Can a biology student choose ECE

250 girls build XXL chain reactions at ECE

Hamburg - Creating new role models against old role stereotypes, this idea runs through the girls' encouragement program mint: pink, which starts on February 26th for the sixth time. Right at the start, the 250 participants from Hamburg and Norderstedt get to know a prominent role model: Grazia Vittadini grew up in the USA, studied aerospace in Milan, and has been responsible for technology on the Airbus Executive Board since 2018 - as the first on the management committee. At the start of the program, the engineer wants to give the 13- and 14-year-old students wings: MINT is absolutely for girls!

As talented for languages ​​as they are for science - that applies to many girls. But if, unlike the Airbus chief engineer, they follow their friends or stereotypical job profiles and choose a language profile in the upper level, they usually decide against a STEM professional career. Because the requirements for studying or training in the field of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences or technology (MINT for short) are high, especially in the first semesters. In order to break the fatal chain of prejudices and momentous profile and study decisions, the mint: pink program has been in place in Hamburg for six years, and now for the second year in Norderstedt. Consequently, it starts with a chain reaction: 250 girls work as a team to build an XXL chain reaction out of technical parts, tunnels and tape, which at the end pops a confetti cannon.

A mint: pink fireworks “almost at home”, as NAT boss Sabine Fernau put it: Since 2011, the shopping center operator ECE, based in Poppenbüttel, has been providing the NAT initiative with an office free of charge. On February 26th, the whole atrium in the ECE headquarters will be added: Alexander Otto, CEO of ECE, will greet the girls on stage. Diversity and the promotion of young talent are important topics for ECE, says Alexander Otto: "We want to show how diverse the professional perspectives and opportunities for young talent are - regardless of age and gender."

This also applies to a technology group like Airbus, as Grazia Vittadini makes clear: “At Airbus, we have been able to continuously increase the proportion of women in both development and production over the past few years. To do this, we work closely with schools to inspire young girls for careers in the MINT area. The mint: pink program is a great initiative to show girls that they can definitely follow their own path and not let themselves be deterred by a career in the technology industry. Success means knowing yourself better than anyone else. Girls should believe in themselves. The only limits are those that we impose on ourselves. "

Grazia Vittadini will ask one of these self-confident young talents of tomorrow on February 26th, 2019 about her career planning: 15-year-old Isabel took part in the last round at mint: pink - and has not regretted it. Just like the students Caja and Isabella, who in conversation with the moderator Johannes Büchs make it clear how they used the time at mint: pink. In addition to classic MINT locations in research institutions and companies, start-ups were there for the first time. The focus on IT and new technologies is now being expanded further in the sixth year, says Sabine Fernau.

State Councilor Torsten Sevecke praised this directional decision: “Hamburg is facing tremendous change. We have to gain new ideas, innovations and IT specialists if we want to make our location from aviation to the port future-proof, ”says the doctor of law. The State Council is convinced that MINT funding is one of the keys, especially among young women: its authority for economics, transport and innovation has been promoting the NAT initiative for over ten years and has also been a project partner from the start. "Find what suits you and what you enjoy - and don't let yourself be fooled, let alone belittle you." Sevecke tells the girls about the start of the program. The young participants won't have to be told twice: an XXL chain reaction takes its course.

[email protected]
Telephone: 040-328 91 98 51
Fax: 040-328 91 98 59
Project partners & sponsors of mint: pink:
Authority for Economy, Transport and Innovation, Claussen Simon Foundation,
Hermann Schümann Foundation, Körber Foundation, City of Norderstedt. //

Initiative Naturwissenschaft & Technik NaT gGmbH
NAT office in the ECE, Saseler Damm 39b, 22395 Hamburg
Hamburg District Court HRB 102471, Managing Director: Sabine Fernau
Shareholder: Sabine Fernau, Dipl.-Ing. Helmut Meyer, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Mackens
Carrier: Körber Foundation, Hamburg Technology Foundation, Authority for Economics, Transport and Innovation, University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, University of Hamburg, Technical University Hamburg, HafenCity University Hamburg, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, German electron synchrotron.


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