Cartoons reveal gender dynamics

Three cartoonists have been examining gender aspects in the STEM subjects on behalf of the Center for Equal Opportunities at the University of Bremen. On June 21, 2018 there will be a public showing of the cartoons in the LION building (Klagenfurter Straße 5).

The STEM disciplines, i.e. the engineering and science subjects, are known for their male-dominated cultures. In the project “Illustrated gender dynamics in STEM”, members of STEM research networks, working in collaboration with the Equal Opportunities Office, have revealed how gender-specific aspects impact on the various specialist cultures. The cartoonists Bettina Bexte, Laura Breiling and Miriam Wurster have developed humorous cartoons based on the observations made in the course of the participants’ daily work. The result is a postcard series consisting of nine different cartoons, three of them in English, six in German. The cartoons have been published both in print and digital form.

Visualizing unequal gender relations with situation comedy   

The aim of the postcard series is to raise awareness of informal, gender-related mechanisms present in the everyday working life of scientific-technical research networks. “It's about making people aware of unconscious patterns of thought, action and evaluation that tend to be based on male-dominated normative images,” explains Anneliese Niehoff, leader of the Equal Opportunities / Antidiscrimination Unit at the University of Bremen. Susan Köppen, leader of a subproject at Graduate School QM³, relates: “The cartoon project was a great opportunity to reflect on and exchange views on our everyday gender relationships in the workplace. The humorous approach made it easy for us to examine the many little moments in which we behave in a stereotypical manner.”

Exhibition and discussion

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, the cartoons will be presented in public for the first time at an exhibition (12.00 to 1.30 p.m.). In a podium discussion, the project participants want to share their experiences made in the development process leading to the cartoon series and discuss the opportunities presented by new approaches to gender with such communicative projects. The participants will include cartoonist Bettina Bexte, Professor Lucio Colombi Ciacchi (speaker of the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes), Professor Emily King, subproject leader of the Research Training Group pi³, and Dr Susan Köppen, subproject leader of the Research Training Group QM³. The discussion will be moderated by Anneliese Niehoff, Head of the Unit Equal Opportunities / Anti-Discrimination. The venue is the seminar room Cape Town in the LION building of the Bremen Institute of Applied Beam Technology (BIAS) in Klagenfurter Strasse 5.

More information under:

If you would like to know more about this topic, feel free to contact:

Anneliese Niehoff
Anna-Lena Vallentin
Unit Equal Opportunities / Anti-Discrimination
University of Bremen
Phone:  +49 421 218-60189
E-Mail: chancen1protect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Drei Männer und eine Frau im Labor
A cartoon-project initiated by the Center for Equal Opportunities at the University of Bremen reveals gender aspects in the STEM subjects.