5 minutes with Maja Schreiner – ICT professional at Swisscom
Maja shared in a short interview her perception and work experience as a female ICT professional at Swisscom.
Dear Maja, you are the founder of our internal Swisscom community Women in Tech & Lead. How did it come that you created this community?
When I started my career as a software engineer, I used to spend many years being the only woman working on a project. That bothered me for two main reasons: results of numerous studies and experiments have shown that diverse teams, not only in terms of gender, are more innovative and successful on the long run. Furthermore, I missed exchanging different experiences and thoughts with my women peers. That is what motivated me to set up an internal Swisscom community – Women in Tech & Lead. There are around 100 of us in the community, all women in technical or leading professions. We establish networks, organize monthly and quarterly gatherings, discuss ideas and raise our visibility at Swisscom.
Having rather homogenous teams in terms of gender seems to be a challenge not only for women, but for the ICT world in general. However, what are the perks you experienced by being a female ICT professional?
There are obviously many advantages that apply for women and men, when working in ICT. However, there are a few perks that I identified to be especially useful for me as a woman.
- The world needs IT professionals and women as well. Belonging to that group of profiles that are in demand is a huge privilege, which allows you to be part of great projects. So, depending on your skills and aspirations, you can be sure to have a chance to dive into different areas like software development, bioinformatics, AI or data science.
- Work/life balance in ICT is very good. There are lots of open positions in 80 and even 50 % workload, which is useful if you wish to work less due to your children or your hobbies. Many ICT positions allow regularly home office and an individual arrangement of your working hours. This benefit is very important to me, since it allows me to spend time with my children without hindering me to pursue my career.
- Women can enrich and help every agile team by taking a role of a facilitator, agile coach, scrum master, product owner or engineer of course
Since many ICT professions are in demand and will stay in demand in the future, I assume you could easily change your employer.
What are the reasons that make you stick with Swisscom as an ICT woman?
ICT is an amazing field to work in, but it is crucial to find an employer that matches your expectations and still manages to challenge you.
- ICT is developing fast, which makes it almost impossible to get bored. You need to be ready and motivated to keep up with the intensity and pace. I enjoy that motivation and the will to develop is a basic prerequisite in order to work at Swisscom. It pushes you to improve who you are as a person and as a professional.
- Swisscom provides a mentor (Götti), who will support you on your way. We work in agile teams, which is great in terms of individual responsibility. Nevertheless, working in an agile setup can be challenging in the beginning, which is why it is nice to know that Swisscom ensures you have a buddy to provide guidance.
- Last but not least, I enjoy taking part in our Women in Tech & Lead community. The power of working and sharing moments with amazing people should never be underestimated.