On 1 November 2019, Felicitas Köller joined the SimTech and IntCDC clusters of excellence as the Gender Equality and Diversity Manager.
Speaking about her appointment, Mrs. Köller said, “I’m really looking forward to my new job at Stuttgart University. I specifically chose this position because it actually focuses on diversity rather than simply including it along with various other topics. It also gives me the opportunity to continue my professional development and to experience diversity in a new setting.”
The creation of this new role signifies a move on the part of both clusters of excellence to step up their commitment to gender equality and diversity. By so doing, they are supporting the Gender Equality Office, which is headed by SimTech-PI Prof. Nicole Radde, and the University’s management in their efforts to implement gender equality law. You can read more about Stuttgart University’s gender equality strategy (in German) here.
Mrs. Köller’s track record in this field is proven. Before her post at Stuttgart University, she lectured in “Living difference and diversity” on a nursery teacher training program at a social pedagogy college. She has a bachelor and a master degree in child education and her master thesis dealt with “Inequality of opportunity in the German education system”. In addition, she spent several years working in childcare centers, including management roles, after her studies.
At Stuttgart University, her job will mainly involve coordinating the gender equality and diversity programs and activities, integrating equal opportunity programs and advising and coaching all of the two clusters’ researchers on equal opportunity and diversity issues. In her first few weeks, however, she will primarily be learning about the clusters’ and the University’s activities, aims and plans and establishing contacts with all of the stakeholders involved. Mrs. Köller will be based, and thus mostly to be found, at the Gender Equality Office in the center of Stuttgart.
Incidentally, the Stuttgart Center for Simulation Science has had someone responsible for promoting gender equality since the end of January 2018 - its Gender Equality Officer, Prof. Dr. Syn Schmitt. The activities and underlying philosophy being pursued in this area are described in the following article (in German).
“Diversity in all its facets has been high on our agenda from day one. Prof. Dr. Syn Schmitt is already providing support in this area to SC SimTech. Now, by recruiting Felicitas Köller, we and IntCDC have brought a great deal of expertise on board for the cluster’s activities and efforts too. We’re really looking forward to working with her,” says Managing Director, Dr. Jenny Kopsch-Xhema, stressing the significance of the decision to create this post and appoint Mrs. Köller to it.