Women of TUM-patroness Hannemor Keidel

“You have to be willing to fight for something“

In the role of patroness TUM Alumni Dr. Hannemor Keidel has been supporting the Women of TUM for many years. In her own career she was confronted with criticism from family and friends several times when it came to choosing a degree and profession.

Hannemor Keidel has financed her studies in the sixties herself. Back then her father, an engineer, was of the opinion that his daughter, who was already engaged at that time, did not need to study. But Hannemor Keidel saw things differently. As early as in school she had developed a keen interest in history. Additionally she had already been on a school exchange to the USA and got exposed to political considerations there. After graduating from Luisengymnasium in Munich she thus went to study history with a minor in politics and came to TUM’s School of Management and Social Sciences for her doctorate in Political Sciences.

Parenting and a PhD

During her doctorate Hannemor Keidel gave birth to two babies and kept working as a research assistant at TUM: “My mother, my mother-in-law, my brother and my sister all were against me”, Hannemoor Keidel recounts. “They couldn’t understand that I wanted to keep working even though I had a well-earning husband.” But Hannemor Keidel was up for the exciting challenges to come and passed the balancing act of combining kids and a career with flying colours. “There were no problems whatsoever with the department itself, even doing a PhD with a small child. I was able to rely on flexible working hours, too.”

Being a mother and a wife, everyone was surprised that I wanted to work.

Hannemor Keidel’s doctorate was followed by teaching assignments at Leipzig University and a research visit in France. Upon her return to TUM she was the first, and back then only woman who was asked to join the TUM Board of Management in 2000, and in the role of Vice President has been responsible for her alma mater’s international and alumni relations for eight years. She attributes her success at the university to her consistency and perseverance: “I have learnt to always maintain my curiosity and to occasionally also be willing to take a stand for something and fight for it.”

TUM Alumni Dr. Hannemor Keidel.

Dr. Hannemor Keidel is talking to the Women of TUM (Foto: Astrid Eckert/TUM).

Relations with France

The relations with France have always been close to Hannemor Keidel’s heart. Hence, TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann made her his Delegate Officer for the Scientific Exchange with France. In addition to intercultural exchange Hannemor Keidel has continuously promoted gender equality throughout her career. In 2011 she took on the new post of Vice President for Diversity and Talent Management and developed a new diversity strategy, which was a crucial part of the successful institutional strategy of TUM for the Initiative for Excellence in 2012.

As the Delegate Officer of the President for the reform of the Bavarian School of Public Policy (HfP), of which TUM is the host university since 2014, she has earned outstanding achievements for Political Sciences. “Being a political scientist at a technical university I have noticed many times that there is no communication between the academic cultures – humanities and social sciences on the one hand and technology and natural sciences on the other”, Hannemor Keidel says. With its new faculty, the TUM School of Governance, TUM has found a course that prepares the students at a very early stage for the interdependencies between technology and politics, in order for them to be able to face the challenges of a modern society in a responsible way.