Impressive Women From the IT Industry – Part 1

Impressive Women From the IT Industry - Part 2

Dr. Constanze Kurz, spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club and Christine Regitz, President of the German Informatics Society.

In IT professions, women are still severely underrepresented: In 2021, the proportion of female IT specialists in Germany was a meagre 18 percent. In an international comparison, this puts Germany in 20th place out of 41 OECD and EU countries surveyed. Programming was once considered a typically female domain. On a global average, the proportion of women in the IT sector is 28%, while female IT specialists are most strongly represented in Southeast Asia at 32%. The fact that female IT experts are still a minority in this country is in stark contrast to the digital age, which is characterised by innovation and progress.

However, strong role models can also help to get more girls and young women interested in the tech world. Whether as a manager, cyber activist or AI specialist – these six role models show how women can confidently make their way in the male-dominated IT sector.

Dr. Constanze Kurz: The Data Protection Activist


Dr. Konstanze Kurz

Dr. Constanze Kurz (Source: Heike Huslage-Koch)

If you are familiar with the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), you cannot avoid Constanze Kurz: the computer scientist, author and first female spokesperson for Europe’s largest hacker association CCC is one of the leading pioneers in IT security, data protection and network policy. Born and raised in the GDR, the computer scientist with a doctorate came into contact with the world of technology at an early age thanks to her engineer father and her polytechnic education. This is also where she had her first experiences with state surveillance: during her research time, she dealt with topics such as surveillance technology, data security and ethics.

Until 2019, the IT expert wrote the column “Aus dem Maschinenraum” for the FAZ and published her book “Cyberwar” in 2018. Constanze Kurz has also appeared in a political context: Until 2013, she sat as an expert on the Enquête Commission “Internet und digitale Gesellschaft” of the German Bundestag. Kurz has received several awards for her social commitment, including the Theodor Heuss Medal for her exemplary democratic behavior. Even when she was a student, she was one of the few female computer science students, which (unfortunately) carried through to her work as a lecturer: “There were individual courses where there were sometimes more of us. I was even once in a small workgroup where there were two of us women. But later, as a lecturer, I also had seminars where there wasn’t a single female student.”

Christine Regitz: The Top Manager

Christine Regina

Christine Regitz (Source: Picture Alliance)

She is an IT specialist, software developer and has worked her way to the top of management: Christine Regitz has been with the software group SAP since the mid-1990s, where she is currently Global Head of SAP Women in Tech and a member of the supervisory board on various company committees. For many years, the business administration and physics graduate has been committed to the greater promotion, visibility and networking of women in IT – a matter close to her heart, which is reflected, among other things, in her voluntary work as spokesperson for the “Women and Computer Science” section (2010-2016) in the German Informatics Society (GI).

In 2022 – after more than 50 years of existence – she was appointed the first female president of the Gesellschaft für Informatik. In 2018, Regitz was awarded the Felicitas Prize in the “MINT Role Model” category for her efforts to promote a more female tech world, and in 2021 she was voted one of the “100 women who move Germany” by Handelsblatt. Female role models in IT is just one of the many levers needed to get more girls and young women interested in this career field, says Regitz. She also advocates the introduction of computer science as a compulsory subject at school: “If we are concerned with equal opportunities and gender equality, there is no way around making computer science a compulsory subject. Understanding how software or digital systems work at a fundamental level should be part of our basic skills, just like arithmetic, reading and writing.”