Are there only nerds here? Carolin Oeynhausen and Franziska Schelleis – the two newcomers at BusinessCode report on women in IT.
“Today is my first day at BusinessCode” explains 20-year-old Franziska Schelleis, who is in the last semester of her bachelor’s degree at the University of Bonn. Her bachelor’s thesis is due next semester. Next to her is Carolin Oeynhausen, a student in Schweinfurt, but in robotics. Together, the two young ladies in the team radiate interest, knowledge and curiosity. A desire for new technical things, a desire to simply try something out, to think and develop things in a new way. And to participate in the upcoming video shoot for the planned recruiting campaign.
Newcomer Franziska immediately tells the camera that she has a maximum of 15-20% female students in her semester. Far too few, because IT offers scope for personal development, for new designs and complex thinking. Just do it, try to solve things with an abstract approach, and don’t just follow well-trodden paths.
IT – complex thinking required
Who would have thought it! So IT is more than just mastering the binary number space, designing a sequence of numbers with the digits 0 and 1.
“Yes, very different,” emphasizes Carolin Oeynhausen, who is even the only female student in her robotics major. “Carolin home alone!” Why is that? Perhaps because it’s already getting technical in the 2nd semester of study, in which Carolin is, with physics and mechanics dominating the timetable? There is still a lot to be done here to get girls more excited about technical subjects and courses of study during their school careers.
Carolin talks about her high school graduation from a girls’ high school and about her fellow high school graduates, most of whom chose a path toward the social sciences and humanities. It’s a completely different story for Carolin, who is sure she’s in good hands in robotics. She has both feet on the ground, enjoys shooting videos, her colleagues at BusinessCode and her work environment, and the international projects she is involved in.
Female students in IT still in the minority
Why are the two female employees at BusinessCode apparently still the exception and in a clear outnumber in the study of computer science at colleges and universities? Martin Bernemann, CEO at BusinessCode, does not have a clear answer to this question. His daughter started studying IT in Bonn, but quickly dropped out, despite personal support. “Only IT nerds, too little communication, hardly any integration,” the father recalls the reasons. A pity, because communication, teamwork and exchange of ideas are a central part of working in an IT profession and at BusinessCode.
BusinessCode relies on mixed-gender teams
Franziska and Carolin are still the exception. But BusinessCode is working to change that. “We are counting on female reinforcement for our company, and would like to bring more women into the team. Currently, there are five more. Mixed teams are to everyone’s advantage,” emphasize those responsible, and therefore rely on active communication and a targeted recruiting campaign with the two young ladies, among others!
What is the basic thing to do? At BusinessCode, the focus is on making IT fun, offering internships and getting young women interested in IT at secondary school. The aim is to convey that IT is more than hacking and that a job in this industry is future-oriented and offers a wide range of opportunities.
What can we do?
IT, and programming in particular, can be traced back to the pioneering ideas of Ada Lovelace in the early 19th century. It is time for IT and the natural sciences to become more attractive to women again and for these fields to be perceived by women as a promising and promising field of activity. The question for society and the industry is: What do we need to do to accelerate this process?
Caption: Carolin Oeynhausen and Franziska Schelleis