Come do MINT 5 questions for Jenny
What do dancing and programming have in common? Those who think they can skip an important step will stumble sooner or later. We don’t know what Jenny would have done to deserve such a mediocre joke as a lead-in to this article, but here goes. Jenny has been with us as a developer for almost a year, and today we ask her five questions about her experiences as a woman in a STEM profession. By the way, when she’s not contributing her expertise to customers like Kapsch, Blickle or Förch, she enjoys dancing (we had yet to break that down) or spending time with her family.
That’s it for the introduction, let’s go!
How and when did you become aware of STEM as a possible career field?
I first came into contact with programming during my studies. My course of study, Digital Design, was more general, but part of it also dealt with coding. So before the first lecture on the subject, I didn’t have that in mind at all. However, I found out pretty quickly that I enjoy it and the community is cool too. There are super many forums and the like where you can get an answer to any question. For my studies we had to do an internship, which I consequently did in web development.
Were there strong negative or positive reactions to your decision to become a programmer in your environment?
Most have responded very positively. There were also some people who were surprised. But that’s probably to be expected, since the profession is still very much dominated by men. However, I did not perceive this surprise as negative.
What fascinates you about the field you work in?
I like how quickly the area is developing. My level of knowledge in a few years will be completely different from what it is today. So you have to keep updating yourself on what works and what doesn’t. I also like the feeling of just needing a laptop to solve all sorts of problems and having 100 different ways to do it. So it won’t be monotonous.
What was the ratio of men to women in your program or business?
In my study program, there were mostly women. But as I said, this was also not a pure computer science program, but a mixture of several disciplines. There were also many women in the company before mmmake. It’s probably often different, and the large percentage of men in traditional degree programs or “programming departments” certainly scares off some women as well. But I was welcomed with open arms everywhere.
What would be your suggestions on how to get more women interested in STEM professions?
That’s relatively difficult, I think. Personally, I wasn’t aware of it at all before my studies. But with initiatives like BOGY, Komm, mach MINT or Girls’ Day, we are definitely going in the right direction. There simply needs to be constant work on making more women aware of the issue. Because the more women work in the professions, the more normal it becomes. Addressing women early on and approaching schools, for example, could also help.
Thank you so much for your time and the interview, Jenny!