This year’s International Women’s Day is themed “Let’s all choose to challenge” – because a challenge is followed by a change. Worldwide, biases and inequalities are to be identified and showcased by celebrating women’s successes and achievements, among other things. But more equality can only be achieved by working together, so the call is to show you’re in: “So, hand up high to show you’re in.”
We are in
Studies such as the one from the Federal Statistical Office 2018/2019 show that the proportion of women studying STEM subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, technology) in Germany is still low at 29.3%, but is developing an upward trend. In 2017/2018, the share of female first-year students in computer science was only 22.4%.
Why is it worth changing that? Everyone benefits from same-gender teams: they achieve better innovation and higher decision-making quality in a more balanced work climate than same-gender groups; in these, men are often too risk-averse, while women act too hesitantly. Companies achieve more growth potential because they can counteract the shortage of skilled workers, as evidenced, for example, by the EURO Akademie study in 2018.
At it-economics, we are happy when women decide to pursue a career in a technical environment, and we specifically promote this in our company through our “women@it-economics” initiative. That’s why we’ve taken the motto a little more narrowly for us: Let’s all choose to challenge tech.
Talk and literature recommendations for women
For International Women’s Day, our colleagues at the initiative have rounded up some very interesting TED Talks and book recommendations that address issues that affect women in the workforce. We would also like to recommend the NDR and ARD podcast “She likes Tech” to all women who are interested in technology.
- Margaret Heffernan: Forget the pecking order at work
- Jane Sojka: Empowering Women Benefits Everyone
- Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders
- Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can we all “have it all”?
- Feminist Fight Club (Jessica Bennett)
- Bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenges (Amy Cuddy)
Women in tech – what our female colleagues say
Various initiatives such as “Girls’ Day” have set themselves the task of bringing girls and women closer to professions in which they have rarely been represented. In addition to crafts, natural sciences and technology, IT is also one of them. We asked some of our female colleagues for their personal opinions on why more women should choose a career in tech.
Being a computer scientist is an interesting career where you are constantly developing. It is also a good option for securing a job in the future, as digitalization is more important than ever these days and offers a wide variety of specialization areas to suit all tastes.
More women should think about this profession. Why? Because we can and we have the intellectual capacity.
We have little visibility on the contribution of women to the development of computer science throughout history, but there are many who have made history, such as Ada Lovelace, creator of the first computer program and known as the mother of computer programming. Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood actress and inventor of the pioneering technology of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Grace Murray Hooper, developer of the first compiler for a programming language.
I would also like to mention Jude Milhon, creator of cyberpunk, programmer, author, and defender of cyber rights; Frances Allen, pioneer in parallel task automation, 2007 Turing Prize winner; and Lynn Conway-pioneer in the field of microelectronic chip design.Lilly
I think women are still far too rare to be found as a techie, because there is still a “pigeonhole thinking” in some cases. It is forgotten that many women have developed technology innovations. We should therefore all open our mindset and give women – who enjoy tech – a chance.Lisa
Because diversity beats simplicity! Especially when you see the higher proportions of women in neighboring European countries, you start to wonder – at least that’s how I felt.Maria
Choose to challenge tech because it’s a win-win situation. Working in tech is one more great opportunity for women to develop their ideas and constantly solve problems, to grow and change smaller or bigger communities. It’s exciting, it’s challenging, it’s impactful.
On the other side, the industry needs more skillful people and diversity mindsets to also keep growing and creating solutions. The women win, the tech industry wins. It worth it so let’s choose to challenge tech togetherPetya
I think that women have had “umami” towards the technical sector – we want to have more and more. We bring color, harmony and humanity to this fast-growing sector. I personally was fascinated by it since I was a child.Rositsa
Because there is room and need for women in tech. Women bring different perspective, detail and customer orientation and more united teams.Ognyana