You will not be surprised to hear that the world of tech is much like the rest of the world - overwhelmingly (white) male-dominated *pretends to be shocked*.
Women account for 46% of Germany’s total labour force, yet they make up less than a quarter of Germany’s tech industry (23% to be exact). It begs the question: why is the representation of women in tech so shockingly low?
Ignorance and oversight have a lot to answer for, but the deeper answer is that tech has a systemic issue with diversity and inclusion. One that needs to be recognised and worked on, not brushed under the carpet. Read more about embedding diversity and inclusion (D&I) in your hiring strategy here.
Recognising and supporting the women in tech paving the way for others is an important factor in balancing the scales of representation. Here are 5 women in Germany’s tech scene who are truly inspiring.
Director of Product at Berlin-based HealthTech, Doctolib, Ewa is a product development master. Coming from the world of mobile application development, she made her name as Co-Founder of the Mobile Product Group.
If that was not enough to inspire, Ewa is also a SheCodes Hall of Famer. SheCodes bridges the gender gap in tech programming by providing expertise and knowledge that is becoming increasingly invaluable in modern tech. They provide introductions across product development, design and management – so it is obvious why Ewa’s so highly thought of there.
Not all women face the same biases. White women will experience different prejudices to women of colour; trans women will experience different prejudices to gay women. While all experiences are valid, it is important to recognise the nuances of each when we are challenging bias.
Cassondra Foesch is a trans woman who has worked at some of the largest tech companies: Amazon, Google and Microsoft are all on her impressive CV. She worked as Trans Coordinator at Microsoft, a role which engages the LGBT+ community by discussing their needs and concerns.
In an interview with Xena, Cassondra gives advice to tech companies developing their D&I policies - “Be open to the diversity of transitions. Prepare structure transitions. Take pride in your employees.”
And on a personal level, what we can all do to support trans women in tech – “If you use the wrong pronouns, correct yourself and move on. Don’t ask questions about being in the wrong. Speak out against transphobia.”
Cassondra’s interview is incredibly powerful, we really recommend you read it.
Georgie Smallwood is a household name in the Berlin tech space. Georgie is Chief Product Officer at Tier Mobility, a company that has a Tech4Good vision of creating more sustainable transport. This desire to harness technology to help people is clearly something that extends further than the job for Georgie.
In an interview with Erevena Georgie says, “I’ve found there aren’t many [senior women in tech] out there to hire – and that’s concerning. It’s not even the case that there are women close to the top sitting under the glass ceiling waiting to break through; it’s that they simply aren’t there.”
Only 5% of senior roles in tech are held by women and 85% of EU-startup funding went to all male teams.
Georgie has a long record of breaking the gender gap bias in tech. In 2021 she founded Auxilia Global, a space for women interested in founding businesses to receive advice, funding and support for their venture. They are doing great work in raising visibility of female-led tech businesses. Go have a look!
As if that wasn’t inspirational enough, Georgie also acts as a Seed Investor for Accel, providing investment to female Founders & Co-Founders who promote sustainability, equality and accessibility.
Friend of Amsource and our product community, byProduct, Mirela is a gifted technical and creative Product Leader; and an influential name in the product world.
Mirela founded Product People, a product management consultancy and community builder with the vision of helping companies deliver better products, faster.
Mirela and Product People place a strong emphasis on empowering, supporting and including women at every stage of the development process. They shared this neat graphic that displays their commitment to inclusivity:
Mirela hosted an incredibly engaging webinar for byProduct in 2021 and ever since has had a hugely positive impact on the way we run the community. Product People has been a massive inspiration for byProduct. Recognition and a huge thank you is the least we could do.
Last, but in no way least.
Levelling up the tech industry is a theme that has run throughout this piece, so it would be remiss to not talk about one of the fastest growing tech advisory organisations in Germany. (It really is making waves.)
Co-founded by Jessica in the midst of you-know-what-19, The Mentoring Club is a non-profit organisation that focusses on all levels of coaching. Whether you’re an experienced leader looking for fresh perspectives or a younger person looking for start-up advice, The Mentoring Club is eager to take you in. The club makes traditionally inaccessible learning easy to locate with the view of empowering underprivileged people to flourish in tech.
The proof is in the results. In just their first two weeks they had 15 mentors offering free advice to likeminded professionals. They have even inspired our International Practice Lead, Mike Dwyer to establish NXLab, a community of Non-Executive Directors looking to offer advice to start-ups on a part-time basis. Get in touch with Mike if you're interested.
Recognition of progress is just one piece of a wider jigsaw. The tech community – specifically people in powerful, influential positions – needs to do more to put the pieces of a more equally represented picture together.
One way we are helping hiring processes target more diverse pools of talent is by providing Diversity and Inclusion reporting as standard with Edison. Find out more here.