Equal opportunities are a matter for the boss

Equal opportunities are a matter for the boss

There are too few women in technical professions and in management positions. It is well known. But what is often seen as a women’s problem is actually a company problem, as christine regitz, vice president of the gesellschaft fur informatik e.V., on thursday at the 15. Economic forum mainfranken in iphofen clearly.

"Man’s woman or woman’s business"?"Was the title of the event hosted by the region mainfranken gmbh and the association of bavarian business e. V. Had invited to the karl knauf hall. After introductory remarks by district administrator tamara bischof, the vbw board chairman for lower franconia, wolfgang fieber, and the mayor of schweinfurt, sebastian remele, chairman of the mainfranken region, christine regitz addressed the question of how women can be challenged in technical professions and leadership positions. She used figures to show that there is a need for action: the proportion of women in technical professions is low, as is the number of female students. In a comparison of female science graduates, oman leads the field, followed by kuwait and bahrain; the best EU country is portugal, in 18th place. According to the EU commission, gross domestic product could be increased by nine billion euros if there were more women in work. And the shortage of skilled workers is more than serious: in just a few years, 800,000 jobs in the ICT sector alone, i.E. Information and communications technology, will not be able to be filled.

According to christine regitz, the challenge for women in technical professions and management positions is not about changing the entire world, but about taking small steps. "Women are a little different," she said. They set different priorities, have a different communication style, approach the subject of power differently than men and have different career motives. The demand for women is a question of corporate culture. "It must be a matter for the boss."The clear commitment to equal opportunities must come from the top. It is important to define the significance of the topic for the company. "They don’t want to challenge women, they want to challenge the company. The men also benefit from this," she made clear to the 140 or so people present. She cited job postings as an example of a change in mindset. These often contain an incredible number of requirements. "Women only apply if they meet 100 out of 100 requirements. Men apply for jobs if they meet ten or 20 of these requirements."

Steinhaus advises more courage

In a panel discussion, four female "doers", including bibiana steinhaus, chief police inspector and the first female referee in german professional soccer to officiate matches, spoke about their experiences of changing roles. When she started out, she didn’t set out to be a role model, but rather to do what she loved. It’s important to hold on to your dream, regardless of gender. Performance, self-confidence and courage were the basic prerequisites, without which it would not be possible. Her appeal to women is that they should choose a coarser number, "they’ll grow into it". But anyone who wants to go to the front of the line has to be aware that it’s a drafty place. "Then you’ll be in the tabloids every monday," she said of her situation. "It’s not for everyone. You have to put up with it."The measure of their work on the soccer field cannot be the satisfaction of others. When she makes a decision, there are always eleven for and eleven against. The yardstick for her is rather the question of whether she will make the same decision again tomorrow.

Being alone among men is something that eva maria roer, a businesswoman from bad bocklet, also knows. She was the only woman studying in vancouver in the 1960s. She quickly discovered that "the communication currents are very different there."When she later founded her company, she started with only women and had over 20 female employees. But only women in the company had polarized instead of integrating them. She realized: "if you want change, you need the right dose of change."Today, 40 percent of its 300 employees are men.

As an electronics technician, diana reuter works in a man’s profession. The young woman had to find out during her applications that in many places it already failed because of the external conditions: there were no changing rooms and toilets for women. A deficit that companies use to exclude qualified employees. It also became clear to her what significance "gender thinking" already has in her parents’ home: her interest in technical professions was awakened by a model railroad – although the layout was originally not intended for her at all, but for her brother.

Michelle skodowski, co-founder of the software developer botfriends, is also active in a technical profession. In school she had computer science lessons, but there they mainly "played, and that was it". She called for a greater emphasis on computer science and technology in schools.

With this, the women addressed several points that wolfgang fieber and sebastian remele had already mentioned in an introductory way. In order to overcome the "major problem" of a lack of specialists in the STEM subjects, which transcends gender boundaries, it is necessary to get children and young people interested in the natural sciences, says the mayor of schweinfurt. Wolfgang fieber emphasized that it is important to change the framework conditions in order to better reconcile family and career and thus increase the opportunities for women in the working world. However, it also became clear that evening: most of the men and women on the podium do not think much of a quota. "Prescribing it doesn’t work," said bibiana steinhaus. "The basic requirement is always the performance."

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