8th of March is International Women’s Day. I took the opportunity to ask my female colleagues how they feel about working in the software industry.
The International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years now. The first time was in New York on 28th February 1909.
In its long history, people mostly celebrated it to stand in for political positions, such as women’s voting rights, gender equality, or salary parity among others.
If not bound to a political statement, people also express their love and gratitude towards women in their lives on International Women’s Day.
To celebrate it here at TeamViewer, I thought it might be interesting to hear what women working in this company think about their work and the industry.
Now, the software industry and especially jobs that directly involve e.g. IT and programming skills have always been a cliché male domain.
For many young women out there, that might be a serious drawback when thinking of pursuing a career in these sectors.
However, I think that there’s nothing as valuable as first-hand experience, if you really want to know what it’s like to work in a certain field of expertise.
At TeamViewer, we already have a pretty diverse staff:
So, I took the opportunity and asked five of my female colleagues here at TeamViewer about their careers and how they feel about working in the industry and, more importantly, in seriously techy jobs .
Please let me take a moment to briefly introduce them.
Now, let’s get started and hear what they have to say!
The first thing I wanted to know was:
What are the reasons my colleagues wanted to work in this industry that promised to be such a rough road for women?
Part of the answer was pretty simple, really.
“I’ve been fascinated with computers and game consoles ever since I was a child. So I decided to study Information Management”, said Patricia from TeamViewer’s development department.
For Julia from Product Management, it was the expectation to work in an industry, where “colleagues and superiors are just more relaxed. In software companies, outworn and hierarchic structures are more seldom thanks to the mostly young and open-minded founders and employees.”
Next, I was curious what effects their work for TeamViewer has on them personally.
One thing that all of them emphasized is their personal development. Because the industry changes at such a fast pace, employees have to constantly develop their own knowledge and skills in order to keep up.
As a result, it never gets boring, since there’s always something new you can learn and try out.
“I can really make use of everything I’ve learned in my studies. Being open for changes, the curiosity to research and the ability to find several solutions for one problem are all very important traits for working in a software company”, Berna from Internal Development said.
Malena from Quality Assurance added how proud she is to work for the number one software company of the region.
Meanwhile, Julia enjoys the slightly ‘nerdy’ atmosphere, being able to laugh about the same things and playing video games with colleagues.
With those clichés from before in mind, one could assume that there are some major differences between working for a software company and working for a company that sells a more traditional product.
So I asked the girls what they think is the biggest difference between those jobs as a woman.
As a matter of fact, most of them said it mainly is the uncommon distribution of men and women. However, they see that rather as a positive thing.
“Because most colleagues are male, women first have to prove their skills – probably more than in other jobs”, Patricia suspected, “but at the same time that motivates me, so I gladly accept the challenge.”
Interestingly enough, she added that sometimes the opposite is true, too: “Some colleagues are not completely sure how to handle women in these jobs. You have to overcome those barriers first.” Julia from Tech Support pointed out that, at TeamViewer, she wasn’t instantly labeled by colleagues, whereas when she tells other people that she works for TeamViewer, they often ask her whether she’s in Accounting or Marketing . As you can imagine, the answer then often comes as a surprise.
Now it’s time to get down to business. I asked my interviewees: How do you feel about gender equality in the software industry today?
Patricia thinks critical but benevolent about this: “Men and women still aren’t completely coequal and women’s careers are a tough road”, she argued. “However, there’s a clear tendency towards more equality. Especially here at TeamViewer, I’ve noticed that equality is strongly valued.”
Malena had a slightly different opinion on the matter. “You can see there’s a positive development. We’re definitely more women than before. Also, we have the option to work part-time or from home – which is great for me as a mom. For your career, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman.”
So what they both agree on is that there’s a development towards the better.
Finally, I wanted to know what each of them enjoy most about their job. Here are their answers!
Berna: “I was given responsibilities from day one and there are always new challenges to frequently learn from. I was able to develop myself and my career within a short time and I constantly pursue further education.”
Julia (Tech Support): “Doesn’t matter if I’m sad, touchy, tired or plainly in a bad mood – one of the slobs in my team will always make me laugh. Also, I have fun proving to customers that I’m at least as good as every other team member – especially if they showed doubts about that before.”
Patricia: “The fast changes, modern technologies and contact with various colleagues make every day different from the one before. Working in a heterogenous team is fun – it never gets boring.”
Malena: “The ability to arrange my work and private life. My daughter is a first grader, which is why I work part-time. At TeamViewer, I can give it my all, but switch off after work to take care of my family.”
Julia (Product Management): “Just everything! Starting with my colleagues and the internationality all the way to the atmosphere at work. The best part of it is to see features that I supervised come to life and receive positive feedback from the users.”
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the company and the, how I think, very reflective opinions of my colleagues!
While we’re at it, thank you so much for your honest answers Berna, Julia, Patricia, Malena and Julia!
To summarize, I think it’s fair to say that, while the bigger share of employees in the software industry is still male, women don’t have to be afraid of pursuing careers in techy jobs at all.
As perceived by my interviewees, the industry seems to clearly change towards more acceptance for women.
With this conclusion, I wish a happy International Women’s Day to all of you!
Are you a woman in the IT industry? Share your experiences in the comment section below!
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