Developers recruit: Thus, companies win female IT specialists


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Women in the IT industry are rare, but much sought-after: differently composed teams generate different ideas and equality is part of the credo of many Company, Still, many HR professionals struggle with hiring women. Here we want to clarify why that is and what you can do. Women IT


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Stefan Schwarzgruber Stefan SchwarzgruberStefan Schwarzgruber has been responsible for the business development of Stackoverflow in the DACH market since 2015.

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Still too few women in MINT subjects

The positive trend towards more female developers gives hope. The Federal Statistical Office has calculated that the proportion of women among computer science students recently increased slightly to around 20 percent. There are also initiatives, including special courses designed to lower the threshold for women in STEM subjects. However, according to Statista, the proportion of female IT specialists in companies is still just 15,8 percent.

Many companies have defined more female IT professionals as the target for their teams. They want to increase diversity in teams, generate new ideas, bring together different ways of working and present themselves as modern and open. Often, the potential of more female employees in IT is also mentioned in the context of dealing with skills shortages. Women could close the gap in the labor market if more of them chose this career. Despite all these good intentions, the industry is having a hard time with coders. What needs to be considered by a company in order to better address and develop more female developers?

Women have to be addressed differently

If recruiters want to successfully increase the proportion of women in a team, they have to formulate the approach and job advertisements differently. Words like “ninja” or “coding rock star” still find their way into advertising texts and, if at all, only speak to men.

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In the text one should rather speak of “developers” and, if possible, even let female team members have their say. Maybe there is also the possibility of a brief introduction to the team? An honest quote about everyday work and projects from a colleague in the job advertisement underlines the diversity and equality of a team. Women should see in the job description that other women work in the company.

Why do female professionals tick differently?

In principle, the advantages such as salary, leisure regulation and additional offers should be clearly visible in every vacancy notice. Women sometimes have a different focus than men: especially mothers are flexible working time models, holiday days, possible childcare and the like more important than money and power positions. In addition, many experts believe that:

Women in the IT sector are suffering with appalling regularity from the Imposter syndrome: they believe that they can not do anything at all and that no-one has noticed it yet. They tend to stay in the background and are afraid to be unfit for tasks. This sets the challenge for recruitment: companies have to arouse the tightrope between interest, but not with (too high) standards the women directly at the Casting scare off.

Men still deserve more

Furthermore, women are less likely to be motivated by abstract careers or money. Content and topics play a higher role on average than their male counterparts.

Perhaps because many companies believe that salary may be a negligible factor in hiring women: men still earn more for the same work. So far, women's gross hourly earnings were still 21 percent lower than men's - for every euro a man earns, a woman earns just 79 cents. It is up to companies to close this gender pay gap.

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The recruitment process: involving women more

In order to give an equal opportunity to women in the recruitment process, it is advisable that male and female recruiters with different backgrounds and ethnicities examine potential new candidates. This creates different opinions, which usually illuminate different aspects of a candidate and thus allow a better and more differentiated picture.

Another important point is the CV. On the one hand, it is the centerpiece, where personnel determine whether the candidate fits the job. On the other hand, the CV may become a stumbling block if recruiters cling too much to previous titles or career advancements.

Women in IT: A Self-Marketing Problem?

Women find it harder and harder to excel in the technological environment, and sometimes, unfortunately, to climb the career ladder because of prejudice. Here's where to find a fine balance: between what the candidate brings to the skills and experience, what potential he or she has and, of course, what the actual job requirements of the day-to-day business are. Previous titles are basically superfluous - what counts is the experience and the motivation.

Some international organizations that use so-called “blind recruiting” are more radical. Personal data such as name, age, gender or the application image are omitted here. This data is only added during the final interview - a sure guarantee for an equal choice, which only focuses on skills and not on appearance or gender. Professional orchestras, for example, let musicians play behind a curtain until the last round. The perfect “blind recruiting”.

Communication problems in the HR

When it comes to personal learning, an HR employee should always be involved in the process to make the process more fair and structured. Women tend to be different from men.

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Therefore, it would help if the interviewers were more familiar with the female nature of answering questions. For example, women often use expressions that contain fewer details. Therefore, it is crucial that interviewers carefully ask to understand the potential they have.

A woman in the interview can understand the applicant better if the male colleagues do not reach the core of the answer.

Women's power brings passion and ability

Female developers often bring different ideas and solutions. They are an enrichment for teams and companies, mostly passionate, motivated employees. Because, as a rule, a woman decides for programming and software development from a passion, from conviction and usually with ability.

It is now up to the companies to optimize their addresses and processes for advertised positions and to make them fairer. Perhaps the "War for Talents" will be somewhat mitigated. In the spirit of “The future of programming is female too”.

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  1. Job college

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    Stefan ... via @ berufebilder
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  3. REGIS GMBH

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