“Not just for nerds”: celebrating women in tech this International Women’s Day
No matter what a history of male-dominance tells us, technology isn’t all about men; women have played a huge part in getting the sector to where it is today. So, on International Women’s Day, we give women the appreciation they deserve and urge for this to spread past the set 24-hours.
Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper,Susan Kare,Angelica Ross– there are so many women around the world who have broken the mould. But, today, we want to celebrate the ladies paving the way under our very roof.
So, meet Sandra Ranff our Director of Product Management. We sat down with Sandra to learn her technologyherstory and the advice she has for anyone looking to dive into STEM industries.
1. How did you get into technology?
I got into technology and computers at an early age. Much of my childhood revolved around a C64, and I used to copy code from magazines. My appetite for technology grew with every day, so I pretty much knew the career route I wanted to take. I began as technical draughtswoman apprentice, but realised it wasn’t challenging me and instead went into further education as a multimedia producer.
Unfortunately, the dotcom bubble burst around 2002 and everyone believed the internet was dead – oh how wrong they were! After this, I went on to work in tech support with financial services company, Commerzbank, and later become Product Manager at online banking app Star Finanz.
2. Why tech?
I’ve always loved keeping up with new technologies and it remains a strong passion to this day. Most recently I started experimenting with drones, or at least I was until I realised there’s almost nowhere you’re allowed to fly them in Hamburg!
3. Why fraud prevention?
#Fightthebadguys! Fraud pushes prices up for consumers, supports organised crime, and compromises so many people financially. It feels good to be doing something to help combat these issues and benefit society through my day-to-day work.
4. What are the biggest roadblocks facing women entering the technology industry?
Personally, I don’t think the obstacles are as present as they used to be. I at least have been very fortunate at RISK IDENT – it’s always been a question of ability, never of gender.
One issue discouraging women from the industry may be that they don’t perceive the profession to be very creative, but that definitely isn’t the case. Technology requires problem-solving, finding ways to make things work. In fact, I have a great circle of female developer friends who have lots of fun getting creative at work!
5. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter, a call to action for accelerating gender balance in business, politics, media and wealth. What do you think can be done to improve workplace opportunities for women and ensure balance in the workplace?
I think we need to do more advertising and create initiatives to get women and young girls excited about technology.
Let’s get away from the impression that only “nerds” want to become developers. It’s important to put more emphasis on the versatility of IT, show what jobs and career opportunities there are and how creative it can be.
6. What would your advice be to women wanting to get into technology and fraud?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you’re new to the industry, do some research online, ask companies if you could do an internship, or if they could give you some advice on where to start. For those already in the space, keep your eyes open and use your contacts. The world is open to you.
7. What does the future look like for women in technology and fraud?
For women in tech, the future is looking great. Come to RISK IDENT, we would be more than happy to hire more women in our technology department!