Equal Opportunities in Chemistry

GDCh Commission for Equal Opportunities in Chemistry

With a resolution dated December 5, 2016, the GDCh board set up the "Equal opportunities in chemistry" commission. The Commission's overriding task is to anchor equal opportunities for women and men in chemistry in the GDCh in a sustainable and appreciative manner. The constituent meeting took place on September 13th, 2017 in Berlin. The commission was created as a successor to the Working Group on Equal Opportunities in Chemistry (AKCC), which was dissolved on December 31, 2017.

tasks and goals

The commission steers the strategy of equal opportunities in chemistry according to the guiding principles of the GDCh in order to ensure that progress in this area is achieved within the GDCh and beyond. In coordination with the GDCh board, she develops specific goals, monitors their implementation, initiates promotional activities and takes part in projects. You can find more about the activities on a separate page.

Mission statement

In its meeting on March 5th, 2018 in Jena, the GDCh board approved the GDCh guiding principle for equal opportunities in chemistry.

You can find the mission statement in German here ( PDF ) and in English here ( PDF ).

Committee members (2018-2021)


Dr. Hildegard Nimmesgern, Ex-Sanofi-Aventis, Frankfurt aM


Dr. Bianca Schmid, Thermo Fisher Scientific


Prof. Dr. Axel Jacobi von Wangelin, University of Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Doris Klee, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Wolfram Koch, GDCh, Frankfurt aM
Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester, MPI-P, Mainz
Dr. Melanie Schultz, Merck, Darmstadt
Dr. Matthias Urmann, Sanofi-Aventis, Frankfurt aM

The commission has up to eight members, the composition of which reflects the diversity in the GDCh. The JungChemikerForum (JCF) has the right to nominate a member. At least one member should, if possible, be a member of the GDCh board. The members of the commission "Equal Opportunities in Chemistry" are appointed by the Board of the GDCh. The term of office is four years, and two years for the chair and deputy. A representative of the JungChemikerForum will be invited to the meetings with guest status from 06/2021.

Prof. Dr. Axel Jacobi von Wangelin

Axel Jacobi von Wangelin is a world champion class (1974) and spent his childhood and youth in Berlin-Friedrichshain. Despite the exciting days and nights in Berlin in the post-reunification years, Axel graduated from high school. His student days in Erlangen gave him considerably more fresh air. Axel studied chemistry at the Universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Utah, where there were excellent opportunities to improve his climbing techniques. After a doctorate at the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock and postdoc stays in Cardiff, Frankfurt and Stanford, Axel started his independent academic Career, which took him to Cologne, Regensburg and Hamburg. He took two six-month parental leave and gained good and bad experiences in the daily struggle to reconcile family and work. External pressures and his own courage to change have given his Career new impetus. Children and Career go well; even more so if you know how to use the university playground for yourself. There may not always be a lot to offer, but there is a lot to get and a lot to gain. Axel has lived in Leipzig since 2015 and commutes to Hamburg.

In his work in the commission, Axel would like to promote more recognition and flexibility for parents and show the scope that already exists. Another focus of his work is to be dedicated to the promotion of young scientists.

Prof. Dr. Doris Klee

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Doris Klee, born 1955, studied chemistry at RWTH Aachen University and received her doctorate in 1983 from DWI at RWTH Aachen eV In 1997, she completed her habilitation at the Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, and since 2004 she has been an adjunct professor for Macromolecular Chemistry. The scientific focus of her research was the improvement of the interfacial compatibility of biomaterial surfaces and the development of so-called drug release systems.

In 2007 she received the innovation award for an ?implant for small long bones and procedures for the treatment of long bone fractures? as part of the innovation competition for the promotion of medical technology. In 2010, Prof. Klee took over the post of equal opportunities officer at the university. In addition, women clover is the division Macromolecular Chemistry of the German Chemical Society, and active board member as chairman of ACTO eV and in various advisory boards and audit committees. Doris Klee has been Vice Rector for Human Resources and Young Academics at RWTH Aachen University since October 2011.

On the way to a professorship, she realized that the proportion of women at the qualification levels from doctorate to professorship is steadily falling, especially in engineering and natural sciences. Since the potential of the very well-educated women in science must not be lost, the contribution to the development of measures for equal opportunities and a better work-life balance is particularly important to her.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Koch

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Koch has been managing director of the German Chemical Society since 2002. Studied chemistry in Darmstadt and Berlin and did a doctorate in theoretical organic chemistry with Prof. Helmut Schwarz and Prof. Gernot Frenking at the TU Berlin in 1986. This was followed by a postdoc at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California and for several years as a permanent employee Scientist at the Institute for Supercomputing and Applied Mathematics at IBM Deutschland GmbH in Heidelberg. In 1992 Wolfram Koch a professorship for theoretical Organic Chemistry at the TU Berlin, where he taught and researched until he switched to the GDCh. The main research areas were quantum chemical calculations of the properties and reactivities of open-shell transition metal compounds as well as the spectroscopic properties of small molecules. This work is reflected in around 190 peer-reviewed scientific publications and numerous book chapters. He is also the main author of a textbook on density functional theory that has been published several times and has so far sold over 5,000 times (W. Koch and MC Holthausen: ?A Chemists' Guide to Density Functional Theory?, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim). Wolfram Koch is an honorary member of the Czech and Israeli Chemical Societies, Fellow of IUPAC and RSC, and Honorary Fellow of ChemPubSoc Europe. In addition to his work as GDCh managing director, he performs a variety of voluntary tasks as a member of supervisory and advisory boards of several scientific institutions and other organizations. He is a member of the Executive Board of the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS), Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Technical Information Library (TIB) Hanover, Member of the Administrative Board and the Science Commission of the Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort (VG Wort) and titular member of the " Committee on Publications and Cheminformatics Data Standards ?of the IUPAC. In May 2016 he was appointed to the High Level Advisory Group "Open Science Policy Platform" of the EU Commission.

The promotion of equal opportunities is defined as a goal in the GDCh's statutes . Supporting this is an important concern, especially for the GDCh managing director, and is a motivation for working in the commission for equal opportunities.

Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester

Katharina Landfester studied chemistry at the Technical University of Darmstadt. For her diploma thesis she was at the Ecole d'Application des Hautes Polymères in Strasbourg (Prof. M. Lambla). In 1995 she completed her doctorate in physical chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz after working with Prof. HW Spiess at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. After another year as a group leader at the institute, she moved to Lehigh University (Prof. M. El-Aasser) for a postdoctoral degree, where she first came into contact with the mini-emulsion technique. She returned to Germany in 1998 and joined Prof. M. Antonietti's group at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Golm. There she headed the miniemulsion group for new possibilities for the synthesis of complex nanoparticles. In 2002 she completed her habilitation in physical chemistry at the University of Potsdam. In 2003 she accepted a chair (C4) for Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Ulm. Here she started her activities in the field of biomedical applications. Since 2008 she has been director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research.

In 1992 and 1994 she received DAAD scholarships for her research activities in Strasbourg. In 1996 she received a DFG grant for research in the USA. In 1998 she received the Liebig Scholarship from the Chemical Industry Fund (FCI). In 2001 she received the Reimund Stadler Prize from the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the Dr. Hermann Schnell Foundation. From 2002 to 2007 she was a member of the Young Academy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Natural Scientist Leopoldina; In 2003/2004 she was the spokesperson for the young academy. From 2007 to 2015 she was a member of the Board of the division for Macromolecular Chemistry of the German Chemical Society. She has been a member of the Academy for Technical Sciences (Acatech) since 2010 and has been a member of the GDCh board since 2016.

Dr. Hildegard Nimmesgern

After her professional career in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Nimmesgern is now a freelance career development consultant.

In 1985 she entered the pharmaceutical industry for the first time as laboratory manager for Medicinal Chemistry at Hoechst. In 1989 she switched to International Marketing as Product Manager, where she most recently headed the global Marketing department of the Vasotherapeutics business unit. After merging with other companies to form Hoechst-Marion-Roussel (HMR), she became Head of Human Resources for global research in 1996. After merging with Rhône-Poulenc to form Aventis in 1999, Dr. Negotiate strategic projects in global research and development. In 2002 she became head of the global Knowledge Networks Management R&D department. Here she was responsible for the areas of Knowledge Management, Alliance Management and Risk Management. When the merger with Sanofi to form Sanofi-Aventis in 2004, she took over the management of Scientific Relations for R&D Germany.

Miss Dr. Nimmesgern studied organic chemistry in 1984 with Prof. Dr. Ernst Schaumann is doing his doctorate at the University of Hamburg. This was followed by a one-year post-doc stay with Prof. Dr. Albert Padwa at Emory University of Atlanta, USA. For this she received a Feodor Lynen grant from the Humboldt Foundation and a Fulbright travel grant.

From 2011 to 2017, Dr. Nimmesgern volunteers the GDCh Working Group Equal Opportunities in Chemistry (AKCC), which was transformed into the Equal Opportunities Commission in early 2018.

?I am committed to equal opportunities for women and men in chemistry so that women experience the same visibility, appreciation and opportunities as men - that means equal pay for the same work, access to top positions in business, universities and politics , moreover protection from violence. "

Dr. Bianca Schmid

After completing her bachelor's degree at TU Dortmund University, Bianca Schmid went to the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Université) in Paris (F) with the Erasmus program. She switched to the Free University of Berlin for her master?s degree. Bianca Schmid did her PhD in organic chemistry in Professor Süssmuth's group at the TU Berlin. She has been working at BRAHMS (ThermoFisher Scientific) in Hennigsdorf in the Operations department since 2019.

She has been active in the JungChemikerForum of the GDCh since the beginning of her doctoral studies in 2015 and in spring 2017, together with JuWiChem, organized the ?Chemistry in Practice? event on the subject of ?Equal Opportunities in Chemistry? with impressive speakers from science and business. In the 2017/2018 term of office, she was a member of the JCF national board and was responsible for communication with the regional forums, partner companies such as the jDPG and various industrial partners.

During her doctorate, Bianca Schmid noticed that the topic of equal opportunities is a very important topic for young chemists. Career opportunities and the compatibility of family and work are of particular interest to both genders today. As the JCF representative, she represents the interests of young chemists in the commission.

Dr. Melanie Schultz

Dr. Melanie Schultz heads the global HR Business Partner team for Life Science Research Solutions at Merck. In this role, she helps shape the personnel strategy in this area and advises the management team on all strategic personnel issues. Together with her team, she makes a significant contribution to business success, employee engagement and talent development on an individual and organizational level.

Originally, Dr. In 2002, after completing her doctorate in organic chemistry at the TU Darmstadt, Schultz worked as a research assistant at Merck, where she has held various management positions with increasing responsibilities in the healthcare sector. In 2012 she took on a global management role in HR, where she was responsible for global talent development and leadership programs before moving to the strategic business partner area.
Dr. Schultz currently resides in Boston, US with her family.

Since the beginning of 2018, Dr. Schultz in the GDCh commission "Equal Opportunities in Chemistry". ?My career and my expert knowledge of the personnel environment qualified me for the commission. I believe that based on my experience, for example as a woman in a scientific environment, as a scientist in human resources, as a mother in a global management position and as a German in the USA, I can make an important contribution. I would like to encourage people to personally build on equal opportunities and to work for it! "

Dr. Matthias Urmann

Dr. Matthias Urmann studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg from 1983 to 1989. There he also received his doctorate from 1989 to 1992 under Professor Günter Helmchen. After a postdoc at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA in the working group of Prof. Elias J. Corey, he joined what was then Hoechst AG in 1993 as head of the Medicinal Chemistry laboratory. After various roles in the company, including as Head of administration at Sanofi R&D Germany, one of the companies that emerged from Hoechst AG, and Head of the Insulins & Peptides department within the Diabetes Research & Translational Medicine unit, he is now in the Business Development Diabetes External division Active in innovation. From 2018 to 2019 he was President of the German Chemical Society and is also active in the GDCh specialist groups for Medicinal Chemistry and the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry .

In addition to his involvement in the GDCh, he is a board member of Science4Life, an initiative that has been supported by the GDCh for many years and supports young entrepreneurs from the life sciences / chemistry & energy sector on their way to self-employment.

Equal opportunities and diversity in the GDCh


The GDCh is co-signatory of the Diversity Charter for Diversity in the Working World under the patronage of Chancellor Angela Merkel (February 2021)

The GDCh is co-signatory of the Statement on inclusion and diversity in the chemical sciences of June 8, 2020.


Ringvorlesung "Gleichstellung", TU Darmstadt mehr


Hildegard Hamm Brücher Award for equal opportunities in chemistry - NEW


Biographies of women chemists


Annual reports


Opinions / statements

... read more about the article by Tomas Hudlicky in Angewandte Chemie

Order brochure HighChem - Equal Opportunities

Order a brochure for women chemists - there were and there are

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last modified: 14.12.2021 07:02 H from N.Bürger