Equal opportunities in chemistry

GDCh Commission for Equal Opportunities in Chemistry

With the decision of December 5th, 2016, the GDCh Board set up the "Equal Opportunities in Chemistry" commission. The overriding task of the commission is to anchor equal opportunities for women and men in chemistry in the GDCh in a sustainable and respectful manner. The constitutive 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.

Short link to this page: www.gdch.de/en/equal-opportunity

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 ).

Commission members (2022 - 2025)


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


Katrin Beuthert, Institute of Nanotechnology, KIT, Karlsruhe (2024-2025)


Dr. Rolf Albach, Covestro, Leverkusen (from 2023)
Prof. Dr. Sabine Becker, RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau (from 2024)
Dr. Markus Haider, Wacker Chemie
Prof. Dr. Wolfram Koch, GDCh, Frankfurt aM
Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester, MPI-P, Mainz
Dr. Bianca Schmid, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Dr. Matthias Urmann, Sanofi-Aventis, Frankfurt a.M.

The commission has up to ten members, the composition of which reflects the diversity in the GDCh. The Young Chemists' Forum (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 "Equal Opportunities in Chemistry" commission are appointed by the GDCh Board . The term of office is four years, two years for the Chair and deputy. From June 2021, a representative of the Young Chemists' Forum will be invited to the meetings with guest status.

Dr. Rolf Albach

Dr. Rolf Albach studied chemistry in Bonn and at the Technical University of Munich, where he received his doctorate in 1992 under WA Herrmann in U. Küsthardt's team. After a NATO scholarship at the Université de Paris-Sud under J.-J. Girerd, he joined Bayer AG in 1994 and has worked there since 1998 in management positions in research, application technology, sales and post-merger integration in the Polyurethanes business unit. He is currently leading R&D projects in the field of circular economy, automotive interiors and flame retardancy and also supports dissertations in these topics at domestic and foreign universities. From October 2020, he took on a teaching position at the FH Aachen. Rolf Albach has an MBA double degree from the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management (Vallendar) and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (Chicago).

Rolf Albach has been working voluntarily in environmental policy for 30 years, both for NGOs such as the Local Agenda and the SolarImpulse Foundation and in local and regional politics, for example in the Commission for Regional and Structural Issues of the Cologne District Government, on the Administrative Board of the Cologne Municipal Drainage Company, the Operating Committee of the Cologne Waste Management Company and the Environmental Committee of the Cologne City Council.

Prof. Dr. Sabine Becker

Prof. Dr. Sabine Becker studied from 2005-2010 at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 and a Master of Science in Chemistry in 2010. She then completed her doctorate in inorganic chemistry with a focus on polynuclear copper complexes and clusters in the working group of Prof. Dr. Siegfried Schindler. For this purpose, she received a doctoral scholarship from the Chemical Industry Fund (VCI) in 2011 and completed her doctorate in 2014 with summa cum laude. After a postdoc in the same working group for around a year, Sabine Becker joined the working group of Prof. Stephen J. Lippard, PhD at MIT (USA) for a postdoc stay, where her research included the modulation of neurological processes by zinc ions. Her stay abroad was financed by a postdoc scholarship from the Leopoldina - National Academy of Sciences. In May 2017, Sabine Becker took up the junior professorship "Chemistry of Multinuclear Complexes" at the TU Kaiserslautern. From April 2022 to July 2022, she held a visiting professorship for bioinorganic chemistry at the University of Vienna. Since October 2023, she has been working as a university professor (W2) at the RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau. Her research focuses on cooperative effects of multinuclear copper and iron complexes and their catalytic application and on the investigation of metal ions in the central nervous system with a focus on zinc.

Sabine Becker is involved in numerous committees of academic self-government, where she also actively advocates for issues of equality and equal opportunities. In 2020, for example, she received the "Young Scientist Award for Equality and Gender Activities" from the TU Kaiserslautern. In addition, she is active on a voluntary basis for various funding organizations and societies, for example as Deputy President of the GDCh and member of the GDCh Board of Directors since 2024. Since science communication is important to her, she also regularly takes part in outreach activities such as popular science lectures, experimental lectures, children's university, workshops for school classes and MINT fairs.

Katrin Beuthert

Katrin Beuthert has been doing her doctorate in inorganic chemistry in the working group of Prof. Dr. Stefanie Dehnen since 2021, initially at the Philipps University of Marburg and since 2022 at the Institute of Nanotechnology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In addition, from 2019 to 2022 she was the coordinator of the “MINT Summer School for Girls” project at the Philipps University and the women's and equal opportunities officer at the Department of Chemistry.

At the beginning of her bachelor's degree in 2014, she became a member of the GDCh and is involved in the JCF Marburg, of which she was spokesperson from 2018 to 2022. Since 2021, Katrin Beuthert has been Team Lead of the JCF Team for Equal Opportunities.

Since the beginning of 2022, Katrin Beuthert has represented the young chemists in the GDCh Commission for Equal Opportunities in Chemistry and is Chair of the Young Wöhler Association for Inorganic Chemistry. "Through more equal opportunities for students in STEM education, inclusion, diversity and targeted science communication, we can actively help shape a more diverse and open science community and inspire people to study chemistry."

dr Markus Haider

Markus Haider studied general chemistry at the LMU in Munich. He wrote his diploma thesis in analytical chemistry at TUM with Reinhold Nießner. For his dissertation and doctorate in analytical chemistry, he moved to the PLUS (Paris Lodron University Salzburg) with Hans Malissa. As a Feodor Lynen scholarship holder from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he spent almost two years as a postdoc at MIT with Mario Molina in the field of stratospheric chemistry, before joining Wacker Chemie in Burghausen in 1999 as laboratory manager for optical molecular spectroscopy.

Since then, career positions at WACKER have included strategy, plant management, project management, production management, global supply chain Management, as well as corporate services and sustainability in a total of two central and two business units. Markus Haider is currently in charge of the Chemical Services department with the core functions of Corporate Analytics, Corporate Chemical Safety and Corporate Product Safety. He is jointly responsible for corporate analytics.

He has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2014, representing senior executives. Since 2020 Chair of the Joint Spokespersons' Committee of Wacker Chemie.

As a long-standing member of the GDCh, he has been a mentor at CheMento right from the start. He has also served as a mentor four times in a similar internal WACKER program.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has been a concern of his for many years. The issue of gender is particularly close to his heart. On the one hand due to the required fairness towards committed, capable women, on the other hand from the simple economic assessment not to waste the great technical and management potential of women, not least against the background of a massively growing shortage of skilled workers in Germany.

Markus Maximilian Haider - LinkedIn

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

Prof. Dr. 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 received her doctorate in physical chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz after collaborating 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 position, where she first came into contact with the miniemulsion technique. She returned to Germany in 1998 and joined the group of Prof. M. Antonietti at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Golm. There she headed the miniemulsion group for new possibilities for the synthesis of complex nanoparticles. In 2002 she habilitated 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 began 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 grants for her research activities in Strasbourg. In 1996 she received a DFG grant for her research in the USA. In 1998 she received the Liebig grant from the Chemical Industry Fund (FCI). In 2001 she received the Reimund-Stadler Award from the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the Prize from 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 Humanities and of the German natural scientist Leopoldina; In 2003/2004 she was the spokeswoman for the young academy. From 2007 to 2015 she was a member of the board of the macromolecular chemistry group of the Division . She has been a member of the Academy for Technical Sciences (Acatech) since 2010 and has been on the Board of the GDCh 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 Schmidt

dr Bianca Schmid works at Thermo Fisher Scientific in the Market Development Biomarkers department in Berlin. In this role, she drives market research forward and shapes the portfolio synergies throughout the company. With her previous experience as a lean manager at Thermo Fisher, she was able to gain a great overview of the entire business unit and, in addition to process optimization, also dealt with topics such as culture development and change Management .

Since the start of her doctoral studies in 2015, Bianca Schmid has been active in the GDCh?s Young Chemists? Forum 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 responsible for communication with the regional forums, partner companies such as the jDPG and various industrial partners. Here she raised the issue of equal opportunities at federal level for the first time. Thanks to Bianca's pioneering work, the topic has now become an integral part of the national board.

From 2018-2022, she represented the interests of young chemists as a JCF representative on the commission and has held the deputy chair to this day.
dr Bianca Schmid noticed that equal opportunities and mental health are very important topics for young chemists. A particularly wide range of career opportunities and the compatibility of family and work are of great interest to both sexes today, especially in the post-pandemic era. Since 2022, Dr. As a business coach, Bianca Schmid supports her clients on these topics.

dr After completing her bachelor?s degree at the TU Dortmund University , Bianca Schmid went to the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Université) in Paris (F) with the Erasmus program. For her master?s degree, she moved to the Free University of Berlin. Bianca Schmid did her doctorate in organic chemistry in Professor Süssmuth's working group at the TU Berlin.

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.


Commissioner January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022
Prof. Dr. Doris Klee, RWTH Aachen University

Commission members 2018 - 2021

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

Dr. Bianca Schmid, Thermo Fisher Scientific (2022-2023)

Prof. Dr. Axel Jacobi von Wangelin, University of Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Doris Klee, RWTH Aachen University
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

Equal opportunities and diversity in the GDCh


Since 2021, the GDCh has been a co-signatory of the Diversity Charter for diversity in the world of work under the patronage of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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

GDCh structures

VCW round table "Opportunities for everyone"

JCF Team "Equal Opportunity"

Hildegard Hamm Brücher Award for equal opportunities in chemistry


Annual reports


Female chemists biographies



Further links can be found here.

Order brochure HighChem - Equal Opportunities

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

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last modified: 08.07.2024 09:29 H from N/A