The research project RIDDLES investigates intersectional dynamics in engineering and scientific expert organizations.  Expert organizations are characterized by a high degree of decentralization and autonomy of the experts. Especially in engineering and science, the belief in meritocracy is an essential criterion: success comes to those who perform well. At the same time, engineering and, for the most part, scientific organizations are strongly male-dominated.

In addition to gender, however, other social categories such as nationality, age, physical (dis)integrity or language also play a role. This simultaneous effect of several social categories is also called intersectionality. Intersectionality is considered a new paradigm in gender research. The essential criterion here is that the diversity within a group of people is perceived and taken into account in the research process. In this way, social reality can be grasped more realistically. At the same time, it is true that intersectionality cannot be captured one-dimensionally, i.e. several social levels should be taken into account.

This multidimensionality of intersectionality is not easy to grasp methodologically. Therefore, the further development of intersectional methodology and methodological repertoires is part of RIDDLES.  Thus, the aim of RIDDLES is on the one hand to show ways to capture intersectional phenomena in their complexity, and on the other hand to make visible the impact of intersectional dynamics in engineering and scientific expert organizations.  The results will be made available to the participating organizations and can thus stimulate an examination of unconscious, potentially discriminatory practices.

Dissertation: Mag. Elisabeth Anna Günther: The Ideal Student. An Intersectional Analysis of Student Success and Dropout at the TU Wien.

Subproject: Career entry barriers for female TU graduates.
Diploma thesis: Gülhan Akbulut, BSc: Experiences of TU female students during their studies (PDF), opens a file in a new window (Tender text, completed 2015)