116 Years of Women at the Technical University of Munich

Women had to fight hard for their right to study. In 1905, they finally achieved their goal: they were allowed to enroll at (what was then called) the Technische Hochschule München. In 1915, they celebrated the first female graduate, Agnes Mackens, who graduated with a degree in architecture with distinction. The economist Liesel Beckmann was the first woman to receive her teaching certification in 1941 and was appointed as a professor five years later. At that time, only six percent of the employees at the TUM were female. Liesel Beckmann was also the first chair holder in Germany in the area of Business Science. Although in many respects a great pioneer, she fit into the TUM very well and blasted a path of normalcy for gender equality in its engineering department.

In 1971, the first female chancellor of the university, Angela Molitoris, was appointed. Previous to her appointment, she was the first Syndica at the TUM from 1946 to 1971. During her time as chancellor, Angela Molitoris played a decisive role in the reconstruction of the university after the Second World War. In 1975, she was awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit for her work. In 1978, Molitoris was also appointed honorary senator by the TUM. Today, the Angela Molitoris Diversity Award is presented to employees of the Technical University of Munich who have made outstanding contributions in the field of equal opportunities and diversity.

Award winners receive a medal bearing the portrait of Angela Molitoris, the first female Senior Executive Vice President of the university. Image: Uli Benz / TUM

The Power of Women at TUM

Throughout the years, TUM has introduced a variety of formats to encourage young women to pursue their studies in science. “With our offers, we want to get them excited about the subjects located in the STEM fields,” explains Johanna Burgert, who heads the initiative ExploreTUM, which not only provides prospective students with information and advice, but also gives them a deeper insight into the subjects. An important aspect of this is the promotion of female students and graduates. Read more here:

Upcoming Events: Empowerment of Women

Save the date and join us for an exciting online program on the nationwide Girls’ Future Day, the annual career orientation day for women, on April 22nd at TUM Campus Heilbronn! Experience first-hand and from home, what the lessons of the future might look like with the application EngageVR and dive into different virtual learning environments. On this year’s annual Girls’ Day we will provide answers to various questions about digitalization and management such as: Where is the Wi-Fi coming from? And can business administration save the planet?

On April 27th, the TUM Management Alumni e.V. will be hosting the second edition of their new format: TUM Management Alumni Spotlight, this time dedicating the event to the topic: Empowerment of Women, with inspiring speakers from science and business. Find out more about this event here.

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