International Women's Day 2019 - Women in IT

International Women's Day 2019 - Women in IT

"We need to think more creatively to achieve equality"

8 / 3 - 2019

Gender equality and diversity is key to succeeding in attracting today's and tomorrow's talents. But the IT industry is one of the country's most gender-segregated industries. How does IST work to attract more women to the company? We asked Mathilda Wirenstrand, Country HR Manager at IST.

“Today we have a pretty good mix of women and men at the company in general, but just like many other tech companies, we need to do more, not least on the developer side. With mixed teams work becomes more fun and new ideas are created, just to name a few examples. It is a success factor that is extremely important to develop further,” she says.

Flexible working hours
One prerequisite for succeeding in recruiting more women is that the company actively and regularly raises the issue in recruitment contexts and makes visible the women who currently work as developers. There are a lot of prejudices that the industry is all too male-dominated and that it is difficult to combine jobs within IT with family life.

“Many people think of the typical developer as male, which can lead women to think that educational programs in programming "is not something for me." However, I would say that the IT industry is in many ways more equal than various other industries. Working hours are often flexible and there are great opportunities to work remotely compared to other types of work. Here the industry needs to think more creatively,” she says and continues:

“Generally speaking, programming jobs are considered a bit square in nature, which isn’t attractive to everyone. Maybe we can create more combined roles where developers have the opportunity to work closer to customers and the business at the same time as they have outlets for their creativity? I think that would attract more people.”

Research shows that girls and boys are equally interested in mathematical subjects in the younger age groups, but something happens in middle school. The girls' interest in information technology falls - fewer girls take the step to begin a technical education in high school.

“It's a shame. I hope and believe that the differences will be leveled out as programming becomes a compulsory subject in school,” she says.

The corporate culture is important
At IST you work toward creating of a work environment where everyone feels at home. Supporting diversity, gender equality and openness is an important part of the company values.

“We try to be as transparent a workplace as possible and want a corporate culture where everyone can be themselves. It is an important factor in attracting new employees, both female and male.”

What is the trend - is the industry getting more equal?
“Yes, I hope and believe so, but it is a change that takes time.”

IST in numbers
149 female and 275 male employees, all offices included.
12 female and 88 male developers.
40 female and 40 male business consultants.
10 women and 29 men work as managers.
5 women and 6 men in the group management team.
Right now, the employees are of 14 different nationalities and various ages, from newly graduated students to experienced managers.

IST will work to create a culture where gender equality and diversity are indisputable parts of the business, and where differences are actively used to create business benefits - this is stated in the company's diversity and equality plan. Pictured is Iuliia, Software Developer, and Rebecca, Product Owner.