Why are boys always good at math

"Why should boys be better at maths?"

Dear Doctor. Vutz,

Dear Dr. Struwe,

Dear Ms. Benning,

Dear Sirs and Madames,

You surely know why I can be so relaxed here with you in Lengerich, in my homeland? In Berlin the shops are closed, nobody comes to work in the ministry, it's a public holiday! March 8th, Women's Day! The Berliners felt disadvantaged for a long time. That is why they have this holiday for the first time.

That's fine with me! Especially since we women are also at stake here in Lengerich today.

I am delighted that we are here today to welcome Windmöller & Hölscher KG as the 300th partner of the National Pact for Women in MINT Professions. You are the market leader for machines for the production of flexible packaging. Nothing works for you without MINT specialists. And what applies here in Lengerich also applies to all of Germany:

Only with well-trained MINT specialists - men and Women - we can maintain our prosperity in a digital, globalized world.

We in Germany are lucky children. We are almost never doing. We are the fourth strongest economy in the world. Even though we only have a few raw materials. Although only one percent of the world's population lives in our country. How can that be?

Because there are a lot of talented, well-educated people below that one percent. Young as well as old. Girls as well as boys.

  • You are the resource on which we build our future
  • They make up the great innovative strength of our economy.

Globalization and digitization mean that global competition is becoming more intense and faster. Ever since Google, Apple, Amazon and Co. rose to the most valuable and powerful companies in the world within just ten years, it has been clear that the innovation competition is taking place strongly in the new technology fields.

Ever since artificial intelligence opened up huge new possibilities, it has become clear that we have to make an effort. Our gaze is no longer directed only to the west. Our Chancellor Angela Merkel always puts it briefly and succinctly: A giant has awakened in China. It should not be underestimated. We will only be able to maintain our prosperity if Europe, only if Germany continues to play in the premier league as Europe's locomotive. Only then will we be able to use the opportunities of digitization for the benefit of all. Only then will we be able to shape change the way we need it and how it corresponds to our values ​​and criteria.

Design is best done by someone who is familiar with it. This is another reason why it is important that men AND women strive into technical areas. So that we can shape our future together.

Ladies and gentlemen,

When I learned to fly, most of the other student pilots were men. In my advanced math course at school, the picture was similar: we girls were in the minority, if not quite as clearly. I never got it. Why should boys be better at math than me? Or why should they be better pilots?

Regardless of whether it is about computer science, math, physics or technology - I am convinced that women can do it just as well as men. That is why I would like to encourage more girls and young women to try out these subjects and later take up a corresponding profession.

This is not just a personal concern to me. We need mathematicians, engineers and mechatronics technicians. We need them in universities, in companies, in craft businesses. As a well-trained, equal workforce in a modern, digitized world.

The reasons are clear:

  1. We need more skilled workers, skilled workers in STEM subjects. They are the scarcest resource on the German job market. More and more positions remain vacant. We want more young women to recognize the opportunities in these professions. Young women have the best qualifications - both in terms of their academic performance and in terms of their social skills. We cannot afford to forego the talents and potential of these well-trained and motivated young women.
  2. We need more women. Women see things differently. And that's a good thing! They bring new impulses to companies, research institutions and universities. This is how new, creative ideas emerge. This is how better products are made.
    A corporate culture that relies on mixed teams has long been the decisive prerequisite for being successful internationally.
  3. We need individual life perspectives for everyone. Women and men should be able to choose the job that they want and that suits them.
    We all want and have to work for a lifetime. We want to work with joy. It is therefore important to show men and women individual career prospects that bring satisfaction and joy in working life.

The coming decades will be shaped by developments in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. Those who want good money and good development prospects will find them in the MINT occupational fields. These professions also offer flexible advantages, especially for girls and women. Because the compatibility of family and work is still an important criterion for women. Women also want to see what they are developing something for. Here companies are asked to advertise their STEM professions differently.

In order to focus on the attractiveness of these professions, my company has drawn up an entire MINT action plan. It provides for a bundle of measures for the next few years. We started the National Pact in 2008 - with 46 partners at the time. With you, ladies and gentlemen, with the company Windmöller & Hölscher, we have today reached 300 partners.

The aim of the national pact is that the many partners and sponsors can coordinate their activities and exchange their experiences. This is particularly important in rural regions, such as here in Tecklenburger Land and in the neighboring Münsterland. We aim to train young people along the entire educational chain in the MINT subjects and to continuously support them in their choice of study and career.

The Münsterland and Tecklenburger Land are exemplary. In the past few months, other partners from the region have joined the pact, or there are good discussions about it. I warmly welcome the representatives of these new partners. You have all been actively involved in STEM funding for many years - for that I thank you very much, also on behalf of the Federal Chancellor.

Your commitment is impressive:

  • Girls' Day has been a fixture for you for many years.
  • They work together with the various schools, enable internships, and support the students on project days.
  • There is the Steinfurt Children's University and the “DiscoverING Camp”.
  • There is the German-Dutch project “MINT LAB on locks”.
  • And at “meet.ME” on July 5th in Leipzig, Windmöller & Hölscher will also advertise interesting MINT positions. I can already imagine that many MINT students and graduates will be interested in you at this major career event.

Our joint efforts are successful: Since 2008, the number of female STEM students has almost doubled in the first semester - from almost 60,000 to over 115,000. Of all students starting a STEM degree, one in three in 2017 was a woman. In engineering, the proportion of women is now over 25 percent.

Dear Sirs and Madames,

if everyone can develop their talents and find their place in this society, then that is great happiness for the individual and for society as a whole. Then we will also be able to master the digital future. I think we in Germany and Europe have the best prerequisites for this.

On behalf of all Pakt partners, I warmly welcome you and look forward to a committed and successful cooperation!