The Call for Diversity Within Companies is No Charity Project for Unprivileged Women


Photo Credit: Georg Fischer / CC BY-SA 2.0

Paula Lou Riebschläger by Shifted News

We must use digitalization to guarantee men and women equal career opportunities. This is something the panelists Petra Scharner-Wolff, Lena-Sophie Müller and Constanze Buchheim agreed on during the course of their talk on „Diversity & the Fe:male Digital Footprint“ at re:publica on Wednesday. Buchheim emphasized that in her opinion we are focussing too much on the symptoms, like the fact that a majority of leaders are male, instead of fighting against the causes of the problem.

So what  are these causes? Are women less tech-savvy than men, which is why they are unable to hold their ground in our digitalised society? Is media reporting and the overrepresentation of the “female ideal” the reason for the development of many women choosing to renounce going down a career path and instead turning towards more traditional role models? Are women too timid to try to convince their employers of their strengths?

All of these considerations were part of wednesday’s discussion. But there is a different side to the story: Women, who because of their femininity feel that they are perceived as less competent by their colleagues – cue „Mansplaining“. The fact that confident women often times are labelled arrogant is a problem, that women cannot get a grip on all by themselves.  What we really need is a gender-spanning, honest understanding that diversity in the workplace is not just important to women, but for companies as a whole.