eco Association: Internet Industry Needs More Female Specialists and Leaders

  • Girls’ Day in Germany on 26.04.2018
  • Proportion of female applicants for IT positions and study places growing slowly but steadily
  • Internet industry offers very good career opportunities for women

There is a major lack of female specialists in the Internet industry*: “Only around 10 to 20 percent of applicants for positions for programmers and IT experts are women,” says Lucia Falkenberg, Chief Personal Officer (CPO) of eco – Association of the Internet Industry and Leader of the eco Competence Group New Work. “That is really regrettable, because the Internet industry offers great career opportunities for women.” According to Falkenberg, the proportion of female applications has risen slightly in recent years, but in no way meets the demand.

Falkenberg sees one reason for this as being the lack of female role models. “We need more young women to decide today to be active and develop a career in the Internet industry, and become the role models of tomorrow.” Alongside the computer sciences, IT companies are also searching in particular for female attorneys, marketing experts and controllers, for example. Prerequisites include a general interest in technology, digital competency, and – above all – social competencies: “IT jobs are creative and also require strong communicative abilities.”

Seeking female role models

“Companies that succeed in hiring female specialists profit. That’s because mixed teams are more creative and more communicative, and more effective in work processes, as many studies and practical examples have shown,” Falkenberg says. It has been proven that employers that support their staff with family responsibilities like child care and aged care, and demonstrate social engagement and actively support diversity, have an easier time recruiting top experts.

For Falkenberg, digitalization is a responsibility of society as a whole, and female movers and shakers are urgently needed in many areas to help shape this transition – in IT consulting, in product management and, for example, in software development. “The high growth rates of digital business models are creating a multitude of future-proof jobs for many professions and qualifications.”

Companies profit from diversity

To support the economic growth of IT companies and the Internet industry as a whole, Falkenberg calls for improvements in reconciling family and professional life. This is as much the responsibility of companies as it is of governments, which should further extend their care support. The education system must also support the changes: IT core competencies belong in the elementary school curriculum, along with media competence. “We need to set the sails today, to encourage the professional women of tomorrow,” Falkenberg says.

*Study: Recruiting Trends 2017