In September 2023, a group of 42 Berlin & 42 Wolfsburg students headed to the Digital X event, held in Cologne. Mathilde Marie Monge, student of 42 Berlin, wrote about her experience and the imperative of diverse tech recruitment. Read below for this #StudentStory.
In the age of the digital revolution, our world is being transformed at a breathtaking pace. Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, impacting how we work, communicate, and even how we think. While these advancements bring unprecedented opportunities, they also come with significant challenges. It’s crucial to ensure that the digital revolution remains humane at its core. This was the key takeaway from my attendance at the Digital X event, to which I was invited by the HR team of T-Systems as a woman+ student of 42 Berlin.
The digital revolution has the potential to uplift humanity, empower individuals, and bridge the gaps that have divided us for far too long. However, if we do not take deliberate steps to put humans at the forefront, we risk creating a world where technology becomes a double-edged sword. We need to ensure that technology serves everyone, regardless of their background, and that it reflects the diverse needs and perspectives of our global society. And therefore, the people who shape that technology need to represent this diversity of backgrounds.
A report by McKinsey earlier this year showed that the average woman’s share in tech roles in European companies is just 22%. When we break that down into specific roles, we can see that the highest area for female participation is in product design and management at 46%, whilst there’s only 18% in core engineering and 8% in DevOps and cloud roles.
During my time at Digital X, I witnessed firsthand how T-Systems has successfully integrated diversity into its recruitment practices. The event showcased the power of diverse teams and how they drive innovation and problem-solving to create technology that is truly inclusive and relevant to a wide range of users. The collaboration between 42 Berlin and T-Systems HR is another shining example of how diversity can seamlessly transition from education to the workforce.
42 Berlin, as an innovative coding school, plays a pivotal role in nurturing diverse tech talent. It embraces a unique and inclusive approach to education, where students from various backgrounds are welcomed without the need for prior formal qualifications or financial burdens.
During the course of my Piscine (42’s rigorous selection process), 44% of “Pisciners” attempting to enter the school were identified as female. On campus, 30,4% of the enrolled student body identifies as female, that is 60% higher than the European average (19% of ICT bachelor students being women*). By providing an accessible and merit-based learning environment, 42 Berlin opens the door to a more diverse pool of tech enthusiasts.
The collaboration between 42 Berlin and T-Systems HR serves as a testament to how diversity in education can seamlessly translate into diversity in the workforce. Students from 42 Berlin, with their diverse backgrounds and skill sets, bring fresh perspectives to the tech industry, infusing innovation with inclusivity. This collaboration highlights the importance of creating pathways for underrepresented talent to thrive in the tech sector.
By emphasizing the value of diverse talent, 42 Berlin and T-Systems HR are setting an exemplary standard for the industry. They are not only acknowledging the importance of diversity but actively investing in it to drive positive change within the tech community.
Inclusivity in tech transcends gender and encompasses a wide array of dimensions. It involves welcoming individuals of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Inclusivity means creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to the table. It’s about breaking down barriers, challenging biases, and providing equal opportunities for personal and professional growth regardless of one’s background or identity.
Diversity, however, must go hand in hand with inclusion to be truly sustainable. It’s not enough to simply bring diverse voices into the tech industry; these voices must be heard, valued, and provided with equal opportunities for growth and advancement. By nurturing an inclusive culture that encourages collaboration and the sharing of unique perspectives, we can create a sustainable model for diversity in tech that empowers all individuals to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the field.
*Source: Education and employment of women in science, technology and the digital economy, including AI and its influence on gender equality, Dr. Zacharias C. Zacharia
Article by Mathilde Marie Monge