Anniversary! 20 Years of TANDEM – 20 Years of Mentoring Programs at RWTH Aachen University


When TANDEM, the first mentoring program at RWTH, launched in the winter semester of 2002/2003 to promote the careers of qualified young female academics, it was by no means foreseeable what development this initiative would take. Now, an incredible 20 years later, we look back with pride and joy on a genuine success story!

  TANDEM Key-Visual

There may be worlds between the TANDEM of that time and today's mentoring programs, but above all, there is a continuous process of change and engagement with the needs of our target groups. With a focus on these dynamics, we have always succeeded in aligning and shaping the programs and the events we offer in the best possible way.

TANDEM, which initially aimed at female students and doctoral candidates from all faculties, gave its name to various spin-offs and successor programs. Some only lasted for a few funding periods – TANDEMstud, TANDEMdok and TANDEMplus, however, have remained. Based at the Rectorate's Integration Team – Human Resources, Gender and Diversity Management, or IGaD in short, they became very well established over the years and enjoy a steadily growing demand.

Happily, we take all of this as an opportunity to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the TANDEM Mentoring Programs – not only at a central event on 11 May 2023, but throughout the whole year. Information on all offers can be found on our anniversary website. There you can also read some personal success stories of former participants – many of whom have now reached leadership positions in business and academia, including an increasing number of female professors.

Despite different target groups, what all TANDEM Mentoring Programs have in common is the conscious interlocking of the three building blocks of mentoring, training and networking.  The interplay of positive role models, specifically designed soft skills offers and extensive networking activities support the development of existing competencies. This not only supports the targeted shaping of individual careers, but also makes an equal contribution to equal-opportunity personnel and organizational development at RWTH.