500 Women Scientists Oldenburg
by Adriana Coppola-González, Costa Rica (PPRE 2016-18)
• The 500 Women Scientists mission is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible.
• In Germany, women in STEM are still a minority and the statistics reflect an urgent need to tackle this underrepresentation.
A new networking group for women in STEM is now available in Oldenburg. The 500 Women Scientists (#500WS) Oldenburg Pod, which works on a volunteer basis, is an international group which focus on empowering women to grow to their full potential in science, increasing scientific literacy through public engagement, and advocating for science and equality.
According to the Bundesagentur fur Arbeit, in Niedersachen only 13.9% of the jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are taken by women, which is one of the lowest percentages in the whole of Germany; and according to the OECD only 14% of parents in Germany expect their daughters to have a career in STEM. The proportion of women working in STEM in Germany has been rising very slowly and over the last six years, there has been an increase of only 0.8 %.
The Pod was founded by Adriana Coppola, an engineer from Costa Rica; who after living and working around the world came to Oldenburg in 2016 to study her MSc in Renewable Energy and is now a consultant and negotiator in the United Nations Climate Change Conferences. The 500WS Oldenburg Pod currently has around 20 members from more than 18 countries, all with different professional and academic backgrounds: medicine, genetics, microbiology, physics, renewable energy, engineering, neuroscience, etc. and it plans to grow quickly in the next few months. “It is very important to shine a light on the many, great achievements of women - as well as support each other professionally - especially as we all know that as women we have traditionally been inadequately represented in the STEM areas.”- Adriana Coppola, 500WS Oldenburg Pod Founder.
The internationally diverse, multi-cultural group members speak more than 15 different languages between them; therefore the Pod follows the lead of the international pods and uses English as a common language to facilitate networking and communication. The group is always on the look out to take advantage of the diverse beautiful spaces in Oldenburg and try always to hold their meetings in different creative meeting-spaces, to inspire innovative thinking and motivation; even once having a picnic meeting in Schlossgarten!
The organisation also offers access to a database of women in STEM working in a broad range of areas, so that journalists, academics and the general public can get in contact. In fields where there is statistical underrepresentation of women - like in STEM, for example - it is important that other women and girls can
visualise women representatives and role models, to demonstrate that they can also make achievements in those fields.
The Oldenburg-Pod is open to new female-participants who are studying or working in STEM fields and invites
women to contact via email: 500wsoldenburg[at]gmail.com Just like all other pods around the world, the
Oldenburg Pod works on a voluntary basis and therefore also welcomes any contact with offers of support,
sponsorship, or locations; to carry out its work.
The 500 Women Scientists central mission is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible
through the transformative leadership of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. To meet that mission requires changing the face of what a scientist looks like. We have leveraged our network of over 300 Pods (or local chapters) around the world to increase representation of women in STEM through a number of locally driven initiatives.
To learn more, visit the website www.500womenscientists.org
Photos of some of the Pod activities for use with this Press Release in the media are available to download from
the following folder online: www.dropbox.com/sh/cnw17l3305nauv5/AAB6pAZtFYcvIXh6jPy6f03ja
For any corresponding captions, we kindly request that you include the correct description for the photographs, that is: "500 Women Scientists, Oldenburg Pod".
To read the article in German, please click here.
Adriana Coppola, MSc.
Twitter: @adri_coppola twitter.com/adri_coppola