May 4, 2021
moinworld is partnering with ThoughtWorks to increase the number of women in technology and motivate girls for tech careers. Today we spoke with Aileen Pistorius (Head of Marketing) and Susanne Kirndorfer (Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) about how ThoughtWorks is addressing the gender gap in IT and how it is like to work for a company like ThoughtWorks.
How do you describe ThoughtWorks in three words?
Community, Diversity, Passion
I would also go with Community. Plus Impact and Curiosity.
What is your favourite part of an ordinary day at ThoughtWorks?
For me, the people at ThoughtWorks are turning every ordinary day into a special one. I feel inspired by the different backgrounds and skills our colleagues are bringing to the table. Also, I love the way ThoughtWorkers support each other. Sharing knowledge and enabling each other is one of our core values. Whenever I have a question or need support, I’ll find someone to talk to – no matter how busy they are.
My favorite part is having the opportunity to work with so many great people who are very passionate about what they do and driving things forward.
What inspires you to take the lead on making ThoughtWorks an inclusive place to work?
Having an inclusive work environment where everyone feels welcome and as an equal part of an organization no matter from which background or walk of life they come from is very important to me. This is not just about the question of how we can create a more diverse and inclusive environment in our workspace; it is also about making career opportunities accessible for people from all walks of life, for people from diverse backgrounds and with different needs. I believe that a key to move things forward is getting to know different perspectives and understand how people from diverse backgrounds and cultures perceive the world. Supporting and encouraging women and UGM (underrepresented gender minorities) in tech is a topic which is very close to our hearts but our vision goes beyond that. At ThoughtWorks, we want to encourage every employee to make an impact on the world through technology, regardless of their skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion or ethnical background.
In which positions do you see the biggest gender gap and what are your strategies to close the gap?
Especially in technical roles we see a big gender gap which we are trying to close. Compared to the industry, we are doing quite well in terms of women and UGM representation in these roles at ThoughtWorks. But as our CTO Rebecca Parsons said “We are not done, not by a long shot”. Workplaces in the IT industry are often male dominated and can appear very intimidating to women and UGM. We see it as our duty to use our privilege and showcase what a diverse workplace can look like. Therefore, we support organisations like moinworld to help women to start or continue their path in tech. We want to hear what the community needs and what we as a company can do to support.
I totally agree with Aileen, similar to other organisations in the industry we faced a big gender gap, mostly in our technical roles. So already years back we decided that we have to change something and started to focus on gender diversity. Today we have globally almost 40% women and UGM working as technologists and in Germany it’s even more than 40%. But obviously we are also not there yet and this is ongoing work and effort. This is also why I am super happy that we are now working together with moinworld as partners as I believe we have very similar goals in empowering women in tech and building a better future.
What is the percentage of women in managerial positions?
In Germany, we currently have 50% women and UGM in our leadership team and 43% women and UGM technologists.
As a consultancy that values diversity did your teams ever experience biases against some of your team members?
Of course, our colleagues also experienced situations at the client side in which women and UGM were not treated on eye-level or with the same respect as men in their teams. But we are a strong community. We talk a lot about allyship and how we can support colleagues who suffer from discrimination. Speaking up and stepping in for each other is truly important for us – even though it’s not always easy. At the same time we see it as our chance to showcase the value which a diverse team and inclusive working environment can have for the client.
What profiles are you looking for?
We always look for talented people to join us! We work in cross-functional teams at the client side – this means we have openings for software developers, QAs, data engineers but also for project managers, business analysts and designers. All of our roles are full time and permanent placements. We are aware that job titles are ever-changing and role descriptions can sound generic or intimidating. We don’t want anyone to shy away from applying because of this! If you don’t find a position on our career page which sounds right for you, please don’t hesitate to still get in touch with us.
Where can persons interested find job listings and who can they contact?
If you want to find out more about ThoughtWorks as an employer and scroll through some of our job offerings, you can click on our career page. In case you haven’t found the right opening, feel free to subscribe to our career newsletter Access ThoughtWorks Careers. For any open questions regarding our job offerings or the hiring process you can reach out to our Recruiting Team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kind of training/ career development opportunities do you offer?
Every ThoughtWorker gets a yearly Personal Development Budget, free access to Udemy and we offer various sponsoring and leadership programs. For our W&UGM colleagues we have also an additional program called WiLD (Women in Leadership Development) which aims to empower women to acknowledge what their passions are and what they care about so they can have an impact on the organisation and on the industry.
If you would like to get to know Susanne or Aileen or other people who are working for ThoughtWorks join our Meetup June 1st 7 p.m.!