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Workshops, company visits and networking - Empowerment for women

5 questions to: Elisabeth Brenker, coordinator of

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Photo/Portrait of Elisabeth Brenker © Elisabeth Brenker​/​private

Talking to Elisabeth Brenker about female empowerment, her own career start, and the importance of networking for entering the job market.

The interview was held in German. Please find the English translation below.


Dear Ms. Brenker, it's great to have you with us in the Campus Network Career Service. You coordinate the project "" in the Equal Opportunities Office at TU Dortmund University. Some may already know about the project. But there are probably also students who haven't heard of it yet.

Therefore, let's start with, probably, the most obvious question. What is - or f.2.e for short - is a project of the Equal Opportunities Office. It is aimed at female students, scientists and graduates of TU Dortmund University and is intended to show them career development opportunities in the region and prepare them for entering the working world.

And what exactly is on offer in

The f.2.e program includes two different event formats: At f.2.e on stage, we offer on-campus workshops, seminars and information meetings on career-related topics. Here, we work together with external trainers and experts. The focus is on empowering our female participants so that they can develop their full potential and, above all, present themselves well to potential employers.

At f.2.e on tour, we move away from the campus and visit attractive companies in Dortmund and the surrounding area in small groups. Our female participants have the chance to make early contact with employers, get to know HR managers, and broaden their view of employment options - both now and for the future.

Diversity and equal opportunities have become increasingly important in recent years. There are now numerous degree programs in this area. But it hasn't always been this way. Did you study in this area yourself or how did you first become interested in this field?

I myself studied Applied Literary and Cultural Studies at the TU Dortmund University. I started working as a student assistant in the Equal Opportunities Office during my studies, which gave me an early insight into equal opportunities and diversity work. During my studies I was able to choose my seminars very freely and, thus, build up my own thematic focus. Back then I took every seminar that had anything to do with gender and/or diversity, and even if there wasn't one, I chose a corresponding focus for my papers. Today the TU Dortmund University offers a much wider range of courses on topics such as gender, social inequalities, migration, dis/ability, racism or critical whiteness, or power relations. Our "course catalog gender and diversity" provides a good overview of this every semester.

The first job search after graduation is always a big challenge. Was there anything that surprised you when you started your career or that particularly stuck in your memory?

In my case it was much easier to get started because I already knew the team and the work from my time as a student assistant. However, the change of role from student assistant to project coordinator was challenging. I was pleasantly surprised at the time by how independently I was allowed - and indeed required - to act in my projects from the very beginning. My studies had prepared me well for this, because I also had to put together my modules and schedules - basically my workload - very independently. For graduates of degree programs with more structured programs, this change is potentially a greater challenge.

And do you have any advice with regard to starting a career for students who are about to graduate?

Talk about the fact that you will soon be graduated and are looking for a job! You have already built up a very good network during your studies and also in your private life (often unconsciously), which can support you when you start your career. But in order to open doors for you, as many people as possible need to know what you bring to the table and where you want to go in the first place.

Thank you very much for the interview!


You will find upcoming events in the winter semester 2023/24 under:
If you would like to find out more about the project, you can find all the information at: