After successfully completing the first round, the career programme COMET starts again with twenty new participants in May 2018. The career development programme of the University of Bern is part of the university’s Strategy 2021. It is specifically aimed at female postdocs and post-doctoral researchers of all faculties, and supplements the mentoring programmes at the University of Bern.
"That there are still so few women at professorship level especially in the Faculty of Medicine is, to some extent, a reflection of social conventions", Daniel Candinas believes. The "leaky pipeline", as women’s tendency to leave their academic careers is called, is clearly evident here: 60% of students at Bachelor level are women, and the number of women at professorship level is at 14%. Why?
"Traditional role concepts often predominate"
"Completing a scientific path is a huge challenge, especially in fields such as surgery", Daniel Candinas stresses. Over the course of many years, researchers must strike a balance between academic work and teaching duties on the one side and employment in a clinic on the other. "This is challenging enough as it is. As soon as children come into the picture, traditional role concepts often predominate: women reduce their workload and their academic career fades away." For this reason, the combination of daily clinical practice, science and family is only successful in a strong partnership. And this means that men also need to slow down to be able to support their partner, otherwise this is not possible. At Candinas’ clinic, three female doctors with small children work in leading positions – and they all have partners who work part-time and have somewhat halted their academic career. "These new role models, for men and women, are extremely important", Candinas says.