in scientific disciplines has increased, and at Instrument Systems more and more women are engaged in these fields, successfully assuming responsibility and rising to executive positions. Here is a brief insight into the careers of two scientists at Instrument Systems and their successful track record in what was hitherto deemed to be a man’s world.

The foundations for a ‘typical’ female or male career are often laid during childhood. According to the German Institute for Economic Research, parents have the greatest impact on the choice of profession. They not only advise their children; they influence them with their own vocational and frequently gender-related outlook on life.

Learning what keeps the world together

Our colleague Dr. Elisabeth Bothschafter, Head of Metrology at Instrument Systems, already developed an interest in the natural sciences at an early age:

“My father was certainly instrumental in awakening and encouraging my interest in how the world functions, (…). Science was my favorite subject at school, so the decision to embark on a scientific career was relatively easy. My responsibilities at Instrument Systems, together with my colleagues, for ensuring the accuracy of our measuring systems and developing high-precision calibration methods, combines my passion for optics with an interest in getting to the bottom of things and understanding complex relationships.”

Elisabeth Bothschafter studied physics and engineering at Stuttgart University and the Ecole Centrale Paris. She then obtained a doctorate in laser and ultrafast physics at the TU Munich and conducted research as a postdoc at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. For the past three years she has headed the metrology team in the Development Department at Instrument Systems. The potential for development and leadership of a fixed team were crucial factors in her decision to apply for a job at our company. In particular, her curiosity was aroused by the opportunity to assume responsibility as manageress of an accredited test laboratory in the production of high-quality optical measuring instruments.

Increasing the proportion of women at Instrument Systems

A global rise in the proportion of women engaged in scientific and technical professions can be observed, and this trend is being actively promoted by Instrument Systems. The number of female employees in our company is constantly increasing. Whereas in 2017 approx. 20 % of our staff were females, today – only three years later – the proportion of women who contribute their expertise and experience as team members or in managerial positions has risen to over 25 %.

Family-friendly working time models

Irrespective of sex, the support and further development of all employees as parents is very important to us, whether it is for undertaking new tasks within the company or returning after time-off or parental leave. Daniela Kübler, test engineer at Instrument Systems, reports on her experience: “I was able to change from full- to part-time in order to have more time for my children. Overall, I consider this company to be extremely family-friendly; judging by what my friends tell me, that is not everywhere the case.” Daniela Kübler, graduate physicist, studied at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn and has been working in the Software Development Department at Instrument Systems since 2015. Like Dr. Bothschafter, she has two children.

In the ‘rush-hour’ of life, in which working hours must be reconciled with caring for (small) children, we offer our colleagues flexible career models. At Instrument Systems we provide our employees with suitable options, for their success is also the success of our company.

“Many solutions are conceivable and feasible with sound planning in consultation with the employer,” says Bothschafter. "Trusting communication between employer and employees is critical here, together with an open dialog with one’s team associates.”

It all depends on the mixture

Daniela Kübler particularly likes the diverse composition of the team at Instrument Systems: “I think in order to have a good team it is not so important how the gender ratio is weighted, but how good the individuals get along together. I feel very comfortable here in the team; our work is always enjoyable and result-oriented. When a tricky task arises, one can always count on the support of the others. In brief: a colorful mix is always good; together we produce more ideas.”

Diversity among employees is seen as an essential element and actively promoted. What counts for Instrument Systems are professional skills, team spirit and personality. We focus on the individual – whether male or female – and provide unbiased support without differentiating between female and male professions: we only have professions of the future!