Although the IT industry gets more and more attractive for women nowadays, it’s still a male-dominated business. Here at Scandio, we focus on shaping a diverse work environment every day and are very happy to work with a lot of great women. We picked three of them for this edition of our Scandio Report, and they tell us about their experiences in IT and why they choose this path.
Hello, please introduce yourselves briefly!
Nina: My name is Nina and I’ve been working as an IT Consultant in the field of Atlassian and Salesforce since September 2020. We advise customers on the products, provide trainings and are responsible for post-implementation support.
Irmgard: I have been with Scandio since the beginning in 2003, so I am almost part of the inventory. I’m also an IT consultant, but with a focus on our customers from IHK and I am also involved in plug-in development. This has all changed a bit over the years, so I now do many things across the board.
Liza: I am Liza and have been with Scandio since January 2021. I am also an IT Consultant and my tasks are pretty much the same as Ninas, but on top of that I am also involved in operational IT, e.g. updates and Jira cloud migrations.
Why did you choose a career in IT and why did you join Scandio?
Liza: I ended up in IT “by accident” due to a working student job. I initially studied Linguistics and then decided to take the postgraduate course in Computer Linguistics. Working in IT wasn’t a conscious decision, but I am very happy to have found my place here!
Nina: It was quite similar for me. I studied Business Administration and came to IT as a working student at a publishing house, where I was responsible for Salesforce. As a result, I did my master’s degree in Business Information Systems, and now I’ve ended up directly at Scandio.
Irmi: When I graduated from high school, Computer Science was still a brand new academic subject. Since I’m interested in a lot of things, I was primarily looking for something I could make money with (laughs). Since I’ve always been good at math, I figured Computer Science was pretty interesting. I happened to stumble upon Scandio after someone in my Kung Fu club recommended them to me.
How do you notice in your everyday life that you’re working in a male-dominated industry?
Nina: You certainly notice it, because your co-workers are mostly men. The same thing on the customer side. But I wouldn’t say thats something negative. For some topics, however, an exchange with women can be quite refreshing. But you can see more and more women finding their way into IT lately.
Liza: I’ve known it this way for 15 years, so I don’t even notice it anymore. For a long time I was the sole owner of the ladies’ room (laughs). Even though there are more and more women, you can tell that it’s just not a typical female environment.
Irmi: I chose a “man’s profession” rather consciously. In the beginning, I often had to listen to stupid comments or customers simply didn’t listen to me. There was this situation where I’ve given a presentation and everyone was shaking their heads, two hours later a male colleague is telling the exact same thing and then all of a sudden it’s a great deal. But all that has gotten much better and doesn’t really happen anymore.
How could the industry be made more attractive to women?
Liza: You have to take away women’s shyness about technology in general. I used to make a special effort and learn a lot because I felt that men were capable of much more than I was in the technical field. But the work environment is so much healthier and more helpful these days, and you don’t have to worry about looking stupid when you ask questions. You don’t have to be a genius to succeed in IT.
Irmi: I know the feeling of having to perform better than my male colleagues! Unfortunately, a woman’s competence has often been questioned, but this has now improved considerably. In my opinion, however, the problem begins at school, where girls are usually suggested that they have no talent for mathematics or technology.
Nina: I also think that encouragement in this area should be given at a much earlier stage. In the meantime there are quite nice projects, such as the “Girls Day”, which gives girls an insight into technical professions.
Then have a look at our job offers!
As a woman, what do you place particular emphasis on when choosing an employer?
Nina: For me, their online appearance and the wording of the job ads are very important. Also what questions are asked during the job interview - questions about future plans after 30 are an absolute no-go! During my conversation with Scandio, I immediately had the feeling that everyone here has equal rights and a right to have a say.
Liza: It was very important to me not to be seen as a second-class employee just because I have two small children. But unfortunately many employers still do. That’s why I think it’s great that the founders of Scandio are family people themselves and are considerate of the fact that you can’t always be as flexible as a mother. I never feel like I have to apologize when I unexpectedly miss work because of my children.
Irmi: For me, the first impression and the atmosphere in the office or during the interview were key. As a single mom, flexible working hours are of course extremely important to me.
How well connected are you within Scandio?
Nina: We launched a “Girls” Slack channel at this year’s World Women’s Day, where we can discuss everything that’s on our mind both inside and outside of Scandio. Accorindg to this, there is a regular Girls’ Night, where we discuss topics such as the wording of our job ads or the implementation of working time models for mothers. Once a month there is also a joint lunch.
How do you manage to keep a clear head on stressful days?
Liza: Coffee (laughs). I’m now quite relaxed about this. Fresh air and a coffee break usually help. And the most important thing is that everyone is healthy!
Irmi: I’m already happy when I can concentrate on one thing at a time, having two children (laughs). You just have to put into perspective what will happen when things go wrong and accept certain things. It gets better with age!
Nina: That sounds great (laughs)!
What are you happy about at work? Is there anything that really gets you excited?
Nina: Nowadays, visiting the office and seeing my colleagues! In general happy customers after a training and good feedback.
Irmi: A finished project that everyone is happy with! Also working productively together as a team and finding a good solution to a problem.
Liza: I am always happy about chatting with my colleagues and when I can learn something new. And having satisfied customers!
What advice would you give to women who are thinking about working in IT?
Liza: Just do it!
Nina: Don’t be afraid and don’t get discouraged! If you are interested in something and have fun with it, you can learn anything.
Irmi: If you enjoy it, you’ll be good at it!
Thank you for your time!