- eco raising the bar in its commitment to women in tech
- An alliance involving leading tech groups such as Salesforce and GoDaddy launches new website as content hub and plans further activities
- More women at tech events: Establishment of a speaker directory for female digital experts
A glance at the numbers shows: The Internet industry needs female reinforcement. Just under 17 percent of employees in the German IT sector are women.1 The gender gap is even greater at executive level. For example, the proportion of women in management positions in software development and programming in the German ICT sector is just 9 percent.2 Furthermore, in Germany, the proportion of female founders of start-ups with innovative business models is 15.7 percent.3 The #LiT – Ladies in Tech initiative under the umbrella of eco – Association of the Internet Industry aims to change this. With the participation of leading tech groups such as Salesforce and GoDaddy, the initiative is committed to making women of all digital disciplines more visible, to promoting their active participation in shaping the digital transformation, and to counteracting the shortage of skilled workers on a long-term basis.
“The greatest potential that Germany has so far left untapped in digitalisation is girls and women in IT and the digital economy,” explains eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme. Digitalisation is decisively shaping the future of all people in all areas of life and the economy and is acting as a job engine, even in times of the pandemic. “In order to develop innovative solutions and remain internationally competitive, companies must now make the advancement of women a top priority, because gender equality is in their deepest economic interest,” Süme continues. “With the #LiT – Ladies in Tech initiative, we are giving the highly qualified, great female experts in tech a face and a voice, so that they in turn inspire and encourage others to discover this exciting and future-proof industry for themselves,” adds Lucia Falkenberg, Chief People Officer at the eco Assocation, who founded the initiative together with Süme back in spring 2019. In IT, the call for more female colleagues is getting louder and louder. In addition, the tech world is realising that mixed teams promote innovation and increase quality and performance.
eco intensifies activities of the #LiT – Ladies in Tech initiative
The #LiT – Ladies in Tech initiative aims to gain more visibility in media, politics and society for female role models from the tech industry, and to highlight current pressing issues and topics related to women in the IT and digital industries. For this purpose, a new website was recently launched as a content hub concerning the topic of women in tech. In addition, the initiative promotes active exchange with politicians and the media and acts as a platform for networking female specialists and executives in the IT and digital economy. Leading tech companies are also already on board as partners. “Topics such as diversity and equality are defining values of our corporate culture. We stand for a tech world in which women and men pull together and in which all options are also open to female talents – this is what we are committed to with GoDaddy and #LiT – Ladies in Tech,” says Melanie Buck, Director Change Management at GoDaddy, in explaining her company’s involvement.
The initiative also aims to counteract male-dominated discussions at tech events. “For many years, we have seen a lot of men on tech stages, and certainly highly qualified ones, but too few women,” says Falkenberg, with eco itself hosting more than 100 events a year. A range of studies identify the visibility of female role models as playing a key role in inspiring girls and women to get engaged professionally in tech and IT. With the public speaker directory, the initiative intends to offer women a place on the stages of digital expert formats and support those who are event organisers looking for female experts in tech. In June, we will also see the start of the nomination phase for the eco://awards in the #LiT– Ladies in Tech category, which honours the commitment of inspiring female professionals and executives in the digital industry.
More on the German-language #LiT – Ladies in Tech initiative at: https://lit.eco.de/
More on Women in Tech at https://international.eco.de/topics/women-in-tech/
1 Share of female employees in the IT sector in absolute and percentage terms for selected countries (sources for Female Tech Workforce EU countries: Eurostat 2019a) Eurostat (2019a): Available online at https://appsso.euros- tat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=isoc_sks_itsps&lang=en (last accessed 27.02.2020).
2 Study “Women in Tech” Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit) Berlin on behalf of eco – Association of the Internet Industry, Table 8, page 14, https://www.eco.de/rahmen-und-arbeitsbedingungen-fuer-frauen-in-der-internetwirtschaft-ist-situation-und-handlungsempfehlungen/
3 German Startups Association (2019): FFM – Female Founders Monitor. Available online at https://femalefoundersmonitor.de/wp-content/uploads/FemaleFoundersMonitor2020.pdf