Leadership Journey - empowering female academicians in Münster

Henrike Krenz, Maria Schubert, Cristin Beumer - Foto: WWU

Compared to men, women are rather overrepresented in the early career stages of biomedical sciences. However, after graduation, women seem to be less successful than men to pursue higher academic career paths – a phenomenon known as the 'Leaky Pipeline'. Obviously, it is still more challenging for women to reconcile family planning with the development of an academic career. This involves however also other important aspects, for example the development of individual traits and competences as well as leadership skills.


To this end, supporting women at various stages of their academic career path, the Medical Faculty of the University of Münster launched the 'Leadership Journey' programme, developed by our Clinical Research Unit 326 in collaboration with the communication coach Annie Bordeleau.


In this programme, whose pilot stage started in February 2021, nine female scientists of the CRU326 are coached to further develop their individual leadership skills and style, fostering the qualification of a new generation of female academic leaders! The programme's first cohort includes women from the medical, biological, and bioinformatical field of research on different career stages from PhD to habilitation. 'This illustrates the multidisciplinary setting we are working in', says CRU326 Equality Representative Henrike Krenz, who organises the programme together with Dr. Maria Schubert (CRU326 Equality Representative of 2018-2020) and Dr. Cristin Beumer (CRU326 Research Coordinator). The 9-month self-reflective journey will use everyday situations to experiment, nudge the system, and raise awareness of leadership competencies. The aim is to shift from Reactive to Creative leadership style to more effectively manage scientific projects and personnel.


Provided that the pilot phase is successful and receives enough positive feedback, the programme might be permanently established at the Medical Faculty. Of note, the Leadership Journey is only one measure required to facilitate equal opportunity standards and create a future where it is all about science rather than gender. Find more measures of the CRU326 (here) and of the University (here).


For more detailed information on the Leadership Journey programme, please also take a look at the official press release of our University (here), the social media content of the Münster University Hospital (here) or send an e-mail to us.


We are highly looking forward to the participants' feedback, development, and progresses!