The tech industry is one of the main economic sectors dominated by men with only around 16% of employees being women. Thankfully, the topic of bringing more women into tech is trending. Companies are aiming for greater diversity, resulting in a growing demand for more women developers and experts. But why is having women and diversity in tech so important?
Though it certainly has a humane aspect to it, diversity can drive real progress. Including more women gives us a wider talent pool. It helps us to improve the internal processes, and develop products and services that consider the needs and of all parts of society. To celebrate Women’s History Month in our own way, we interviewed our female employees representing different fields in birkle IT.
Our Senior Recruiter Kadi has helped to change and optimize processes, hire amazing talent, and recently received the notable II-III place as “Estonian Recruiter of the year 2020” in KICKOFF 2021.
CEO Assistant Susanne, who is the soul and anchor of the company, seems to be everywhere at once. She either has some magical talents or knows some secrets that others yet have to learn.
Ksenia, a Developer with bright ideas and an eye for detail. She is the one who can bring the team together by sharing her insights and knowledge, the glue of the team you can say.
They shed the light on why they have chosen tech and shared their thoughts about diversity and work culture in tech companies.
What brought you to IT and what is your motivation?
Susanne: A job in IT promises not only a future and security but above all diversity. There is more to IT jobs than just complex technology that only men understand. Especially when it comes to implementing new ideas, creative minds are needed, and creativity has always given me a lot of pleasure.
What made you choose IT?
Kadi: I am intrigued because client projects are diverse and require me to learn new things quickly as IT is ever-changing.
Ksenia: For me, this was the obvious choice, the one that helps me to realize my ambitions. Also, my father is a developer, I think that also had an influence on my career choice.
Susanne: In order to motivate women to join the male-dominated IT industry, we need strong female role models who show that IT is interesting for women also. For example, Ada Lovelace, who is considered to be the world’s first female programmer, developed an algorithm that was already far ahead of her time in the 19th century. This woman has particularly impressed and influenced me.
Why do you think diversity matters in tech? What extra values diversity brings to projects and to the company culture in general?
Kadi: Having a diverse team in terms of gender and other facets like different nationalities, skills-levels, ages, industries, etc. is a great asset for a company. It can help you avoid slipping into a like-minded thinking loop. Different people bring their experiences helping to build inclusive solutions for our clients. It is definitely a win-win situation.
To my mind, having a diverse team will enhance the culture. It creates a friendly and respectful atmosphere where people feel valued for everything they bring to the table.
Ksenia: Let’s talk about the variety of technologies perspective. I believe the variety of technologies in the company makes it possible to look at the problem from different angles. This allows you to find interesting and unexpected solutions. The diversity of technologies gives more flexibility in implementation. The more tools and technologies we have, the better and faster we can do our work. If you want to keep your developers from getting bored – have variety. A bored programmer is a disaster for the project.
Susanne: It is important to realize that every project is different and requires a project manager and team with specific skills and knowledge that fit the project. As a medium-sized company, this is particularly important for birkle. Our projects are run by employees whose personalities and skill sets are best suited for projects they are working on. Following this “suitability model” at birkle IT helps us to deliver effective and successful projects for our clients.
What do you like most working in IT at birkle?
Kadi: I love the range of freedom and support I have from the whole team in both countries. But one of the main reasons I said “yes” to joining the company, was the philosophy of the Estonian CEO, Marco Spielmann.
Ksenia: Here is a real opportunity for career growth. The management listens to the opinions of employees. You just have to be open and have a voice. And of course, the possibility to work from home and candies in the office 🙂
Susanne: What I like most is working in a team, cohesion, respect for others. Everyone helps everyone at all times, which is particularly strong at our company.
What do you see as obstacles? What is hardest for women working in tech?
Ksenia: Obstacles are the same as for men. Nowadays there is quite a tolerant society, except for a few individual cases that you can find in any company no matter the industry. Rather sometimes it seems to me that soon it will be necessary to protect men from discrimination.
Kadi: I have been fortunate enough not to experience rude behavior towards myself for being a female. But I have heard and read a fair share of different stories from either candidates or IT professionals.
What I see as the biggest blocker is quite often internal. For example, women do not feel ready to apply if they don’t match every criterion of the job ad leaving them without a promotion or a new exciting job.
What would you like to say to women, who are interested in technology and IT, but are hesitant due to concerns of it being a man’s world?
Kadi: IT is an extremely wide field, you do not have to be a Developer. There are so many other roles that could match your interest and talents. I recommend you to talk with women who are already in tech to learn about their path into IT. For example, in Estonia, there is a lovely community called Tech Sisters and in Germany, you can check out the Geekettes.
Ksenia: I think the most common reason for the doubts is that women are not sure if they can handle the job. This can be attributed to any profession. If you’re interested in IT, just give it a try.
Susanne: Women often have a different approach than men and can score with different ways of thinking having a positive effect on the company and thus on the IT industry – therefore the male world can only benefit from female power!