December 18, 2019
What is the intention behind women techmakers hamburg?
We want to change the IT world in a positive way by encouraging more women and girls to code and supporting them in their careers. Our future is digital and we think that women and men should have the same possibilities in shaping that future. Software changes every industry: agriculture, automobile, retail. It would be a great advantage, if a bigger part of the population could also read and write this code. Not only because we would solve the skill shortage problem with that approach but also because we all know that diverse teams bring best results.
Apart from that it is also a question of justice. Women and girls should have the same chances in creating the future as men.
With Women Techmakers we show, that programming is fun and that the profession is especially attractive to women. Even if you are not thinking about starting a career in tech you learn how to solve problems and make them approachable. Where else can you have an idea, realize it and show it to the whole world a short time later.
How do you want to reach your goals?
We aim to have 50% female software developers in the near future. We want to reach this goal through three parts: With programming classes that are fun, with gaining project experience and with Meetups.
At our Meetups you can network with the local developer scene, find out if programming is fun and get to know us. We started with these Meetups 2016 under Google’s diversity brand Women Techmakers.
To establish the necessary organisational structure behind this we founded a non-profit Verein moinworld e.V.. The name moinworld comes from “hello world” the first words every program speaks.
Where do you see your biggest obstacles?
I would say in two topics: Unconscious bias and secondly in the lack of female role models.
We could talk about the unconscious bias more. Especially in Germany. If you do not work for a company like Google or McKinsey you have probably never heard about this issue. It explains the unconscious biases that people have. We have negative unconscious biases towards the female gender when it comes to topics like math and science. The unconscious bias can party explain why well inteded people end up hiring only white young men. You can also explain why women underestimate their own abilities and sometimes prefer to work with men. Making the unconscious bias conscious can help us make the right decisions. I recommend the implicit association test that was developed by the Harvard University. Or you can come to our kick off in January, where we will also have a talk about this topic.
The second topic is the lack of female role models. Girls often look at the female adults in their surrounding when they are looking for role models and are projecting their own future. The tranditional gender roles do not really help much to give girls role models.
How is Google involved in your processes?I
It helped me a lot, to be able to take Googles Diversity Brand and support to found this Meetup.
Google as a company has not reached its diversity goals and therefore supports iniciatives that bring together women and tech. Each of the women techmaker groups is doing different things and is differently active.
Because we are very active and we want to make a change we need more sponsors and partners that are supporting us.
How did you find out about Women Techmakers?
I was inspired by She Codes in Tel Aviv to found a hands on coding classes Meetup for women. Most of the tech meetups lack female attendants and I wanted to create my own environment where I feel comfortable to learn and network. When I was in Berlin I learned about Women Techmakers and got in contact with Google. I then decided to become part of the Google Developers Group and start my Meetup by the name Women Techmakers.
What made you feel that you are on the right way with Women Techmakers?
One of our participants once told me that she is the only female developer in her company and this is how she feels every day when she goes home from work. Because we are here she has a community and can be a role model for others that are just starting this career. That is a very empowering feeling.
Also it is a good sign if the no-show rate is low and if people are coming back. We also have many male developers that support our initiative because they also do not like the current non-diverse situation.
How can someone contact you?
Women and girls who want to learn how to code can contact us. Just come to one of our Meetups to get to know us. They are for free and you can ask all questions that you have.
Besides that we are always looking for sponsors to fund our non-profit. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.