IT und Frauen? – Der BERLIN GEEKETTES HACKATHON
Wenn ich aus meinem Beratungskontext bei Medienfabrik I embrace das Thema herausgreifen sollte, welches quasi die „Quadratur des Kreises“ darstellt, muss ich nicht lange überlegen: IT und Frauen. Diese Kombi ist bei nahezu allen Personalern der heilige Gral des Recruiting. Kein Wunder, schaut man sich die Statistiken an, hier als kleiner Appetizer ein Ausschnitt aus der insgesamt empfehlenswerten Infografik von WomenWhoTech.com:
In diesem Kontext ist es mir eine Ehre, dass Jess Erickson, Gründerin der „Berlin Geekettes“ und Amélie Anglade, Tech Ambassador bei den Berlin Geekettes, für ein saatkorn. Interview rund um den ersten BERLIN GEEKETTES HACKATHON zur Verfügung standen. Das Event ist seit Wochen ausgebucht und bringt Frauen mit einem Faible für Programmierung, IT und Hacking zusammen. Das Ganze findet am kommenden Wochenende statt und wird unter anderem von careerloft gesponsert. Was die beiden dazu zu sagen haben erfahrt Ihr hier. Auf geht’s:
saatkorn.: Please introduce the „Berlin Geekettes“ to the saatkorn. readers. What is a geekette, what are your objectives with this initiative?
Jess Erickson: Berlin Geekettes is a new organization facilitating relationships between female entrepreneurs in the technology sector. I created Geekettes as it became increasingly clear that female technology professionals required their own grassroots structure to share wisdom and experience. A geekette can be a founder, investor, programmer, designer, student, communications specialist, biz developer. Our community is open to any woman working in the field of tech.
saatkorn.: I understand, that the core of your initiative is the blog, so what topics are you covering there?
Jess: We have a series called „Berlin Geekette of the Week“ which is an interview that gives us a glimpse into the work of a woman in our community. Aside from this series, we also feature successful women who are in tech roles abroad. I hope this provides some of us with a source of inspiration and perspective outside of just Berlin. The blog also is a platform where we make special announcements and post events/workshops/hackathons/
saatkorn.: Aside from the blog, there is Facebook, google+, a twitter channel and flickr. How do you use these social media channels and where is pinterest.
Jess: We use these social media channels to engage with our community and attract new women to our organization. We don’t have a Pinterest account yet but that might be a fun idea.
saatkorn.: This week-end, there will be the first Berlin Geekettes hackathon. What is happening there? How many women will be there?
Amélie Anglade: The Berlin Geekettes hackathon will be the first all-women hack day in Germany. For a full week-end 70 female developers, designers, hardware hackers and idea generators will be all in one space, implementing apps and hacks together. It follows the principles of any hackathon: 24 hours (straight) of hacking, a demo session for the hackers to pitch their creations and amazing prizes to reward the best hacks. We will just add our feminine touch to it: providing relaxation exercises and healthy food.
saatkorn.: careerloft is one of the sponsors of the Berlin Geekettes Hackathon. Why is careerloft interesting to you?
Amélie: We are very excited to count Careerloft as one of our sponsors for this event. Careerloft does an amazing job at closing the gap between industry and students, being in contact with both worlds. The Berlin Geekettes also supports students that are interested in entrepreneurship and technical careers, for instance through our mentorship program. We believe it is mutually beneficial for both organisations to join forces in reaching out to those technical female students who deserve to be supported.
saatkorn.: I assume that there really is a shortage of women with programming skills in the market. What is the reason for that, what do you think?
Amélie: It’s true, there are various reasons for this: historical, cultural and educational. But things are changing: geek is chic. All kids, boys and girls are using technology in their daily life, and are fascinated by it. If we nurture that interest when they are young, it won’t take long before we see as many women as men in our field. And the change is already happening even in our generation: this hackathon is fully-booked for several weeks and we have a long waiting-list of women in tech, a vast majority of which are programmers.
saatkorn.: To be attractive as an employer for women with an IT background, what are the key „Dos“ and „Dont’s“ in your opinion?
Jess: Do: Put women in executive and leadership positions. When there are women in powerful positions, applicants will take notice. Don’t: tolerate gender discrimination and if something inappropriate is being said, make sure to address it immediately. There must be a zero-tolerance policy if you want to retain your female employee base and have a strong upstanding reputation as a company.
saatkorn.: Dear Jess, dear Amélie, thank you very much for the interview. I keep my fingers crossed for a great Berlin Geekettes Hackathon!