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Conference "Learning from Africa: Equal opportunities for women in academia"

Foto: pixabay

In Africa, equality has found differing paths than in Germany, since women in academia seem to be well-represented even without female quotas. The conference seeks to discuss the applicability of strategies to facilitate the access and continuance of women in academia – in Germany as well as in Africa. It also seeks to create and support international networks.

Our expert speakers offer an encompassing view on the opportunities of female scientists in various stages of their careers. The focus is put on the discussion of their experiences and insights. The invited speakers are researchers from South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, together with German experts in career planning and equal opportunities. The conference concludes with a public panel discussion in the town centre of Potsdam on which the findings are presented to a wider public.

In order to offer a relaxing atmosphere for continuing exchange among the conference participants, there will be a Cameroonian buffet (day 1), a conference dinner (day 2) and a boat trip (day 3).


The conference is a joint event of the Department of English and American Studies, Chair Development and Variation of the English Language (Prof. Hans-Georg Wolf) and the Coordination Office for Equal Opportunities of Potsdam University.

Preliminary conference program

Monday, 28 October 2019:
08.30-09.30 Registration Building 9, Room 1.12
09.30-10.00 Words of welcome:
Oliver Günther - President (UP)
Hans-Georg Wolf - Dean of the Faculty of Arts (UP)
Susanna Karawanskij - Brandenburg Minister of Labour, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Familiy (written welcome address, presented by conference organisers)

Conference opening:
Anna Finzel - Department of English and American Studies (UP)
Building 9, Room 1.12
10.00-11.30 Equal Opportunities for Women in Academia: Perspectives from Ghana.

Jemima Akosua Anderson. University of Ghana, Legon (Ghana)
Building 9, Room 1.12
11.30-12.00 Coffee break Building 8, Foyer
12.00-13.30 Female Participation in Technical Education.

Grace Nana Aba Dawson-Ahmoah. University of Ghana, Legon (Ghana)
Building 9, Room 1.12
13.30-14.30 Lunch break Canteen
14.30-16.00 Gender parity in academia in Nigeria: the two sides of the story

Lillian Brise. Independent researcher (Germany/Switzerland/Nigeria)
Building 9, Room 1.12
16.00-16.30 Coffee break Building 8, Foyer
16.30-18.15 Equal Opportunities for women in German academia? Successes and challenges of institutionalized diversity policies in German universities.

Christina Wolff - Central Gender Equality Officer (UP)

Potsdam Graduate School - Support and Career Development for PhD Candidates and Potsdocs.

Heike Küchmeister - Potsdam Graduate School (UP)
Building 9, Room 1.12
18.15 African buffet Building 8, Foyer
Tuesday, 29 October 2019:
09.30-11.00 Navigating diversity and inclusion in context. What is hindering career accessibility for women in academia, that is very familiar for women in the private sector.

Kave Bulambo (Founder of My Career Path, Berlin)
Building 9, Room 1.12
11.00-11.30 Coffee break Building 8, Foyer
11.30-13.00 A narrative of different kinds of privileges that empowered me to imagine.

Susan Coetzee-Van Rooy. North-West University (South Africa)
Building 9, Room 1.12
13.00-14.00 Lunch break Building 8, Foyer
14.00-15.30 On the cusp of my Becoming.

Chantelle Kruger. North-West University (South Africa)
Building 9, Room 1.12
15.30-16.00 Coffee break Building 8, Foyer
16.00-17.30 The environmental and situational factors that influenced my ability to study and learn.

Pheladi Fakude. North-West University (South Africa)
Building 9, Room 1.12
17.30-18.00 Plenary discussion: What can be done to bring and especially keep women in academia? Building 9, Room 1.12
19.00+ Conference dinner (Potsdam town centre) Town centre Restaurant “Zur Linde”
Wednesday, 30 October 2019:
11.00-12.30 Boat trip Lange Brücke, Potsdam
17.00-19.00 Public panel discussion with the conference speakers Potsdam Town centre
WIS 4.24a and 4.24b

Organisation: Anna Finzel, M.A.


Campus Am Neuen Palais
Am Neuen Palais 10
Building 19, Room 4.32
14469 Potsdam


By appointment