Human Resources

Bitkom: Why the IT sector urgently needs more women

March 7, 2024. The demand for IT specialists is growing and there is a lack of young talent: There is an unprecedented shortage of IT specialists in Germany. This is one of the reasons why the Bitkom industry wants to attract more girls and women to IT professions in the future. Two thirds (68%) of ITC companies are convinced that the skills gap cannot be closed without women. Two thirds (66%) also fear that the industry will lose its future without women. These are the results of a company survey published by the digital association Bitkom to mark Women’s Day on March 8.

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“We urgently need more women in IT professions. It’s not just about the success of digitalization, but also about good digitalization. It can only succeed if everyone participates equally and is as active as possible in shaping it. Companies can benefit immensely from the ideas and perspectives that women bring to the table. We need to activate the enormous potential of women for the digital economy much more strongly,” says Bitkom President Dr. Ralf Wintergerst.

The companies in the Bitkom sector are aware of the need to catch up: 73% of ICT companies say that the ICT sector underestimates the potential of women. On the one hand, 73% say that a high proportion of women promotes productivity and creativity in teams and companies. On the other hand, 43 percent also say that men are simply better suited to ICT professions. This assumption is particularly widespread in smaller companies: Among ICT companies with 10-49 employees, 46 percent fully or somewhat agreed with this statement, 34 percent in companies with 50-499 employees and 12 percent in larger companies with 500 employees or more. Of the men surveyed, 50 percent agreed, compared to only 14 percent of women.

“Anyone who continues to cling to the misconception that women are per se less suited to IT professions than men should not be surprised about the shortage of skilled workers,” says Wintergerst. “We need to do away with such outdated and simply inaccurate role stereotypes. This requires an enlightened leadership culture, public role models and stereotype-free career guidance in schools and job centers.”

In order to inspire women for careers in the digital economy and to better promote female specialists and managers, Bitkom is involved with other partners in the #SheTransformsIT initiative. The interdisciplinary alliance of business, science, politics and civil society is committed to strengthening the role of girls and women in the digital transformation.

Methodological note

The data is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. It surveyed 503 companies with 10 or more employees in Germany. The overall survey is representative of ICT and CE companies in Germany. This includes telecommunications companies, providers of software and IT services as well as manufacturers of data processing equipment, telecommunications technology devices and consumer electronics. The interviews were conducted with management, decision-makers and HR managers. The survey took place in the period from week 1 to week 6 2024. The question was: “When you think specifically about women in the ICT sector, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

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