Team of the Welcome Center Jena hosted a networking event for women
International Women’s Day on 8 March draws attention to the equal participation of women in working life, political decision-making processes and social resources. We at the Welcome Center Jena have taken this day as an opportunity to organise a networking event for international women in Jena. On the evening of 8 March 2023, we welcomed 16 women from ten different countries and with diverse and exciting biographies to our premises at Teichgraben 5. Some of the women have already been living in Jena for over seven years, others have only been in the city for a few months. And while some of them moved to Jena together with their partners or families, others are not married. Despite the differences, one thing quickly emerged as a unifying element: female career planning.
In our daily work at the Welcome Centre, the most important task is advising international professionals and their accompanying partners. In career counselling for female professionals, we recognised that women are less self-confident about their professional goals and are often unsure whether and how they can continue their professional career in Jena.
Despite and because of all differences: joint events and social interaction are crucial for professional and personal well-being
We were able to address this issue on Women’s Day, especially thanks to the testimonials of two impressive international women. They reported on their personal and professional path to Jena, shared insights into their everyday working life and gave the other participants numerous tips for a successful arrival in Jena and the job here.
For example, at the beginning of their work in Jena, both women were surprised about the German work mentality. “There are no arrangements without prior appointments. Even joint lunches in the team are scheduled,” one of the two describes her experience with a smile.
It took some time to understand the German work culture, they say. Both emphasise that today they appreciate many typical German characteristics and procedures. Nevertheless, they would like to see more spontaneity and sociability. In Australia and Singapore it is quite normal to meet colleagues for dinner and a few drinks after work. They both miss this and are already trying to bring the after-work mentality closer to their teams through their own initiatives.
The discussion round once again confirmed the importance of joint events and social interaction as decisive factors – both for personal well-being in Jena and for professional advancement.
We thank all participants for the open exchange and interaction, it was a lot of fun!
Background: International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, but also to draw attention to existing inequalities such as the Gender Pay Gap, the Gender Care Gap and to stand up for an equal working and living reality for women.