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Mentoring young women to close the gender gap in tech

We believe in the importance of closing the gender gap in tech. So, we joined a student mentoring program aimed at helping young women studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) pursue careers in the field. Read more to find out why supporting mentoring programs is so important and learn about the experience of participants themselves.

The future of tech is women, but only if we make it

In Runtastic, We strive to make our workplace more. Diverse, Equitable, and InclusiveBecause of which we have defined ourselves. Required state of incorporation (DSI). DSI aims to be a public company. On top of that, we established inclusion agents, Colleagues who advocate and lead DEI initiatives, so we can achieve DSI as a team.

A pillar of our DSI target for 2022. Increasing the number of women in the company. As a tech company, we face many challenges: Finding and hiring talented female engineers and developers;

According to Women in Digital Scoreboard 2021In recent years there has been little progress in bringing women into ICT (Information and Communication Technology). Only in 2021 19% ICT specialists And about One-third of STEM graduates were women. Within United Europe.

Interviewed by researchers from Microsoft and KRC Research. 6,000 girls and women aged 10 to 30 in the US found it We need to do more to increase the interest and employment of women in STEM. and computer scienceEspecially in technology and engineering. They also highlight potential reasons why girls lose interest in STEM: peer pressure, lack of role models, and misconceptions about STEM careers. The results also show this. Girls’ confidence in coding and programming decreases as they grow..

On the bright side, there are some ways we can improve the situation right now. According to Microsoft’s latest researchThese are the most effective interventions to close the gender gap in STEM.:

  • Provide role models: Girls and young women need more exposure to STEM jobs, female role models, and career planning.
  • Get excited: Girls’ perceptions of creativity and the positive effects of STEM careers may double after learning about real-world STEM jobs.
  • Provide hands-on experience.: Girls who participate in STEM activities are 42% more likely to say they consider a career in STEM.
  • Encourage: Encouragement from parents and teachers significantly influences whether girls will choose and stay in a STEM field.
  • Encourage a growth mindset.: Hard work and exploration, like asking questions, should be valued in schools over always knowing the right answers.

Providing role models with guidance

Girls who know a woman who works in STEM are more likely to feel empowered to pursue STEM activities than those who do not. Microsoft researchers Explain it a The Snowball Effect: The more women are interested and engaged in STEM, the more they can serve as role models for the younger generation.

At Runtastic we want to contribute to closing the gender gap. That’s why we joined. Upper Austrian HTL Mentoring ProgramIt aims to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM by providing perspective and support. Mentees get coaching to build a good CV, LHow to prepare for an interview And what it’s like to work in a STEM field.

HTL Mentoring Program Connects girls studying STEM in their senior year of high school with female professionals working on real-life challenges in the field. During the three semesters of the program, mentors and mentees meet at least five times, and mentees have the opportunity to do one. Summer internship In the company of a guardian

This program is designed to inspire motivated girls to pursue their professional aspirations and choose a career path in STEM.

What do mentoring program participants say?

We asked Lily Olsinger (Mentee, Electronics and Technical IT students at HTL Living) and Julia Herman (mentor at Runtastic, machine learning engineer) about his experience with the student mentoring program.

Julia and Lily

Julia and Lily

Q: Why did you decide to join the mentoring program?

Lily (mantee): My drive was my overall ambitious dream of working in a higher position one day. As such, I wanted to learn more about a career in a tech company.

Julia (guardian): When I heard about this opportunity, I knew immediately that I wanted to participate as a mentor. I realized how much of a difference having a mentor could have made for me at that age. In middle and high school, I was really good at math but not at all interested in computers or science. No one told me that I could one day become an engineer and work in a tech company, which is why I ended up studying finance and economics first and then shifted to computer science and engineering. I also have a younger sister who I supported and encouraged to pursue a career in STEM, so I thought it would be cool to do it again in a different setting.

Q: How was your experience with the summer internship at Runtastic?

Lily (mantee): It was definitely different from the internship before Runtastic. Everyone I worked with or spoke with was very friendly and welcoming, always trying to help me in any way they could whenever I needed it. Also, I got a lot of new impressions from the world of app designers, developers, product owners, etc. One of the things I enjoyed the most was getting together with the team: having lunch with my coworkers turned out to be a time to talk about hobbies and learn a lot of new things. I don’t know what to say other than “it was amazing”.

“Lots of new insights into the world of app designers, developers, product owners, etc.”

– Lily



Julia (guardian): I was proud of how much he learned in just one month: he mastered a new programming language and contributed to an API for our Maps library to be used in both our running and training apps. can The internship project was led by Paul Weichart within the Community Interaction Squad, so many thanks to Lily for her technical guidance, support and warm welcome.

Q: In what ways do you think mentoring has benefited you?

Lily (Manatee): Overall, I’ve already noticed an improvement in my attitude when talking to people, as a result I’m no longer closed off, impatient, or angry.

Julia (guardian): My mentee’s ambition and curiosity inspired me. I learned to be a better listener and to convey my knowledge in simple and understandable terms. I also felt a sense of purpose and gratitude for contributing to closing the gender gap in tech, even if it was just a small step in the right direction.

“I felt a sense of purpose and gratitude for being able to contribute to closing the gender gap in tech.”

– Julia


Q: What are your plans for the future?

Lily (Manatee): I plan to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in game development. Additionally, I would like to start my own company with a team of good developer friends.

Julia (guardian): I would definitely like to do more for a future where tech is actually women. In October, I will be attending as a mentor Women and Girls in STEM Forumwhich focuses on and organizes the empowerment of girls in science and technology. Girls Go Circular.

Q: Why do you think the next generation of girls should join a mentorship program?

Lily (Manatee): In my opinion, every girl would benefit the most from a program like this, learning many new things and finding out where they can improve or what to avoid.

Julia (guardian): I think this program will be most useful for girls who are interested in pursuing a career in technology but are at risk of changing majors. In my opinion, this can give them experience, a network of peers, and some incentive to choose to stay in STEM for their higher education and, later, their career.

Looking for a role in a company where diversity, equality and inclusion are key priorities? Apply to us. The Talent Community.

According to Lily, the mentoring program gives many girls her age the opportunity to improve their professional skills.


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