Geologist Dr. Patricia Göbel has been Equal Opportunities Officer at Münster University since the beginning of November. In this short with Kathrin Nolte she talks about her new job and the current focus on the issue of work-family balance.
What made you decide to take on this job?
I took part in the programme entitled "Women manage universities", and I see my position as Equal Opportunities Officer as a university management job with a lot of scope for putting things into practice. Also, I myself have had a great deal of support and mentoring in my professional and scientific career. I can now pass this experience on and push for a greater equality of opportunity with regard to work-family balance.
In your view, is enough being done for equal opportunities at Münster University?
A very great deal is being done here in the field of equal opportunities. If you look at the website of the Equal Opportunities Office, you can see that there are numerous programmes and modules on offer. Having said that, there are still great obstacles in pursuing a scientific career – in doing a PhD, for example, or in the post-doc phase. There are problems such as limited-term contracts or the overtime culture. In such cases, resources allocated for equal opportunities could be focussed better. What I also want to do is spotlight the special situation of students who have children.
What do you associate with the issue of work-family balance?
Family work and parenthood need wider recognition and must not be a disadvantage in pursuing a career. I would like to see more openness, appreciation and support for people who want to – or have to – combine a family life with work or studies.
The comes from the University newspaper, "wissen