Every month, for you, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one Member association.
Our Member for November 2015 is the German Association of Women Engineers /deutscher ingenieurinnenbund, in short: dib
For dib, Sylvia Kegel, dib Treasurer, has accepted to answer the EPWS questionnaire.
Contact this association: email@example.com
Contact this member: firstname.lastname@example.org
Association website: www.dibev.de
EPWS: If you wanted to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?
S.K.: dib is THE German Association of and for Women in Technology and Engineering.
EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?
S.K.: dib is an association of and for women that work/research in Technology or study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. We are dedicated to achieve equal opportunities for women in education, research, employment and life.
EPWS: What is the history of dib, in a few words?
S.K.: dib was founded in 1986 by a group of women engineers and women engineering students who felt that existing associations and groups were not meeting their needs. dib was created to represent women in engineering and science by offering an alternative to those associations that included female university graduates from a wide variety of disciplines and those engineering-focused groups that were- and are – largely male-dominated.
EPWS: Could you explain the organization of your association?
S.K..: dib is organized in regional groups which are building the backbone of the association and driving it. The organs of the association are:
-The Regional Groups, which are the core and heart of the dib and the local contact points. They organize local events.
-The General Annual Meeting, which decides on the rules of procedure, amendments of the articles of association and many other matters.
-The Executive Board, which manages the association’s business and realizes the decisions of the general annual meeting.
Additionally, working groups driven by issues, special topics of interest or projects are constituted if required. Many women and the dib as an organization are also involved in and contribute to further networks, both virtual and real.
The office is the contact point for all kind of inquiries by members and the public.
EPWS: What are its recent achievements?
S.K.: As you surely know, Germany has finally passed a gender-quota legislation for the boardroom this year. Having issued a pro-quota petition already in 1988, dib members active in the different lobby groups gladly celebrated this achievement – still we are aware that major changes for women in leadership roles will need much more efforts along the way.
We are also enthusiastic to see a growing percentage of female students and engineers all over the fields, as our members supported the multiple initiatives on many levels: encouraging Girls in STEM, mentoring, coaching, networking, Gender Diversity Initiatives and supporting Women´s Lobby groups. Results of so many efforts can finally be noticed – in statistics as well as in professional life.
EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming year, it is your 30th anniversary?
S.K.: We plan a series of more than 30 events in 2016, taking place all over Germany. The highlight is the annual dib conference, planned for 4th to 6th of November 2016 in Freising near Munich. It will not only mark our 30 years celebration, it will also host the INWES Regional Conference. We are glad to kick off a Regional Network Europe within INWES and strive for a fruitful cooperation, networking and lobbying of all European forces in and for women in STEM. Therefore we warmly invite EPWS and its members to participate in a call for papers (to come), in strategic cooperation as well as in the celebration and conference.
EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?
S.K.: Yes, we also regularly participate on EU calls where we appreciate a close cooperation at national as well as at European level.
EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?
S.K.: We have been a member for long, and we hope cooperation will intensify and broaden with the initiation of a European INWES network. It is a much needed development to foster and combine activities on all levels: co-Working of regional, national, European and international networks is essential in a globalized World.
So we hope to intensify project cooperation as well as lobbying initiatives.