Following its successful premiere last year, the Women in Digital Business conference is back again for CeBIT 2016, as an initiative on the part of Deutsche Messe as the makers of CeBIT and Germany’s Bitkom association, the Vogel IT Academy and the Women’s IT Network. Taking place on Thursday, 17 March, the conference will feature an inspirational series of keynotes by experts from Accenture, BASF, Google and other companies. The event will be held in the conference area of Hall 2, with some 150 attendees expected.
The need for action is great, since the industry – based on the findings of numerous studies – continues to squander a great deal of potential, with less than 20 percent of IT specialists at German enterprises being women.
"Companies with greater gender diversity have track records for greater creativity,"
Martina Koederitz, General Manager of IBM Germany since 201, is among the women who hold executive positions. She sees a strong need for action, particularly in the startup community, where founders are predominantly men – despite the fact that women account for roughly half of all university graduates. The reason: Women tend to opt for other careers. For this reason, Koederitz is urging young women to strike out in new directions with courage and self-confidence and found their own businesses in tomorrow’s digital world.
Andera Gadeib likewise emphasizes the need for audacity and self-confidence as key factors in launching startups. In 1999 she founded her first enterprise, the digital market research firm Dialego. Gadeib also recommends early schooling in digital creativity so as to encourage young people – especially women – to later take up careers in the digital realm. Gadeib emphasisizes that only heterogeneous corporate cultures can serve as prime incubators for outstanding ideas.
Inspirational keynotes, world cafés and think tanks will address hot topics such as women in management, corporate evolution, change management and business startups. Afterwards, participants will get together at a big networking event – the Bitkom Executive Night. "For us, it’s all about helping highly qualified women to take up managerial positions in the IT industry, while at the same time helping potential employers to find promising candidates," explained Felzmann.