“I would recommend every woman to choose an IT profession”
Gabriela Schönmann has been working for agiles as Sales & International Partner Manager for a long time. As part of our women@agiles series, she reports how she got into the IT industry and why she would recommend every woman to choose an IT profession.
How did you get to your job in IT?
I completed a dual degree in business administration. During my studies I was also able to take courses in computer science. Back then, it was not necessarily the subject I was outstanding in, so I never thought I would ever work in this industry.
However, during my internship at the company, I realized that I had great fun finding solutions that led to process optimization and reduced work processes. This adaptation of work processes already had a great deal to do with IT – even when there were software solutions at the DOS-level. Although many people still liked to communicate via fax, nothing worked without IT.
I also noticed that I enjoyed showing other colleagues how to work with the software. This was the reason why I wanted my next job (after finishing my studies) to be a boundary role function between the software and the user. And where was this possible? As I quickly realized: In a system house.
This was my beginning as a consultant for a software solution in a company. There were 150 people working there, but only 15 of them were women – and most of them worked in secretarial or marketing. As the first and only woman in a department with 8 men and developers, I quickly realized that they are different, but they are fantastic.
What are your main tasks at agiles?
Although I started as a consultant at agiles and later continued as a project manager, I am responsible for sales at a national level and for international cooperation with other Microsoft partners today. This is a task that requires different capabilities, such as knowledge of the software solution and the market as well as language skills. Speaking to the public or talking to unknown customers or prospects should not be a problem either. However, I did not just have all the attributes to do this, I learned it over time.
What do you like most about your job?
I like this job a lot. I do not know where to start first – but I’ll try: it’s an incredibly fast changing business so it’s also very varied. You have the opportunity to look into many exciting companies and get insights on how they work and what problems they have. Working together to find a solution and introduce it successfully is always a highlight. In addition, getting to know so many different people from different countries is the icing on the cake for me.
Would you recommend other women to choose a profession in IT?
I would recommend any woman to choose a profession in IT. First, I see this as an industry of the future that offers so many paths, directions, and career opportunities like no other. It never gets boring because new software solutions or programs are introduced to the market. There are many opportunities for further education here.
Also the cooperation with (mostly still) predominantly male coworkers is nice and positive. In any case, having fun at work is the most important thing for me – after all, you spend a lot of time at work.