by Sabrina Stein
Published in: Background

Why are there less women in the IT than men? Often outdated role thinking still has an influence on the later job choice. Many young girls prefer the typical female job fields as the technical-mathematical activities. No wonder why the IT sector is still dominated by men. In addition, IT jobs also offer women many career prospects for the future, especially in times of the digitalization. Don't you think that this is reason enough to consider a job in the IT branch? In this blog post, we want to show you how women can discover the IT industry for themselves in times of digital change.

Two girls working in the data center of the Keyweb AG

Now and then we find ourselves classifying men and women professions and categorizing them by gender. When we hear about a technical job, for example a programmer, we automatically associate it with a male profession. In the case of a social job, like the “educator”, we think directly of a female profession. This way of thinking is comparable with the assignment of the colors blue or pink to a gender.

More enthusiasm for the IT industry

Let's imagine that we would be a 9th grade girl and would not yet know what we want to do for a living. We are probably not being prepared for a technical career at school because boys would understand this more. So far, we may not have been presented with a female role model representing the IT industry. The only thing that buzzes around in our heads are the jobs that other girls our age have chosen: educators, nurses, retail clerks, dental employees or office clerks.

If role thinking is already firmly anchored and the existing mismatch in technical and craft areas is perceived as "normal", it is difficult to get rid of this pattern. A young person who does not yet know exactly what she wants to do later is probably only interested in what she is enthusiastic about. If there is no motivation for technical professional fields, there is also no chance of discovering a passion in it. On the way to career orientation, too few doors are opened to girls for new perspectives. Behind one of these doors, for example, is the IT industry, which is growing in importance in times of digitization. So how can young women be encouraged to open this door themselves without any urge?

The solution!

With three simple reasons, we would like to illustrate why women should also use IT professions as a career opportunity.

1. IT as a future-proof career opportunity

Experiencing the development of artificial intelligence and the reality of digitalization is becoming more exciting than ever. In the IT industry we are at the source of the dynamic digital world, which creates a good basis for the development of new innovative ideas and technologies. This requires a certain amount of curiosity and a good sense of new trends in order to always be up to date, because hardly any industry is moving as rapidly as IT. This also means that the flexibility and importance of jobs in IT such as for example of IT system administrators, programmers or IT system clerks will increase continuously over the next few years. The choice of an IT profession clearly proves to be future-proof, while terms such as "boredom" and "insecurity" have long been found in IT only in a foreign dictionary.

Digitization also means that flexible work is constantly coming to the fore. The introduction of family-friendly work models are considered inevitable if there is to be more women in the IT sector. Digital workplaces, for example, enable flexible working from home and offer a good basis for reconciling family and work.

2. Why IT is more diverse than you think

In addition to the future and security, a job in IT also promises diversity, because behind IT jobs there is more than just complex technology that only men understand. Creative minds are especially important when it comes to implementing new ideas. If you think of agile project management methods such as Scrum, Design Thinking and Kanban, future-oriented solutions for the most extensive technical challenges can be created with a little creativity and commitment. Good drafts, designs and even prototypes can be easily created using various tools - and we don't even have to be able to program for them. If there is a good design for a website, for example, it is time to investigate the usability of this design. At this point we deal with the questions: What makes a good website? Is it clearly presented to the user? Does it have good navigation? Which suitable pictures and texts could be implemented? In the end, the use of the website should be as easy and pleasant as possible for the visitor. Only when this is guaranteed it will be programmed by IT specialists and programmers so that it can appear on the Internet. For women with a good graphic sense or a creative streak, exciting tasks can wait in IT - beyond programming.

3. Female role models in IT

How can we encourage women to take the step into the IT industry? To motivate women more for the male-dominated IT industry, we need one thing above all - female role models who show us that IT can also be interesting for women. Ada Lovelace, who is considered to be the world's first programmer and with her developed algorithm, was already exemplary in its time - the 19th century (source: www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Ada-Lovelace-Day-Frauen-als-Vorbilder-in-der-IT-208991.html). The Eco Association of the Internet Industry proves that there are female role models today and provides an interview series "Women in the Tech Industry" that shows motivating and talented female professionals and executives in the technology industry. For example, the following people were interviewed: Melanie Buck, Chief of Staff at GoDaddy and Simone Menne, multi-supervisory board member at BMW, Johnson Controls and Deutsche Post (source: www.eco.de/presse/3-gute-gruende-fuer-mehr-frauen-in-der-it/). It certainly proves to be a valuable method as an IT company to include female specialists in the external image in order to attract IT-interested women who initially did not dare to enter the male domain of IT.

The first step into the IT industry

Interested schoolchildren get opportunities early in the form of internships, career choice events and open days to get a taste of technical, craft and scientific fields. A valuable and well-known project for the cliché-free professional orientation of young schoolchildren is the "Girls Day", which is organized annually in one day by the competence center. On this day, companies from male-dominated industries organize an introductory program for the girls and enter it as an offer in the Girls'Day Radar on the website. From there, the students can register for an offer of their choice.

This blog post has shown that the relevance of the future, the diversity of IT professions and female role models can increase the likelihood of getting more and more women enthusiastic about the IT industry and encouraging them to take the plunge into this industry. Perhaps this contribution even triggered impulses for one or two women that sparked interest in the IT industry.

If you want to learn more about job opportunities in IT at Keyweb AG, for example, you can also find out more on this career page. → https://www.keyweb.de/de/keyweb/karriere