GoWomen! (Network for female* R3 scientists and newly appointed professors)


As is well known, underrepresentation still exists for women in leadership positions in academia, including at Goethe University. The reasons for this are diverse and complex. Research on networks shows three confirmed findings:

  • Women are less represented in the strategic networks of science.
  • They find it more difficult to access career-relevant scientific networks due to unconscious processes and existing co-optation structures.
  • Networks are central to entry and promotion processes, as well as to successful establishment in the science system, especially in professorships, leadership roles at universities, and as a spokesperson* in cutting-edge research.

This results in a need for action for a network specifically for the aforementioned target groups of female scientists*, which can also close a funding gap at Goethe University.

Note: The * is attached to express that all persons are addressed who self-identify as women or are in the process of transitioning to the female gender.

Successfully managing transition phases

The target groups have to master three critical transition phases in particular, at which there are special risks of exclusion for women:

  • From the late postdoc phase into the broader science career, a transition at which a disproportionate number of advanced postdocs* continue to leave the sciences.
  • in entering the professorship to quickly distinguish oneself at the new location and to further develop one's own expertise, especially in the STEM subjects and medicine, since there are fewer female role models to fall back on.
  • in the process of promotion to a tenured professorship, for example, tenure-track professors* should be able to make good use of the development period from the beginning in order to successfully master the promotion by way of a successful evaluation, since these processes are not automatized procedures.

To avoid these, special orientation, reflection, support and qualification offers are very useful, where the network can provide support.

Network Concept (English) - Netzwerkkonzept (Deutsch) 

Networking offer

The network offers a compact, demand-oriented and specific range of strategic networking, tailored workshops and collegial advice:

  • Overreaching networking, panel and lecture events
  • Specific qualification workshops, e.g. for tenure-track professors*
  • Thematic-specific small groups
The network serves the trustful exchange about informal structures in the scientific process as well as the reflection of power and hierarchies in the scientific system. It opens up opportunities for interdisciplinary (research) cooperation and for the further development of one's own network and career strategies.


  • We hold comprehensive networking events approximately every three months
  • Qualification events for special needs: e.g. network analysis, preparation directly for the transition to professorship
  • Concrete work settings in small groups according to thematic preferences

The Network was initiated and will be managed by the Equal Opportunities Office of Goethe University on a project basis until 02/2025.

In the future, a largely self-supporting network structure with links to the Equal Opportunities Office is intended.

Article on the network

In UniReport Nr. 4/ 2022:

Neues Netzwerk für
Wissenschaftlerinnen* an
der Goethe-Universität

(New network for
female scientists* at the Goethe University [german])

Einblicke: Beteiligte, Kompetenzen, Themen


The network currently comprises 69 particioants, about a quarter of whom have an international background. Among them are 26 newly appointed female* professors and 43 R3 scientists from a total all departments. There is a particularly large participation from the departments 09, 10, 12 and 16.


Registration is possible at any time and informally for the above-mentioned target groups. Please send an e-mail in which you express your interest in joining and participating.

You will then receive the data protection consent as well as further information on the network offer and planned events.


Dr. Katrin Springsgut

Deputy Head of the Equal Opportunities Office
Equality Officer
Project management

Phone: +49 69 798-18 132

E-Mail: k.springsgut@em.uni-frankfurt.de
SKW-Building | Room 05.C108 | Rostocker Str. 2

Susann Wockenfuß

Equality Officer,Project assistant

Phone: +49 (0) 160 1428046
E-Mail: wockenfuss@em.uni-frankfurt.de
SKW-Building | Room 05.C103 | Rostocker Str. 2