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Getting girls excited about STEM professions: Girls’ Day 2023 at the university was a complete success

On the so-called Girls’ Day, which has been organized annually throughout Germany since 2001, girls learn about professions or fields of study that are still mostly classic male professions and in which the proportion of women is below 40 percent, e.g. in the areas of IT, crafts, natural sciences and technology. Hof University of Applied Sciences has been offering a varied engineering program at its Hof and Münchberg campuses as part of Girls’ Future Day for several years and welcomed more than 30 girls to a total of seven workshops on April 27.

During the Corona pandemic, girls were able to participate in our university’s Girls’ Day online and students received their work by mail. in 2023, it finally started again in presence and we had great fun creating the day with the interested, aware and independent teenagers!”

Prof. Dr. Anett Matthäi, Women’s Representative at Hof University of Applied Sciences and Vice Dean of the Engineering Faculty

Campus Münchberg: Great interest in the profession of textile engineer

At the Textile Campus in Münchberg, 19 girls were able to choose between three workshops on the topics of “making blue”, “special edition calendars” and “towel design”. In the process, the young people produced their own dye in the chemistry lab for dyeing bags and felt figures, learned about different types of printing, such as foil, glass bead, flock or glitter printing, and had the opportunity to weave their own towel designed on the PC at the looms in the machine hall at the Münchberg campus.

Currently, the employees who work in the textile and apparel industry around the world and produce our clothes are about 80% and thus the majority of them are women. Management positions, on the other hand, are – still – predominantly held by men. Key decisions on equal opportunities for women and men, advancement opportunities for women, fair and living wages and the reduction of the gender pay gap are therefore mostly in the hands of male managers. In order to sustainably address this imbalance in the textile industry, more well-trained female engineers are needed, especially in managerial positions. At the Münchberg campus, the university offers an international bachelor’s degree in “Innovative Textiles” and a master’s degree in “Sustainable Textiles”, which is also taught in English and deals with the challenges of the global textile industry, such as responsible production and environmental protection, as well as legal regulations and labor rights, and provides a sound engineering education that is particularly attractive to girls.

During Girls’ Day, we were particularly pleased about the girls’ interest in the profession of “textile engineer”. The global textile industry is undergoing a transformation and gender equality in this industry is also a challenge. With our international and sustainable educational offerings, we are helping to remedy existing grievances.”

Prof. Dr. Anett Matthäi

Hof Campus: Workshops in electrical, environmental and materials engineering and mechanical engineering

At the Hof Campus, the focus of this year’s Girls’ Day workshops was on electrical, environmental and materials engineering and mechanical engineering. The bachelor’s degree program in engineering, which started in the winter semester of 2022/2023, combines these different engineering disciplines. After a two-semester orientation phase, students will be able to choose from 156 different combinations to find the engineering degree that best suits their needs. As in Münchberg, the girls here were also enthusiastic about their work and, for example, made a wooden casket with the help of a laser cutter, produced a sustainable shopping chip from a recyclate using injection molding technology or built an electronic cube. In the area of environmental technology, the girls looked at the future of water management on a 360° tour of Hamburg.

Kirsten Hölzel

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