Women in Tech: This makes the IT industry attractive to women

LEAD: Why are there still a few women in IT jobs in 2019?

Sabrina of Nessen: Technology does not belong per se to the “typically female” interests, I would not underestimate the influence of school and home. As a rule, girls are hardly encouraged to take “typically male” jobs. All in all, today’s day-to-day role models are missing in everyday IT IT work.

LEAD: Do prejudices prevent women from taking on typical “men’s jobs”?

From Nessen: Well, women often condemn men, for example, for their ability to present with pride and conviction a work outcome, even if it is not mature or complete. By contrast, women have tended to impose too high a standard of quality. And avoid the oppressive situation and the competition, by avoiding certain industries or professions.

LEAD: What would have to change in the industry to make it interesting for women?

From Nessen: The industry has not yet managed to make IT jobs for women interesting. This aspect first has to penetrate the consciousness of the companies. An important role is played by networks and role models. Ultimately, however, it already starts with the formulation of attractive job advertisements.

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LEAD: You are the first woman on the afb board for over 20 years. Is that something that you are proud of?

From Nessen: I grew up in male domains, so that’s nothing special for me. We work with people from all continents and ages. There is no fear of contact or sensitiveness. In everyday life, the personality has a lot of weight, but little space in the decision-making. Then only the result counts. I’m proud of that.

LEAD: Do you act differently from the men on the board or are there no differences?

From Nessen: I would never say that women are the better managers overall. But when it comes to talent, it is noticeable that it tends to be easier for us to access the emotional level of people. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is an essential feature of successful leaders, especially in times of “New Work”.

You might also be interested in this: Chiara Oliva, CEO of the start-up OutOfOffice, in an interview

LEAD: As a woman at the head of a company, do you feel a kind of social responsibility?

From Nessen: Fundamentally, sustainability is one of my core values. This goes from ecological aspects to transparent communication at eye level. At the head of a company, I want to assume and live up to social responsibility.

And at the same time, all people should use their respective spheres of influence to help shape the society of tomorrow. Staying in the background and thinking of oneself only creates space for destructive forces.

LEAD: What do you think about socially motivated help for women in the job, such as the female quota?

From Nessen: For many years, I believe that outstanding performance alone, regardless of gender, leads to success. Unfortunately, the facts speak a different language, at least when I assume an equally distributed willingness and ability to perform.

By contrast, sobering quotas are at higher levels of leadership, not least on the Executive or Supervisory Boards. Obviously, there are still mechanisms that lead to this negative shift for women.

You might also be interested in this: “Women have to do more”

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Sabrina von Nessen is CFO at afb, a Munich-based software and consulting firm for financial and service providers, and is committed to attracting more women in IT professions. (Image: Christian Wiendl)

LEAD: What is your assessment? Are women often standing in the way of pursuing their career goals?

From Nessen: Unfortunately, despite the high level of development of our society, I still find that men and women alike make their career choices for the wrong reasons.

Frequently influences and beliefs of family or circle of friends are taken over without reflection. Or the appeal of power, status and money is just too big. I encourage you to understand a job more often than vocation. Then objectively existing or subjectively perceived hurdles can be overcome athletically.

LEAD: To what extent does work-life balance play a role?

From Nessen: Family and work are not yet easy for women to reconcile. There is still a lack of social and legal framework conditions. Above all, still encrusted views and retarded thought patterns hinder women in the consistent pursuit of a self-determined career.

LEAD: You are involved in women’s networks. Why and what do you want to achieve with it?

From Nessen: I have come to the conclusion that excellent achievements obviously are not enough to transfer the gender equal distribution of the world population into the executive levels. Obviously, there are disadvantageous mechanisms for women.

I would like to point this out to my commitment and help to eliminate it. When people consistently pursue their passion, great things can happen. But as long as prejudices block the way, I want to get involved.

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Philipp Kalweit is the most sought-after hacker in Germany – and that’s why he’s already on the Forbes “30 under 30” list at the age of 18. Why we quit our password cloud directly after the interview, you read in the current LEAD Bookazine 2/2019!

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