Today, Scania attends Women in Tech, an initiative aimed at inspiring and encouraging women who work in the tech industry – a field that lacks female employees.
For the fourth year in a row, the Women in Tech conference welcomes women in the technology sector to a conference that seeks to inspire and connect them with successful people who can encourage them to stay in a field that is in great need of women. This year Scania will attend as one of the sponsors. It will be the first time that an industrial company has attended the event – previously it has mainly attracted IT companies.
“It’s good for us as a company to take part in this, but also good for the women attending the event that we do so. Scania works a lot within the IT field, but that might not be something that the listeners know,” says Sara Hermansson, Head of Electric and Hybrid Powertrain Projects at Scania, who will be one of the speakers at the conference.
The interest in this year’s conference is higher than it has ever been; 1,000 tickets were available but they were snapped up within seven minutes of being released.
“We have seen that this is an event that attracts a lot of interest. The speakers are successful women within the field, and the companies that are attending have the chance to reach out to women who they otherwise may have difficulties reaching,” says Lisa Nordin, Manager of Employer Branding at Scania. “It’s a good forum for Scania to present itself in. The women attending the conference are an important target group for Scania as an employer.”
Sara Hermansson, whose speech will be about vehicle electrification, just recently took over as Head of Electric and Hybrid Powertrain Projects. After her promotion the lack of women within the engineering field became all the more evident to her.
“I didn’t feel like that the lack of women in my field affected me much before, but the higher up you make it in the chain, the fewer women there are in the decision-making process and the fewer female colleagues there are. The more important the decision-making is, the more absent women get.”
Hermansson says that it’s important to address the issue so as to even out the gap between men and women in the industry.
“We can’t just think that this will work itself out with time. It’s important to have a good gender mix at all levels and in all teams of the company. That will provide us with a better dynamic and a better mix of solutions.”
Hermansson is also taking part in another important initiative – Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (or IGE Day). IGE Day aims to boost interest in engineering among young women who are about to choose their academic paths. The girls will get to visit different companies where they will be introduced to female engineers, who can be role models for them.
“Role models are highly important. It doesn’t matter how much we are trying to tell young girls how fun tech is. If they don’t see that it’s possible for women to become a Chief Technical Officer or an expert engineer, the driven women will choose businesses where their odds of being successful are better,” says Hermansson.
“When it comes down to it, the purpose of Women in Tech and IGE Day is the same – to achieve a good gender balance between men and women in the engineering field.”