Collaboration between the Alba Network and the Heidelberg Pain Consortium (SFB 1158), originally streamed online on February 9, 2021.

Do I have to act like a man to succeed in science?


In recent times, there has been increasing awareness to enhance the gender equality in leadership in science. Several actions are based on a distorted bias of the conventional male leader’s approach being assertive, goal and task-oriented, which is displayed as being superior to `soft´ feminine traits: insightful, empathetic, integrative and relationship-oriented. For a long time, women have been given the impression that they have to develop typically ‘male’ characteristics to reach higher positions, leading to inner turmoil and insecurity regarding ‘Do I have to act like a man to succeed in science?’. In this panel discussion between leading female scientists and young investigators, we discussed how a diversity of behavioral, social and leadership attributes and attitudes can be harnessed best to create a professionally-balanced and successful environment with a perspective towards fostering gender equality in science leadership. Scientists at all stages and young scientists were encouraged to join us.


Panelists (10):

Nadine Attal

Prof. Nadine Attal

(Ambroise-Paré Hospital, France)

Sushma Bhatnagar

Prof. Sushma Bhatnagar

(All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India)

Rohini Kuner

Prof. Rohini Kuner (Speaker of the Heidelberg Pain Consortium)

(Heidelberg Pain Consortium, Heidelberg University, Germany)

Marzia Malcangio

Prof. Marzia Malcangio

(King’s College, London, UK)

Hannah Monyer

Prof. Hannah Monyer

(Heidelberg University, Germany)

Carmen Ruiz de Almodovar

Prof. Carmen Ruiz de Almodovar

(Heidelberg University, Germany)

Carmen Sandi

Prof. Carmen Sandi (Chair of the ALBA Network)

(Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland)

Rebeccah Slater

Prof. Rebeccah Slater

(University of Oxford, UK)

Irene Tracey

Prof. Irene Tracey (President-Elect of FENS and ALBA Advisor)

(University of Oxford, UK)

Ipek Yalcin

Ipek Yalcin

(CNRS UPR3212 and University of Strasbourg, France)


Format of the event: The duration of the session was approximately 2 hours. Each panelist gave a brief introduction to themselves and made a statement regarding the topic for 5 minutes, followed by Q/A for about an hour.


Organizers and Moderators of the event: Prof. Rohini Kuner and Prof. Carmen Sandi


Coordination: Heidelberg Pain Consortium coordinator: Pooja Gupta ()

Alba network coordinator: Mathilde Maughan ()





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