14 May Conference: Stay in Tech! – Policies and Practices for Attracting and Retaining Female Tech Talent

Despite significant investment and prioritisation in EU policies, the percentage of women working in ICT professions has only grown from 17% to 18.5% in the last 7 years.

CEPIS DiversIT Charter, together with the German Informatics Society, the Fraunhofer ICT Group, and #SheTransformsIT, organised a conference to try to find solutions to this lack of meaningful progress in retaining female tech talent. This event was organised within the scope of the EU Diversity Month.

This free one-day conference, titled, ‘Stay in tech! – Policies and practices for attracting and retaining female tech talent’, aimed to help companies overcome these challenges and identify ways to retain valuable colleagues. It took place in Berlin on 14 May 2024.

Read the conference recap post here.

Governments, companies, and non-profits across Europe have invested large sums of time and money into increasing the number of women working in tech. Initiatives such as the EU’s Gender Equality Strategy, Women4IT, and more, have made a huge impact in helping more women enter the tech sector.

Nevertheless, women remain underrepresented in the tech workforce. With a large focus on getting women and girls into tech, there also needs to be investment in retaining them. Challenges such as outdated stereotypes, lack of mentorship opportunities, isolation, and ‘bro culture’ in some organisations, boil down to a simple truth: if the workplace is bad, women will leave.

These tech-specific challenges only add on to the obstacles women face in other sectors, including balancing caring responsibilities, the gender pay gap, and biases around motherhood.


Speakers

Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham

Founder and CEO, Womxn for Climate Tech & Innovation

Nikolaus von Peter

Policy Advisor on Digitalisation, European Commission

Daniela Brönstrup

Head of Department of Digital and Innovation Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection

Anjuli Mauer

CEO, People Pace

Byron nicolaides

Byron Nicolaides

Founder and CEO, PeopleCert Group

Robert Baker

CEO, Potentia Talent Consulting Limited

Gillian Arnold

Gillian Arnold

Managing Director, Tectre/Chair, DiversIT Charter

Bernd Holthaus

Bernd Holtaus

HR Director, Intel Magdeburg

Selcan Ipek-Ugay

Professor of Computer Science and Data Science, Berlin University of Applied Sciences

Ruth Asan

Deputy Equal Opportunities Officer, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Petra Kotuliakova

CEO, Aj Ty v IT

Edna Kropp

Tech Lead, LivePerson/Board member, GI

Lisa Ihde

Technical Account Manager, Google/Author

Alexander Nouak

Managing Director, Fraunhofer ICT Group

Begonia Vazquez-Merayo

Founder & Managing Director Why Consult powering net4tec | 4 WoMen Careers in Technology

Barbara Schwarze

Chair, Kompetenzzentrum Technik-Diversity-Chancengleichheit

Christian Berg

Christian Berg

CEO, AllBright Stiftung

Sabine Otholt

Senior Vice President – Global Head of S/4HANA Strategic Customer Innovation, SAP

Luis Fernandez-Sanz

President, CEPIS

Jakub Christoph

Secretary General, CEPIS

alexandrea swanson

Alexandrea Swanson

Managing Director, #SheTransformsIT

Agenda

09:30 – 10:00 Registration

Session 1: Present realities

10:00Opening Talk: Setting the Stage: Why are we here today?
– Jakub Christoph, Secretary General, CEPIS
– Sabine Kruspig, Specialist Group Women and Informatics, German Informatics Society
– Alexander Nouak, Managing Director, Fraunhofer ICT Group
– Alexandrea Swanson, Managing Director, #SheTransformsIT
10:15Keynote: Germany’s Tech Gender Equality Initiatives
– Daniela Brönstrup, Head of Department of Digital and Innovation Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection
10:30Keynote: Empowering Women to Reach the Top
– Byron Nicolaides, Founder and CEO, PeopleCert
10:45Fireside Chat: ‘Lonely at the top’ – (lack of) women in leadership
Moderator: Maike Klein, German Informatics Society
– Sabine Otholt, Senior Vice President – Global Head of S/4HANA Strategic Customer Innovation, SAP
– Selcan Ipek-Ugay, Professor of Computer Science and Data Science, Berlin University of Applied Sciences
11:30Coffee Break

Session 2: Problems and solutions

12:00Understanding Women’s Tech Career Departures: 5 Key Reasons
– Gillian Arnold, Managing Director, Tectre/Chair, DiversIT
– Lisa Ihde, Technical Account Manager, Google/Author
– Barbara Schwarze, Chair, Kompetenzzentrum Technik-Diversity-Chancengleichheit
12:30Panel Discussion: Keeping the Talent: Best Practices for Retaining Women in Tech Jobs
Moderator: Alexandra Resch, Editor, German Informatics Society
– Edna Kropp, Tech Lead, LivePerson
– Robert Baker, CEO, Potentia Talent Consulting
– Petra Kotuliakova, CEO, Aj Ty v IT
– Bernd Holthaus, HR Director, Intel Magdeburg
13:45Lunch

Session 3: Exploring the future

14:30Keynote: Navigating Europe’s Digital Landscape
– Nikolaus von Peter, Political Advisor on Digitalisation, European Commission
14:45Panel Discussion: Elevating Diversity: Bridging the Gender Gap in Tech Hiring
Moderator: Mary Cleary, Member of the Board of Directors, CEPIS
– Begonia Vazquez Merayo, Founder & Managing Director Why Consult powering net4tec | 4 WoMen Careers in Technology
– Anjuli Mauer, Founder & CEO, People Pace
– Ruth Asan, Deputy Gender Equality Officer, Fraunhofer
– Christian Berg, CEO, Allbright Foundation
15:45Keynote: Building Tomorrow: The Future of Tech is female!
– Sarah Needham, Co-Founder, Womxn for Climate Tech & Innovation
16:00Closing Remarks
– Luis Fernandez-Sanz, President, CEPIS
– Anna Sarah Lieckfeld, Head of Education and Society, German Informatics Society
– Alexandrea Swanson, Managing Director, #SheTransformsIT
– Ruth Asan, Deputy Equal Opportunities Officer, Fraunhofer
16:00 17:30 Networking reception

Platinum sponsor


Conference organised by

Logo of CEPIS
Logo of Fraunhofer IUK Technologie
Logo of #shetransformsIT
Logo of German Informatics Society
Logo of DiversIT Charter

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