Mentoring young females to close the gender gap in tech

We consider in the significance of closing the gender gap in tech. Therefore, we joined a pupil mentoring program aimed toward supporting young females learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to have a profession in the subject. Read extra to discover out why supporting mentoring packages is so essential and to find out about the members’ expertise firsthand.

The way forward for tech is feminine, however provided that we make it so

At Runtastic, we strive to make our workplace more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, which is why we outlined our personal Desired State of Inclusion (DSI). The DSI is an official firm purpose. On high of that, we arrange Inclusion Agents, who’re colleagues that advocate for and lead DEI initiatives, in order that we obtain the DSI as a staff. 

One pillar of our DSI purpose for 2022 is to enhance the variety of females in the firm. As a tech firm, we face the similar problem as many: discovering and hiring proficient feminine engineers and builders. 

According to Women in Digital Scoreboard 2021, there has not been vital progress in bringing ladies to ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in current years. In 2021, solely 19% of ICT specialists and about one-third of STEM graduates had been feminine inside the European Union.

Researchers from Microsoft and KRC Research interviewed 6,000 women and girls from ages 10 to 30 in the United States and located that we want to work more durable on growing feminine curiosity and employment in STEM and pc science, particularly in Technology and Engineering. They additionally spotlight potential the explanation why women lose curiosity in STEM: peer strain, lack of position fashions, and misperception of STEM careers. The outcomes additionally recommend that women’ confidence in coding and programming drops as they get older

On the shiny aspect, there are a couple of methods we will enhance the state of affairs proper now. According to Microsoft’s latest research, these are the only interventions to close the gender gap in STEM:

  • Provide position fashions: women and young ladies want extra publicity to STEM jobs, feminine position fashions, and profession planning.
  • Generate pleasure: women’ notion of the creativity and optimistic influence of STEM careers can greater than double after studying about real-world STEM jobs.
  • Provide hands-on expertise: women who take part in STEM actions are 42% extra doubtless to say they perceive the profession they may pursue in STEM.
  • Provide encouragement: encouragement from mother and father and academics considerably impacts whether or not or not women will select and keep in a STEM subject.
  • Encourage a progress mindset: laborious work and exploration, similar to asking questions, needs to be valued in faculties over all the time figuring out the proper solutions.

Providing position fashions with mentorship

Girls who know a lady working in STEM are considerably extra doubtless to really feel empowered to do STEM actions than those that don’t. Microsoft researchers describe this as a snowball impact: the extra ladies have an interest and dealing in STEM, the extra they’ll function position fashions for the youthful era.

We at Runtastic need to contribute to closing the gender gap. That’s why we joined the Upper Austrian HTL Mentoring program, which goals to encourage women to pursue a profession in STEM by offering perspective and help. The mentees obtain teaching to construct an excellent CV, learn how to put together for an interview and what it’s like to work in the STEM subject. 

The HTL Mentoring program connects women learning STEM in their last yr of highschool with feminine professionals engaged on real-life challenges in the subject. During the three semesters of the program, the mentors and the mentees meet not less than 5 instances, and the mentee has the alternative to do a summer time internship at the mentor’s firm. 

The program is designed to assist motivated women obtain their skilled aspirations and encourage them to select a profession path in STEM. 

What do members of the mentoring program say?

We requested Lilli Ölsinger (mentee, Electronics and Technical IT pupil at HTL Leonding) and Julia Hermann (mentor, Machine Learning Engineer at Runtastic) about their expertise with the pupil mentoring program.

Julia and Lilli

Q: Why did you determine to be a part of the mentoring program?

Lilli (mentee): My drive was my general formidable dream to work in a excessive place in the future. Thus, I wished to find out about extra facets of a profession at a tech firm.

Julia (mentor): When I heard about the alternative, I instantly knew I wished to take part as a mentor. I noticed what an enormous distinction it might have made for me to have a mentor at that age. In center and highschool, I used to be actually good at arithmetic however was by no means in computer systems or science. No one informed me that I may very well be an Engineer and work for a tech firm in the future, which is why I ended up learning Finance and Economics first after which shifting to Computer Science and Engineering later. I even have a youthful sister whom I supported and inspired to pursue a profession in STEM, so I believed it will be cool to do that once more in a unique setting.

Q: What was your expertise with the summer time internship at Runtastic like?

Lilli (mentee): It was positively totally different from the internship I had earlier than Runtastic. Everybody I labored or talked with was very pleasant and welcoming, all the time making an attempt to assist me out as finest as they may at any time when I wanted it. Besides that, I received a number of new impressions of the world of app designers, builders, product house owners, and so forth. One of the issues I loved most was socializing with the staff: having lunch with my coworkers turned out to be the time to speak about hobbies and studying a number of new issues as properly. I don’t know what to say apart from “It was amazing.”

“A lot of new impressions of the world of app designers, developers, product owners, and so on.”

– Lilli


Julia (mentor):  I felt pleased with how a lot she has discovered in just one month: she expert up in a brand new programming language and contributed to an API for our Maps Library that can be utilized in each our Running & Training apps. The internship venture was led by Paul Weichhart inside the Community Interaction Squad, so an enormous thanks to him for the technical steerage, help, and heat welcome for Lilli.

Q: In what methods do you suppose you benefited from mentoring?

Lilli (mentee): Overall, I already seen an enchancment in my stance whereas speaking to folks, which ends up in me not seeming closed up, impatient, or aggravated.

Julia (mentor): The ambitions and curiosity of my mentee impressed me. I discovered to be a greater listener and to convey my data in easy and comprehensible phrases. I additionally felt a way of objective and gratitude for having the ability to contribute to closing the gender gap in tech, even when this was only a small step in the proper course. 

“I felt a sense of purpose and gratitude for being able to contribute to closing the gender gap in tech.” 

– Julia


Q: What are your plans for the future?

Lilli (mentee): I plan on getting a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Game Development. Furthermore, I’d like to begin my very own firm with a staff of fine developer pals.

Julia (mentor): I might positively like to work extra for a future the place tech is certainly feminine. In October, I’ll take part as a mentor in the Women and Girls in STEM Forum, which focuses on Empowering Girls in Science and Technology and is organized by Girls Go Circular

Q: Why do you suppose the subsequent era of ladies ought to be a part of a mentorship program?

Lilli (mentee): In my eyes, each lady will almost certainly profit from such a program, studying numerous new issues and discovering out the place they may enhance or what to keep away from.

Julia (mentor): I believe this program could be most helpful for women in pursuing a profession in Technology however are at the danger of adjusting majors. In my opinion, it might present them with hands-on expertise, a community of friends, and a few motivation to select to keep in STEM for his or her higher-level schooling and, in a while, their careers.

Looking for a task at an organization the place variety, fairness, and inclusion are key priorities? Apply to our Talent Community.

According to Lilli, the mentoring program provides many women her age the alternative to enhance their skilled abilities. 


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