How does a robot pick things up? How do sensors work and how is software programmed today? Questions like these play an essential role in our increasingly automated and networked production sector, making STEM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) more relevant than ever. This requires a rethink on the part of both employers and employees as technological progress has led to the disappearance of a number of traditional professions – especially in industry – in favour of new job profiles and with them new opportunities.
But despite digitalisation and automation, many companies are currently unable to exploit their economic power to the full because they lack skilled staff. Due to demographic change and virtually full employment, the digital association Bitkom has been estimating the number of vacant positions in IT alone at around 100,000 for years, and the STEM Spring Report talks of over 300,000 vacant positions in STEM.
Even today it is predominantly men who study and get the jobs in technology and IT, something confirmed by figures from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. According to this, in 2020 men still held 89 % of the positions in mechanical and automotive engineering and 85% in information and communication technology. Not a lot has changed since.
For years, a wide variety of initiatives have been running throughout Germany to inspire young women to pursue STEM subjects. Even though at school they are taught which scientific and technical job profiles can result from STEM subjects, the message isn't coming across.
Anyone who thinks that engineering and technology are all about machines, robots and heavy physical work is mistaken. Current topics like environmental protection and food security are also finding solutions in advanced technologies. Topics that matter to women. And this is precisely where the key to success lies alongside professional competence in teamwork and interdisciplinary thinking, as well as in lively communication and creativity – skills commonly attributed to women.
Unless they have relatives who work in the STEM sector, young women often perceive technical jobs as something abstract. However, as it has long been known how much children are fascinated by technology, the Wissensfabrik, a 'hands-on initiative' across Germany, already offers nurseries the opportunity to experience and design technology. Industrial companies, business-related foundations and Wissensfabrik educational institutions accompany these young people with various projects through their entire school, training and studying lives, all the way to entering the world of work.
In Hesse, for example, where we are also based, the Hessen-Technikum project provides secondary-school and vocational graduates with the opportunity of a very special study and career orientation. As part of paid internships they can dive into the everyday life of various technical professions over a period of three months at two companies of their choice. These participants' testimonials are consistently positive.
Our integration solutions for technical software pave the way for industrial companies to collaborate transparently across departments using a common database: one of their most pressing concerns.
These connectors have to be designed, developed and implemented according to clients' needs. This requires a sound understanding of technology and processes in industrial companies. Many women deal with these tasks for us.
With just under 40 female employees, almost 30 % of our workforce are women. Of these, a third work in development, service and consulting, as well as in technical sales. In addition to a wide range of design options, they particularly appreciate our family-friendly working-time models, designed to adapt to our employees' family requirements, and not vice versa.
Never heard of terms like 'CAD system' or 'product life-cycle management'? No problem, just ask us. If you are interested in STEM subjects, exciting answers await you. We will also be happy to explain what our project managers, product managers and consultants do.
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