#DiversityDrivesData: With the “Women-in-Data” scholarship for more women in the data industry.

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In cooperation with Telefónica Deutschland / o2, StackFuel has launched the “Women in Data”-scholarship under the motto #DiversityDrivesData, that gives women the chance to win one of 50 advanced training courses to become a data analyst, each worth €2,990, including mentoring. 

We live in a digital world that never sleeps. Every minute of every day, consumers around the world spend $1 million in online shops, make 1.4 million video and voice calls, share 150,000 messages on Facebook, and stream 404,000 hours of video on Netflix.1 More data is generated in a single hour than what was generated in an entire year 20 years ago.² This rapid technological advancement, which we rarely notice but use every day, is primarily made by men. That wouldn’t be a bad thing in itself if it meant the female perspective wasn’t ignored a lot of the time. Teams that are not diverse are often oriented toward the average man when developing products, services and in medicine. Just 25 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs are held by women, and in the data industry, we come in at just 15 percent. For us, that means it’s time to act.

Nowadays, data determines economic success and failure. You won’t just find data experts in the IT department, but also in other departments such as marketing, logistics, HR or finance. Data professionals are more in demand than ever, and becoming one yourself is now even easier than you thought thanks to the “Women in Data” scholarship. To make it easier for women* to enter the world of data and provide them with the skills they need to get started in the data industry, we at StackFuel have teamed up with Telefónica Deutschland / o2 to launch the “Women in Data” scholarship, which will enable 50 women to train to become data analysts.

*We use the term “women” inclusively and refer to all people who identify as a woman. While this scholarship is explicitly for women, all non-binary or genderqueer people are also invited to apply.

(Click here to learn more about the data analyst profession, typical tasks , salary and career opportunities).

Why the data industry needs more women

“We cannot design a world that works for everyone without women,” wrote British author Caroline Criado-Perez in her book “Invisible Women: How a World Dominated by Data Ignores Half the Population.”

The IT sector is considered one of the fastest growing industries, and there are already more unfilled IT positions than there are graduates to meet the growing needs of the job market. Despite the fact that new talent is so urgently needed, the number of women in this field is expected to continue to shrink over the next decade, according to an Accenture study. Promoting diversity in these teams, therefore, does not mean fewer men at all; it means making up for the shortage of skilled workers by also promoting other groups in society in terms of their qualifications.

“There are numerous competent women who would be a real asset in this field,” says Nicole Gerhardt, Chief Human Resources Officer at Telefónica Deutschland / O2. “We want to actively break down barriers here with new approaches such as the Women in Data scholarship and specifically encourage women to continue their education in future-relevant professions.”

What many don’t know: The first person to develop an algorithm was a woman, Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician. Despite all this, even today, almost 200 years later, many women still do not trust themselves with a technical profession. The fear of mathematics and the broad field of programming are too great. Yet women are particularly suited to professions such as data analyst, which require so much creativity, detail orientation and communication skills. The job as a data analyst is not only varied and offers versatile, professional opportunities, but is also fun. The reluctance that has existed up to now will become a fundamental challenge, especially for business, if women are not actively promoted. This funding is therefore not about favoring women, but about encouraging the development of mixed-gender teams. The full scholarship is intended to qualify women to work with data and thus ensure more diversity and new blood in data teams. The 50 winners identified will receive online training to become a data analyst, including mentoring from StackFuel, with a total value of €150,000 for 2021.

Promoting equal opportunities and diversity

Many jobs typically done by women are lower paid and less recognized than male-dominated professions. Although many women are employed, about two-thirds of household chores and family management are still done by women today. Time appropriately headlined in 2019 that women work 4.5 hours³ unpaid every day. We can’t change these unequal circumstances in a day³, but we want to take them into account and actively break down barriers. We strongly believe that all women – regardless of their financial status or background – should have equal opportunities to pursue careers as data professionals.

By the end of 2020, about one million more women will have lost their jobs than men, for a total of 5.4 million women.4 This is just one more reason why we are aiming this scholarship at women. Not only do we want to make it easier for them to return to work, but we also want to give them a great deal of flexibility that their daily lives require. Because if these women are overlooked, companies will also miss out on valuable talent. With this scholarship, we want to help increase the percentage of women in tech and data professions to at least 50 percent and make it the new normal. The four-month, in-service training course to become a data analyst, worth €2,990 each, has a special focus on the Python programming language and includes expert mentoring that prepares participants for their future job roles in a practical way. In addition, the Data Analyst course is so flexible in terms of time that each woman can decide for herself when and how much time she can spend on it in a day or in a week. In order to attract as many women as possible to the scholarship, we are offering it in English as well as in German. This makes the “Women in Data” scholarship currently the only German-language scholarship for women on the topic of data in the German-speaking region. In addition to the in-service training to become a data analyst, scholarship holders will be accompanied by professional mentoring. The learning content is particularly practical with interactive lessons, real business cases and coding challenges and thus prepares the participants for their future job role as a data analyst. However, the scholarship is also suitable for participants who want to incorporate working with data into their current job. No significant prior experience is required to participate.

“Data analytics is one of the most sought-after skills of the decade. Experts who can handle data are in demand in almost all departments, such as marketing or finance. With our online courses, we are offer women targeted data skills and thus directly contributing to more equal opportunities and diversity in Germany’s digitalization,” says Leo Marose, CEO and Co-Founder of StackFuel.

Diversity brings numerous benefits for all parties involved. McKinsey was able to show in its 2018 report “Delivering Through Diversity” that mixed-gender teams are 33 percent more likely to be profitable. A Harvard University study came to the same conclusion and also found that diverse teams were generally able to achieve better results than non-mixed groups – whether they were made up of only men or only women. This awareness now already exists in many companies and is already being actively promoted. In order to sustainably strengthen diversity in the STEM field, it is important to eliminate existing prejudices that boys and men are superior to girls and women in technical matters. An important means of achieving this is to create role models and thus shape a new, sustainably diverse image of career profiles.

Get to know our Women in Data

Data expertise has many different aspects. It is as colorful and diverse as our own Women in Data and their careers. These women are inspiring role models for us and they have proven that the path to the world of data does not always have to be the same. Diversity drives the world of data. 

Laura-Luisa Velikonja is a Senior Data Scientist at Telefónica Deutschland. She uses machine learning to help different business units make better and faster decisions.

“People who encourage and support boys and girls at an early age are crucial to motivating them equally for these important career fields.”

Learn more about Laura’s journey.

Dr. Yen Hoang is an Educational Data Scientist at StackFuel. Yen was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and came to Berlin with her parents when she was four years old, where she grew up in Friedrichshain.

“Believe in yourself. Be strong. And remember how much you have already achieved. Then you’ll realize what you can still achieve. Just take the first step.”

Learn more about Yen’s journey.

Dr. Verena Braunschober has been a Senior Data Analyst in the Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence department at Telefónica Deutschland in Munich for almost nine years. In this interview, she talks about how she developed her passion for data and how StackFuel’s course helped her on her career path.

“Being visible and making your voice heard to be involved in decisions, sometimes it just takes a bit of practice and courage.”

Learn more about Verena’s journey.

Many companies now place a high priority on recruiting, retaining and developing female talent for their IT and data departments. However, this is not where the efforts should end. In our fast-paced working world, it is important to be able to demonstrate the right qualifications and in-demand skills to advance your career. Data analytics skills are in such high demand because they are so universal. They qualify for far more than just the job of data analyst, but are of great benefit in numerous departments and job roles, and are becoming increasingly valuable as digitalization and datafication of all aspects of life continue.

Start a new career with the scholarship

Who can apply for the scholarship?

We especially want to encourage women to join the data industry and apply for the “Women in Data” scholarship. To be eligible to participate, you should identify asa woman and:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older

  • Have your place of residence or permanent domicile in Germany, Austria or Switzerland

  • Have a good knowledge of German or English – at least B2 level

  • Have a basic understanding of mathematics and statistics, which we ask for in a short aptitude test.

How to apply in 3 easy steps

To make the selection process as fair as possible and to make sure that you are the right candidate, we need some application documents from you in step 1, which you can submit on our application page. This includes your CV (1-3 pages as a PDF), proof of your language skills (in case you are not a native speaker) and either an application text (max. 250 words) or application video (between 1 and 2.5 minutes long) answering the following questions:

  • What interests you about data?

  • What has prevented you from pursuing further education in the field of data so far in your career?

  • How do you plan to use your scholarship to benefit you and your career?

Tell us more about your background and also let us know if you are planning a career change, are in a situation of economic hardship (e.g., low income or similar), or if you consider yourself to be part of a minority or disadvantaged group in society (e.g., due to a disability). In step 2 you can upload your documents or your video and in step 3 you will complete a short aptitude test, which is just to show us the level of your previous knowledge. So you don’t have to be afraid of highly mathematical formulas. After that, we will review your documents in an objective selection process and will hopefully be able to contact you as the winner on June 21, 2021. If you are still interested in the scholarship at that time, you will start your Data Analyst course with the other 49 Women in Data on July 05, 2021. Depending on how you want to manage your learning time, the course will last between four weeks and four months.

We strongly believe that all women should have the same opportunities to pursue a career as a data analyst. Whether you believe you are at a disadvantage or not, whether you are already working in a data-related environment or starting a new career in a new direction – with us you will get the chance to sharpen your data skills and shape your career path. Do you still have questions? We have collected the most important information and most frequently asked questions on the scholarship website. Click here for our FAQs.

Take your chance – until June 10, 2021

The data industry needs you! Are you ready for a data career or to take off in your job with analytical, data-based work? Then visit us at https://scholarship.stackfuel.com/en and apply for the “Women in Data” scholarship.

About Telefónica Deutschland / o2: Telefónica Deutschland offers mobile and landline services for consumers and business customers. With more than 44.3 million mobile connections and 2.4 million broadband connections, the company is a leading integrated telecommunications provider in Germany. No network operator connects more people with mobile communications in Germany. Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (MDAX) since 2012. In fiscal year 2020, the company generated revenue of 7.53 billion euros with just under 8,200 employees. It is majority-owned by the Spanish telecommunications group Telefónica S.A.

About StackFuel: StackFuel is Germany’s leading provider of certified online upskilling and reskilling training in data literacy, data science and AI, tailored to the needs of companies in industry and business. To address the digital transformation and the upcoming skills gap in data and AI, StackFuel helps companies effectively and efficiently prepare employees for future job roles. The innovative online courses offer provide a modern and flexible learning experience with an interactive and cloud-based learning environment where they independently develop algorithms with industry datasets. 

Sources:

1Domo (2020): „Data never sleeps“ [03.05.2021] 

²Seagate (2020): “Rethink Data Survey” [03.05.2021] 

³ Zeit Online (2019): „Frauen arbeiten täglich 4,5 Stunden unbezahlt“ [03.05.2021] 

National Women’s Law Center (2021) “Women’s labor force participation hits 33-year low” [05.05.2021] 

Weltwirtschaftsforums (2021): “Global Gender Gap Report” [05.05.2021] 

Training Industry (2021): „The Time Is Now: 3 Ways Learning and Development Can Support Women Reentering the Workforce“ [04.05.2021] 

Forbes (2020): „Top Three Reasons We Need More Women In Tech“ [22.02.2021] 

Accenture (2021): „Cracking the gender code“ [23.02.2021] 

McKinsey (2018): „Delivering through diversity“ [23.02.2021] 

BCG (2017): „The Mix That Matters“ [23.02.2021] 

Laura Redlich
Laura Redlich
As an authentic Berliner, Laura quickly joined the creative and start-up scene. After studying Media and Communications Management at Media Design University of Applied Sciences, Laura worked as the editor in charge of Finance, Tech, Data and AI at IQPC and interviewed well-known industry pioneers at conferences. At StackFuel, Laura is steadily adding to the Content Lab - our varied offering of free content, webinars, and publications.

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