Dr. Franka Schröder

1. What was the best thing about the Femtec program? What inspired and influenced you the most?

Best of all, the two location and goal-setting seminars at the beginning and end of the fellowship. They showed me that I can never dream too big and that it is also important to have dreams and to pursue them.

2. What would you recommend to current scholars, what is your message?

A vision that others think is crazy is more motivating than moving along well-trodden paths.

3. What does the network mean to you? What distinguishes Femtec from other networks?

For me, the network is the place to go when I need input from other women who have been in the same or similar situations before. I love hearing about other women’s experiences and incorporating them into my decision. The difference to other networks: It’s not a course or class from 2009 – it’s the Femtec Network. It focuses on cross-course exchange and so I (course 8) learn from women from course 2 as well as from women from course 28.

4. Why did you apply to Femtec back then?

I wanted to exchange ideas with other women who tick similarly to me and are also ambitious. I felt that conversations with my colleagues were mostly one-dimensional. The conversations with the other women in my course took place on so many more levels.

5. Where was the Femtec Network useful / helpful? What are you still profiling today?

I found my diploma thesis in the wind tunnel at Daimler AG in 2008 via the network. And I have remained true to the experiment, the wind tunnel and/or the automotive industry since the first day in the test facilities. Today I have great friends in the network and in most places abroad where I lived there were other Femteclers nearby. In 2015, for 6 months, there was a group of 3 women in Oxford, England. Now in Zurich I have access to a large pool of familiar people, albeit unknown faces. That makes me feel connected.

“For me, the network is the place to go when I need input from other women who have been in the same or in similar situations before. I love to hear about other women’s experiences and to include those experiences in my decision.”

Dr. Franka Schröder, Femtec Alumna (formerly Course 8) Senior Aerodynamicist R&D at Sauber Motorsport