(Too few) women in IT?
If you still think of IT as technology-loving nerds who work out complex software programs over Coke and pizza, you need to get better informed right away. Agile working methods such as Kanban and Scrum have changed the requirements and thus also the job descriptions in IT. Most companies are now looking for communicative people for whom teamwork is important and who are curious about change. But as much as the industry is evolving, women are unfortunately still “a rarity” in IT. Here you can find out why this is so and how the proportion of women could develop in the future.
The first programmers were women
Did you know that the first programmers were actually female? Because programming was still a typical “women’s job” in the 1980s. However, the profession was not particularly highly regarded back then. While IT workers are more in demand today than ever before, it used to be a matter of drudgery for low-status office workers. Over the course of time, however, the IT working world has developed into an absolute male domain. Only just under 18% of students are female, and among IT trainees the figure is as low as 9%. A lecture hall full of men is therefore not a rare sight in computer science. And even after training, the proportion of women is meager: Depending on the position, only 10-20% of applicants for open positions in programming and IT are women. And things don’t look any better in the startup environment. So one thing is certain: There is a clear lack of women in the IT industry, although female potential is particularly needed here.
What is the actual reason for this?
One reason why too few women choose computer science and IT professions probably has something to do with upbringing and schooling. Too many old role models are still imprinted on children, in which women tend to be pigeonholed into social or linguistic categories. At the same time, there are too few effective measures to attract women to IT and the digital economy. Yet many companies in the IT sector have long since realized that mixed teams promote innovation, increase quality and performance, and bring added monetary value.
So what can be done to attract more women to the industry and leave the clichés behind?
It is difficult to say when we will be able to observe the same number of women as men in the IT world and also perceive an equal distribution in the relevant courses of study and in companies. To achieve this, education in the STEM subjects in particular must be strengthened and innovated. But unfortunately, raising awareness among young professionals will not work without the support of partners from science and industry. One thing is certain: We want something to change and hope to see more female developers, project managers, designers, testers and scrum masters in the IT industry in the future. Because in IT, everyone who has the ability to approach challenges in a solution-oriented and creative way, is open to new approaches and recognizes the needs of their team has good cards. So, let’s get rid of the clichés and get more information about the diversity in the IT industry!
Do you have further questions about this topic, or are you looking for an exciting job in the IT sector? Then get in touch with us. We will be happy to advise you!