Why the initiative is important
Women are still under-represented in the IT sector. A Statista study from 2018 indicates that in Germany, only around one sixth (16%) of the workforce in the IT sector are female. At Novatec, we think there’s room for many more!
“Here at Novatec, we’re convinced that women are just as important and just as at home in the IT sector as men are. With our initiative, we want to allow their voices to be heard, to promote and challenge them, and to smooth the path for their professional future. As well as strengthening cooperation within Novatec through this program, we hope to support women in what they do. We want to be an attractive employer to girls and women, too, and to convince them to walk their career path hand-in-hand with us.” says Julia Chrapec, one of the initiative’s founders.
In other words, it’s about raising awareness for the strengths and skills of women in the technology industry. Discussions and the exchange of information with colleagues are one important aspect when it comes to practically implementing these goals, since this is the only way to learn from each other.
The starting signal for Women@Novatec
Our colleagues Paoli Izquierdo and Julia Chrapec founded the initiative in 2020, and since then they’ve been the guiding lights behind Women@Novatec as well as the contact persons for the scheme. The program is based on meet-ups that all employees can take part in.
Once the vision was in place, the kick-off meeting could get on with collecting ideas and prioritizing topics. The defined issues were then structured in subsequent meetings using the OKR model and tasks were allocated to employees. This has allowed all participants to actively contribute to the activities of the initiative and to shape its future. It means that the employees themselves form the basis for achieving shared goals together.
How did Women@Novatec come about?
Women@Novatec is popular with lots of our employees, since the further development of our female colleagues is seen as increasingly important and the current situation of women in the technology industry is more and more in focus. This is a really important issue for co-founder Paoli Izquierdo, and it’s best explained in her own words:
“For me, it was always obvious that only a few women were active in the IT sector. Also, I’ve heard over and over again that women have had bad experiences in the technology field, causing them to leave the sector, and that others don’t even feel able to join it in the first place. On the other hand, I’ve come across inspiring stories about women who’ve successfully established themselves in the technology sector or in leadership positions and who’ve even started initiatives to inspire, motivate, and embolden other women to walk through the door into the world of IT. Inspiring stories like these encouraged me to engage actively and position the topic at Novatec. Novatec gives women the opportunity to establish themselves in the world of technology and to grow into leadership positions. And I’m a good example of this myself. My supervisor and one of our managing directors, Dominik Meyer, encouraged me to start the initiative along with my colleague Julia Chrapec. Moreover, he made the topic of “Women in Tech” one of our core issues in software engineering. Together, we want to motivate other women at our company to grow, develop, and be successful in the world of IT. We also want to attract more women to the IT field and to Novatec as well as supporting them and offering them opportunities.”
The practical implementation of the Women@Novatec initiative
The objectives include visibility and mindfulness, and we want to achieve these goals internally at Novatec as well as externally. So that you, too, can benefit from this, we’d like to share our approach for reaching these goals together with you.
The basis for great teamwork is trust. Particularly when it comes to sensitive topics, participants must be able to rest assured that what they say at a meet-up remains at the meet-up. Creating a trusting atmosphere is therefore vital.
Colleagues Aisma Linda Focking and Patrizia Lehmann have started up a series of blogs about how the meet-ups work and are structured. They report on the composition and further development of content within the working group.
What are the goals of the initiative?
Together with our colleagues, we want to pass on our enthusiasm for the technology industry and to encourage young talent. Events such as Girls’ Day and Seré Ingeniera are therefore really important to us, and we always enjoy taking part in them.
“The primary objective of Women@Novatec is to raise awareness that women are just as entitled as men to a place in the IT sector. With this aim in mind, we work internally to ensure that girls and women have opportunities to develop further. We create spaces for dialog, facilitate training courses and guest lectures on various topics, and have a sponsorship program that makes it easier to join our company. In addition, we work externally to increase enthusiasm for IT among women by being particularly active for this target group at recruiting fairs, through planning events for visitors, and by promoting cooperation with schools and universities,” adds Julia Chrapec.
At Novatec, all employees should have the same opportunities, and the community of cooperation between women should be strengthened and promoted. We want to grow constantly, support each other, and regularly remind ourselves of what we’re capable of.
Let’s work together to support Women@Novatec and to promote women in technology in general!