The ‘war for talent’ is a real problem for many employers. What can we do to recruit and retain the best employees?
Competition for talent in the tech industry is fierce. People today, especially young people, attach great importance to combining family and career and having more free time – this is very important for women in particular. That’s why at DEKRA we offer proven benefits such as mobile working, flexible working hours, individual solutions for maternity and paternity leave, and Málaga-specific half-day working when it gets too hot in the summer.
Working in a good environment and feeling comfortable at work are just as important to people. The location of the office is also very important in this context. Here in Málaga, our office was still outside the city a few years ago and you could only get there by car. We deliberately changed that. Today we are in a central location and have new and modern premises. Of course, this also makes it easier to connect to public infrastructure, with short distances to daycare centers, buses and trains. Apart from the work/life balance, DEKRA is also a good employer because we see people, we respond flexibly to them, and our employees have the opportunity to work on exciting and innovative technology projects every day.
Is it easier to attract female tech talent these days? What can we do to advance equality?
Unfortunately, there are still far too few women opting for the IT sector in Spain. Maybe our traditional structures are the reason why women find it harder to imagine themselves in tech jobs. As far as DEKRA DIGITAL is concerned, we are fortunate to have some very valuable female talent on our team.
Regrettably, I believe that we will have to fight for years in Spain to increase the presence of women in IT professions and also to get them into positions of responsibility. Likewise, the salary gap between men and women in our sector must disappear. As a female manager, I also see myself acting as a role model. In negotiations, for example, I support female employees in correctly assessing their salary or their value.
What advice would you give women on how to succeed in the tech industry?
I would say to them that they should be brave! Don’t be afraid to take risks, make decisions and take responsibility. It is human to make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t learn anything, which means you won’t develop personally or be successful in your career. At DEKRA, we have the motto “fail fast, learn fast”. Not every idea has the potential to be followed up. Occasionally, unprofitable projects or ideas are abandoned. However, what may seem like a professional failure at the time is actually an important step in your personal development and should not be underestimated.
As a second piece of advice, I would like to offer the following: Seek out role models! Women in the tech industry often lack role models and mentors with whom they can talk as equals. Women who want to pursue a career deliberately do not address their questions and ‘concerns’ to male superiors so that they are not classified as ‘weak’. A mentorship can help here. Women can benefit from the experience of others, which can help them steer the right course both professionally and privately.
This is precisely why I would like to use my pioneering role and share my many years of experience with other women. To reduce women’s reservations about IT jobs, we are currently working on a mentorship program to appeal to female tech talent and give them insights into the world of DEKRA. I will be on hand as a mentor to provide advice and support for further career planning and, with a bit of luck, we will help some talented people enter the company directly, as I was able to do back then.