NVISO employees in Frankfurt and Munich showcased their work in Cybersecurity to the girls with live hacking demos, a view behind the scenes of NVISO and hands-on tips for their personal online security. Participating in the Germany- Wide “Girls Day”, we further widened the field of future career choices for the young visitors and brought them away from the ideas of “stereotypical male jobs”.
Everyone and their dog know that diversity is not only a nice gimmick, no it is beneficially impacting the success of companies. “Delivering through Diversity”, a study by McKinsey in 2018, reported that companies are much more likely to make decisions that result in financial returns above their industry mean if the team showed gender diversity.
While the first programmers were women, the reality of today is that cybersecurity is a field with more employees who identify as male than female. The image of a typical IT geek with a hoodie in front of a PC could come to mind. But what is also true nowadays, is that IT companies are looking for great new hires, independently from their gender. Given that statistically young women are doing better in German schools, there should be a lot of great female employees – if they would pursue careers in STEM related fields. Breaching into a new field is hard, but it gets easier when you see other’s doing it. For Girls in STEM related fields, it is valuable to have role models like our employees. This is why we at NVISO took the Girls Day initiative at heart and participated in the initiative this week , to be actively part of a change that we see as fundamental.
Girls Day is an initiative that started in 2001 and could be seen like a One-Day- Internship into technical jobs for girls. Based on this, at the same day, a Boys Day is happening to encourage boys to explore career options in care or social jobs. The Girls’ Day is supported and sponsored by the governmental ministries BMFSFJ and BMBF, to promote it throughout Germany and that interested girls can miss school on the day they visit companies.
Within the last 20 years, the initiative has not only grown the target group, it also is now the project with the most participants and also acknowledged worldwide with enthusiasts all over the globe to help fight against the stereotypes that impact “typical” career choices. 72% of the participants 2021 said it was helpful to be there that day to learn about possible future jobs, according to “Datenbasis: Evaluationsergebnisse 2021” by the founders of Girls Day, Kompetenzzetrum Technik- Diversity- Chancengleichheit e.V..
NVISO participated in the initiative for the first time, initiated and lead by Carola Wondrak. “It is more like a win-win-win situation for all participating parties”, she said. “Firstly, We can see what future employees are expecting of the company of the future and learn about their environment. Secondly, we do world- class work here and it is beneficial for us to showcase this and put our pin onto the map.” Grinning she adds, “And thirdly, as the saying goes: You have only understood it well, if you can explain it to a child.”
All of our German offices were enthusiastically participating and welcomed our young guests on-site in Frankfurt and Munich for the day. “I don’t want to wait a year to come here,” said one of our participants from Frankfurt, while another girl from Munich is planning her internship with us now. These great feedbacks were due to an engaging agenda for the day, ranging from a live hacking demo of a well- known app to presentations of different fields of work within NVISO. Finding out what is “typical me”, instead of gender- based is a first step to identify potential future career paths.
We have an employee resource program called NEST (NVISO Equality: Stronger Together!) working on the continuous improvement of NVISO’s posture on diversity and inclusion. Throughout NEST, NVISO commits to keep being a great working environment, where all kinds of diversity are respected, as well as to act by example to bring a significant added value to the whole European cybersecurity community.
We believe, we made an impact – if the result results are still accurate today, 49% of girls attending the Girls Day said they can imagine working in this field that their visited company is operating in. We are looking forward to some Girls Day alumni in our new joiners!
If you have questions or want to apply straight away now, please reach out to the Girls Day Initiative Lead, Carola Wondrak, at firstname.lastname@example.org .