"Gender inequality continues to exist in the technology sector and we need to actively address it," says Sandra Horma, Strategy Lead in FinCrime Operations at Wise. Applications are now open for Wise scholarship for TalTech women students in IT.
40% of the Estonian startup community is made up of women, but digging deeper into the numbers, the gender inequality is significantly higher depending on the position. Technical roles are mainly occupied by men. "It is difficult to break the outdated image of an IT man with a ponytail rooted back in the 90s, but it’s long overdue to move on from it. Unfortunately, IT still remains distant for the majority of women, together with understanding the wide application possibilities of tech education," says Sandra Horma, who has worked in IT for 10 years.
"Today, women of all ages and from very different backgrounds study information technology, engineering and computer science at TalTech, but there are significantly fewer of them than men. We must deal with dissolving gender inequality and stigmas, and the key here is certainly the cooperation between the private and public sectors, to encourage women and bring attention to the issue. We can normalise the concept of an ‘IT woman’ through sharing examples and success stories," says Margareth Lasn, chairperson of TalTech IT Faculty’s Student Council.
As a former sociologist, Horma explains the background of the situation: "According to the scientists, social roles and identities are not innate. They are mutable constructs that develop through human interaction. Masculinity and femininity and gender roles are not fixed, but they’re constantly changing over time. We know that understanding and succeeding in technology is in no way dependent on a person's gender, and we need to find ways to introduce more IT fields among girls and women and encourage them to see their future in tech."
To support future IT talent, Wise recognises one of TalTech IT Faculty's undergraduate women students with a €2,000 scholarship, mentoring with top specialists and networking opportunities.
Scholarship applications are open until 26 March.
More information and applications