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She for IT: extensive range of measures and activities for women in IT: How the IT service provider adesso is supporting women on their career journeys

She for IT is the name of adesso’s initiative to promote greater female involvement in the digitalisation economy. Launched back in spring 2019, before COVID-19 took hold, the initiative is more important now than ever before, as the pandemic has only heightened gender inequality both in the workplace and in the recruitment market. Women are more likely than men to reduce their hours during the pandemic and take on yet more responsibility for childcare and housework, putting them at an even greater disadvantage in the working world. adesso is attempting to buck the trend with its range of measures and activities for greater equality and a gender-fair culture.

adesso’s vision of how to support and empower women within its business comes to life on the new landing page The new information portal covers every stop on female employees’ career journey – from attraction to the profession, recruitment and onboarding to further training. It also looks at support at various stages of life, including family leave, part-time employment and sabbaticals with subsequent reintegration, even when leaving the company entirely.

Dirk Pothen, member of the adesso Executive Board with responsibility for human resources, explains the idea behind the new concept: “Our women’s employee journey forms part of our She for IT initiative, offering a fantastic range of information to accompany our female members of staff every step of the way as they embark on their career journeys. Above all, we aim to ensure that all of our employees have equal and fair opportunities, regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity, religious background or any other factor. Our vision is to forge a diverse and fair corporate culture that helps people develop their skills.”

Dirk Pothen

adesso CEO Dirk Pothen is committed to a diverse and fair corporate culture that supports all employees in their potential in the best possible way. (Copyright: Martin Steffen)

Dr Angela Carell, who is responsible for the research division at adesso, played a key part in designing the women’s employee journey by adesso as She for IT project manager. She explains the aims of the new portal: “When we were developing the employee journey concept, we put a great deal of thought into how we can help women achieve their career ambitions. Regardless of what stage our female employees are at in their lives – young, old, childless, with children, single mothers, married or unmarried – we want to showcase this diversity and provide the best support we can. We have systematically identified support needs, which we are successively covering with offers. Our 'women's employee journey' is already a big step and yet represents only the beginning."

Dr. Angela Carell, Head of adesso Research, played a key role in shaping the "women's employee journey" as She for IT project manager. (Copyright: Private)

adesso is supporting women through a variety of measures and activities at a number of specific stages of their employee journey. The company’s engagement here is a reflection of its core values, such as appreciating diversity, mutual respect and gender fairness.


adesso strives to pique women’s interest in the IT profession and empower them to choose a career in the industry. By participating in the annual Girls’ Day and Project Y, adesso already offers girls and young women the chance to find out more about working in IT. adesso’s podcast “She for what? She for IT!” and video series What’s her IT job? are targeted specifically at young women who are about to make their career choices. A series of live events, adesso women talks, also gives women the opportunity to reach out to experienced IT professionals.


adesso ensures that at least one female member of the adesso team is present for job interviews if possible. adesso has raised employee awareness of a number of widespread issues that can often affect job interviews, especially unconscious bias, and has provided training on how such problems can be identified. At recruiting events such as job fairs, adesso also takes care to ensure that women are present to appeal to potential female employees.

Onboarding & Inclusion

New female employees are quickly integrated into the working environment at adesso and receive support from specially designated mentors who are also women. Networking is a huge part of working at adesso, and activities such as the Women Get2togethers, the Female adessi community and countless after-work events accelerate internal dialogue. Other interest-based communities, such as exercise groups, also help speed up the onboarding and inclusion process.

Learning & Development

adesso prizes professional development and its comprehensive training programme. Training ranges from specialist and interdisciplinary topics to soft skills coaching targeted directly at female employees, including conflict management, negotiation skills and communication training, as well as the Female Talent Programme for high-potential female employees.

Family Break & Restart

adesso helps its female employees to achieve a better work-life balance before, during and after time away from work, such as maternity leave. There are a whole host of family-related measures available to relieve the burden for working parents – from job-sharing schemes and the Regio-Teilzeit programme for part-time work at a nearby location to periods of absence during family emergencies, such as elderly care or illness, and childcare during the school holidays. Before taking an extended period of absence, adesso’s female employees receive in-depth advice on how to remain integrated with the company while away and how to plan their return to work, thereby avoiding any career setbacks.

Leadership & Culture

Through its targeted recruiting strategy, adesso aims to increase the share of women in management positions significantly in the medium term. In an environment still dominated by men, adesso is looking to break the mould with mixed-gender teams and an overall structure that is fairer to all genders. adesso supports its female managers by providing peer-group meetings, networking events and coaching and mentoring programmes.

Offboarding – Leaving adesso

adesso is always keen to know why female employees choose to leave. This information can help adesso determine the motivation behind the decision and make improvements on the basis of the insight gained. Former employees are always welcome to return to adesso, as the company sees change as a natural part of our private and working lives.

Women are supported in key phases of their professional careers: the women's employee journey at adesso is in line with the "She for IT" initiative (Copyright: adesso)

Any women interested in the range of measures and activities can find out more at adesso’s She for IT website:

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