“We are a Motley Crew” Career Presentations of Men and Women Working at the University-Industry-Interface

Juliane Achatz, Stefan Fuchs, Corinna Kleinert, Simon Roßmann


Entrepreneurial activities of faculty have received increasing attention in research. In contrast, little is known about the careers and activities of the women and men working at the university-industry-interface. To close this gap, in this paper we address technology transfer as an emerging occupational field and examine the careers of the people working in the field. At the example of Germany we show that technology transfer is almost perfectly gender balanced on the surface. Between and within transfer organizations, however, there are marked gender differences. Against this background, we find a ‘motley crew’ with a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds and professional experiences. While women often consider working in technology transfer temporary in nature and ‘second best’ when compared to a career in science, men display their career in an entrepreneurial spirit. Our results also suggest that women’s opportunities and gains are fragile because of the still transitory nature of the field.


technology transfer; careers; gender.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242010000100006

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