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Impact of women in technology

sveabecker
Employee
Employee

I just came across this post by @Maren_Meyer : https://blogs.sap.com/2022/04/19/why-we-need-girls-and-women-in-data-science/

I think it's very interesting to consider the impact of women in Data Science and females perspectives on different items which are developed in comparison to men. We all here are 'Women in Tech' and should appreciate the value we bring into the Tech World. And we really should already deliver this to our daughters, nieces and granddaughters!

From my side, I will be part of the "girls day" on upcoming Thursday, simply sharing my story and how interesting it is to work in Technology.

What is your contribution? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts/story/ideas.

All the best, Svea

 

17 REPLIES 17

mynynachau
Employee
Employee

What a great contribution Svea! 🙂 

I'd like to take the moment to also congratulate Jana Wuerth for being an inspiring Woman in Artificial Intelligence! I had the chance to work with her on community activities and when I read this post the other day, I was happy to get to know her even more: https://blogs.sap.com/2022/04/14/women-in-artificial-intelligence-at-sap-get-to-know-jana-wuerth/

She shares very good advice for women that want to pursue a career in tech. 

Very nice! 😀

 Thanks for sharing @mynynachau and congrats Jana Würth 👏

Thanks a lot for sharing our blog, Mynyna! Jana Wuerth's story is indeed really inspiring to all of us. Stay tuned - it's a blog series & we'll continue with more interviews with many other women working in the AI unit! 

 

StephanieMarley
Employee
Employee

Great discussion! This caught my eye today too! SAP Purpose Network Live Conversations | SAP Purpose Network Live

According to what I found on the internet women hold just 18 percent of data science jobs in the United States. On a well-known US job site I searched jobs in data science and found more than 27,000 open positions. Data science is touted as a very good career with tremendous opportunities for advancement in the future. The question that I'm asking myself is how can I get involved. I'm going to start by asking at my local high school where my daughter attends --what is the opportunity for my daughter and so many other girls to get exposed to data science. How can you help? Can we exchange ideas here?

Hi @StephanieMarley, thanks for mentioning our event page for WiDS @ SAP on May 25! We are trying to get a great experience to inspire more girls and women to get into data science.

Though it does not come by surprise, I still find it shocking to see the gap. And I agree that more could be done early on to start motivating girls to get interested in tech, and data or computer science principles. 

As for your high school: Do you know about SAP Young Thinkers? As part of University Alliances, the program tries to bring these skills to high school kids. We are working e.g. with a really cool programming language "Snap!" to teach data and computer science principles. Maybe this is interesting for your local high school? Here is the link to the SAP Community Topic Page.

There is also a community of SAP employees who like to engage with schools and share resources, let me know if this interests you:-)

Hi, I would like to introduce SAP Young Thinkers to my local high school. I have heard of it but didn't connect the dot that I should be an advocate in my local high school! Thank you for prompting this. I'll reach out to you directly once I review. 😁

Maren_Meyer
Employee
Employee

Thanks for opening up this conversation, @sveabecker!

It´s wonderful that you will share your story on Girls Day! I remember that my dad also took my to a Girls Day at his firm (a big tech firm for banking) when I was still in high school. It was really cool as people were taking these little city scooters to go from one building to the next and we were allowed to visit the server rooms, which my dad told me was very special as most of the employees would never receive access. Sometimes it is just these little things that make the difference and stick to our heads;-) 

Also, I´d like to take the chance and promote the Women in Data Science @ SAP event on May 25 again: if you are interested in the topic, please join us:-)

TammyPowlas
Member

I'm off on a tangent, but I was reading a book about Women in Analytics

One topic was restrooms at sports facilities.  Most sports stadiums have the same number of stalls for both men's and women's restrooms.  But there's usually a line for the ladies' room, as women are more likely to have young kids with them, and for other reasons as well, resulting in longer times spent using the facilities.  This is also true, based on my observation, at airports.

So if a woman was designing the # of stalls for the restroom facilities, would she have known to take into consideration the difference in the time it takes for women and men using the facilities?  

Normally we think things should be the same, but in this case, perhaps not.

I never thought of it this way! I do agree!

oh, that's a good example! Interesting question, I'd say yes! 

Hi @TammyPowlas, such a strong example. It was actually the same one I had in my blogpost at first. I took it out, because I was wondering if it might not be the most appropriate to share. Now I am a bit different with myself because why would I not share this? It is such a daily struggle for women, we could talk about it. We experience it in all spaces of public life if it is travel at airports, at events, at schools/ universities in breaks...

Within the book "invisible women" Caroline Criado-Perez writes about the issue too. She says that the space of public bathrooms is usually split into 50:50 per **bleep**. Yet, women in average need 2-3 times longer than men, also due to the fact that they take care of children or elderlies and as they might be on their period and need to exchange tampons or sanitary napkins. While at the same time, men´s bathrooms often have more sanitaries as there is a mix of toilets and urinals, and urinals take less space so more fit within the same square meters.

The book has a ton of these examples, if it is santiaries, city building or medical support... And I agree that a diversity in the positions to design products in all areas would help to improve them:-)

Hi @TammyPowlas , I like the tangent and 100% agree and would like to read that book!

I’ve observed this over the years as well, it’s the same at music concerts and other venues, so it’s not only because of women having young kids with them but is also nature’s way! If it was up to me, I’d increase the # of female restroom cubicles every time.

On another tangent…. other things I’ve observed in relation to design but more shop design & layout, for example, when purchasing footwear, sports or otherwise, often the smaller sizes (I’m a size 5 – EU 38) are on the very top shelves out of reach. In general, taller people wear bigger shoes, right? So, why not put the smaller shoe sizes on the bottom shelves? I think to myself, was it a man or a woman who designed this store layout 😊. Happens a lot. Also, have you ever noticed say a mirror in a hotel room hanging really high up on the wall and wonder if a tall man put it there… hope I don’t sound vain haha!

Thanks, Katherine - here's the book: https://www.amazon.com/Analytics-Interpreted-Perspectives-Rehgan-Avon-ebook/dp/B08VZXD469 

I haven't read it all yet, cover to cover, but so far it's interesting

Very interesting direction of the discussion! I think it's really necessary considering the different directions, opinions behavior, etc. of both: women and men. And tolerance is needed as well 😉

Dorothee
Member

Hi,
from my point of view the discussion comes to interesting aspects.

I was enthusiastic when I read first about Women in Tech. But I was uncertain what was able to contribute – even after 18 years experience in SAP application management.

But I also started reading the  book "invisible women" of Caroline Criado-Perez. And one aspect I’d like to pick up is what she pointed out: the ‘universal wisdom’ of men – and I mean male persons deciding about our lives, like eg. # of facilies.

I don’t want to blame them. Mostly they just think to do a good job. But they think to know ‘the truth’ and do not even ask if women have other ideas. And we, women, are so used to this that we often do not even think about questioning this behavior or the results. In ‘real life’ as well as in software development – or in future aspects of KI.

I think and I am confident that discussions even about these topics we often might judge as unimportant or not relevant open our eyes. And they lead us to those points that have to be changed and which we want to influence.

SophShep
Employee
Employee

Hi,

I love the open discussion here, thank you for starting it! I for one am still completely amazed that I have ended up working in Tech. I did my Masters in Medieval Literature and won't even adopt a kindle, my non-techiness is so established that I even had the nickname "Luddite" in a previous company!  So, how did I end up at SAP? - well, the honest truth is I was recommended by an old colleague and because I like and respect her, I took the interview... never expecting to genuinely be intrigued or get the job, let alone be here 7 years later and loving it! I think that's the first and most salient point... when I started, I panicked! What do I have to offer? I just don't have a techie brain. I genuinely didn't understand 60% of the words being spoken in meetings or emails but then, gradually, I realised that SAP, like most tech companies, has a huge number of very talented techie brains already working for them (men and women). I bring something else, I have a LOT of experience with business and people and that adds real value. Instead of trying to be something I'm not, I simply played to my strengths and, to this day, if I don't understand a concept or a new product I go to the people I trust and have connected with to help me and explain. 

Now I'm not saying that women can't be techie or have a technical way of thinking but I think historically the field has been dominated by men (I think you could probably say the same about other industries like banking and oil and gas) and as a result they can feel a little like old boys clubs in places which gives people like me - a non-techie woman - twice the reasons to not join in, or feel we could succeed.

As such, I think we the women in tech have to help change the narrative to make this a more welcoming and attractive workplace for women and even non-technical women. We need to stand up for diversity of thought and bringing different ways of thinking into discussions for everyone's gain. I work for SAP SuccessFactors, we're ALL about the Human Experience, it just so happens we enable that experience through tech but the emphasis is (quite rightly) on the people.

I absolutely love your approach @SophShep! Thanks for your honesty. It's great you live your authentic self. Keep on going! 😊