This blog post was first published on the Danish blog and you can read the original article here (link to the article in Danish).
Women in IT create diversity, growth, better collaboration, and a dynamic work environment. Although we are far from achieving full diversity within the IT industry, we are working on it, and that will always be the first step of the journey.
At Visma Consulting, diversity and inclusion are high on the agenda, and we are well on our way to attracting more female talent.
We had a chat with two of our talented graduates: IT consultant Kim Ida Schild and software developer Josephine Pedersen about what it is like to be a woman in an IT company. We also talked about how we can attract more women to an industry where men are overrepresented.
For a long time, the IT industry has been characterised by prejudices about working as a female IT consultant or developer. We must move away from that and instead talk about how it is today:
“I don’t feel like there is a difference between being a woman or a man in a large IT-house on an everyday basis. But when I tell people what I do, I often get asked about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated world. But in reality, it’s just like everywhere else. The focus is on collaboration and how we can be better as a group,” says Josephine.
Also read: How to build a diverse and inclusive workforce
A strong community equals happy employees
Inclusion and community are part of Visma Consulting’s DNA, and this is also reflected in how they work. Although both Josephine and Kim Ida are in the minority in terms of their gender, it is an inclusive environment where there has been a lot of focus on creating inclusion and community.
“My male colleagues do a lot to make me feel included, especially when it comes to social events, although in a very natural way. There is a lot of focus on inclusion, and there is a good atmosphere among us,” says Kim Ida.
Ultimately, it’s about well-being, both Josephine and Kim Ida state.
“At Visma Consulting, there has always been a focus on inclusion and diversity. When we focus on the community, we simply deliver a better product, regardless of how the quotas are concerning men and women,” Josephine emphasises.
You might also be interested in: Meet our tech talents: Hans Petter Farstad & Alexander Lystad
The right choice
It is a big decision to choose your direction in life, which education should shape your future, and which study you should spend a lot of time on.
Josephine has a good gut feeling about taking the right decision but admits that she needed some convincing before applying to IT studies:
“My father has been in the IT industry for many years, and he gave me that little extra push when I said that I found IT interesting. He knew that there was a shortage of women in the industry, and so he encouraged me to go for it,” says Josephine.
She emphasises that, as a woman, it’s cool to be involved in setting the agenda for how to attract more women to the industry—something that she missed when she made her choice about what to study.
Softer values and more diversity
We asked Kim Ida and Josephine about what they would like to see more of when applying for jobs in the IT industry.
Both Josephine and Kim Ida agree that there is a difference in reading a job posting as a man or woman. The first impression of the company is crucial. Does the company have the opportunity to differentiate and attract more women?
“When I read a job advertisement and it says that you need to have three years of experience with x, y, z, then I am more inclined to think that I don’t meet those requirements. That results in me not choosing to apply for that job,” says Kim Ida.
“So for me, how the company portrays the job is crucial. Is there a focus on soft values, or is the technical know-how in focus? It’s about: does the company subconsciously address men or women in their job application texts,” says Josephine.
Kim Ida continues: “So, the way the job posting is written makes a difference. It would be good if it rather could say: Have you heard of or become acquainted with x, y, z.”
Kim Ida and Josephine are both happy to be in the IT industry and they do not doubt that they have come to the right place. This is largely because the projects they are working on are socially relevant and they are part of a good team.
That said, Kim Ida and Josephine agree that it would have been an easier decision to choose an IT profession if there had been more female role models.
They also agree on what advice they would give to women who would like to work in an IT company:
“Apply for the job even if you do not feel you meet all the requirements—you can do more than you think.”
Interested in a career at Visma? Visit our career site to find out more.