Portrait of the month: Women in Science  

Women are still underrepresented in the sciences; they make up only a third of all scientists globally. According to the most recent UNESCO World Science Report, the so-called “gender divide” is especially clear in the field of artificial intelligence, where only 22% of the workers are women. With 22 percent of professors being female, there is still a lot to be done in the German higher education landscape as well.

Equal opportunities and the advancement of women are central concerns of the DAAD. In its selections, the DAAD pays attention to diversity and to balanced support, especially for young female scientists. The DAAD is proud that 50% of its grantees are female.


In this portrait of the month, we are pleased to introduce to you three women in science: Prof. Yalemtshay Mekonnen from Ethiopia, Prof. Suhaila Hashim from Kenya, and Prof. Beatrice Tarimo from Tanzania.

Professor Yalemtshay Mekonnen from Addis Ababa University was one of the first women in the natural sciences from the Global South to get a grant from the DAAD. She was also one of the first women to work as a professor in Ethiopia. She was given the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Prize in 2015 for outstanding contributions made by women in science.

Questions for Yalemtshay Mekonnen: Addis Ababa University

  • Please introduce yourself! What position do you hold, and what is your area of expertise?
  • Please tell us more about your academic journey. You were one of the first women to pursue an academic career at a time when it was not common. How did it work out for you as a woman? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
  • How did you manage to balance family, work, and studies in your life?
  • You have received many awards from different organizations, including the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, for your hard work and for being a good example of a scientist. What do these awards mean to you?
  • You have been a full professor since 2009. What advice would you give to aspiring women in academia?
  • What are your future plans?


Advertisements by German Universities

Kick-start your future career in Financial Management at Coburg Univer...

If you are interested in management and finance our premium MBA program Financial Management could be just right for you! The program features an optional Dual Degree from USC Australia and a Bloomber...


English-taught Master Programmes in Green and Information Technologies

Study innovative, future- and practice-oriented engineering Master’s programmes in central Germany!


Truly international – Study at ESB Business School!

Do you want to study in the heart of Germany, Europe’s strongest and most dynamic economy? Come to ESB Business School at Reutlingen University!


Technology Management - our English-language university MBA program

NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management, the Business School at the TUHH Hamburg University of Technology. Your chance to make two masters in one year.


Study in English - Live in German(y)!

Upgrade your career with an English-taught MSc or MBA degree from Offenburg University! Your gateway to a qualified job in Germany and around the world!



  • Regional Office Nairobi

    Madison Insurance House, 3rd floor, Upper Hill Close, P.O. Box 14050 00800 Nairobi Telephone: +254 (733) 92 99 29