Women in Engineering: A growing force in tech
With our Women in Engineering series, we most often cover Aurobay's employees working in either Manufacturing Engineering, or Research and Development. Now, we decided to put a spotlight on the highly requested and anticipated IT sector. In this month's Women in Engineering series, we are featuring Jessica Hofbauer, Head of Software and Architecture at Aurobay.
When I decided to apply for a Master's in informatics, I had no prior knowledge about the IT field. My curiosity and the belief that this field offered numerous opportunities; and those diverse challenges motivated me. I pursued my studies in informatics in 1998, without any acquaintances who had chosen the same educational path, leaving me without any benchmarks. However, I had a strong intuition that I was making the right choice. During that time, the participation of women in the program was significantly low. To remain competitive in the job market, I diligently took as many programming courses as possible, recognising it as the ideal means to learn the craftsmanship work. Immediately after completing my degree, I started my professional journey as a Software Developer at a consultancy company.
From software development to leadership
I transitioned from a developer role to the field of technical testing, which marked the beginning of my leadership journey. Since then, I have held various leadership positions, consistently collaborating with the entire developer community and ensuring the optimal work experience for them. My passion lies in empowering the technical community to thrive in their professional endeavors. I have been actively involved in this field since 2008.
I have faced numerous challenges that come with great responsibilities, particularly experiencing burnout. However, I have learned to improve by establishing clear boundaries, as my excessive love for my job contributed to this issue. This experience taught me the importance of slowing down in order to achieve efficiency and has improved my leadership skills.
Having worked in both the automotive and IT industries for many years, I have observed a significant male dominance. It seems that women are often required to exert greater effort to attain the same level of success as men. Nonetheless, I am glad to witness improvements in this area, as gender equality is now being openly discussed. Companies have also recognised that focusing on diversity leads to better business outcomes.
Inspiring the next generation
I would strongly encourage women to pursue careers in the field of engineering, as it offers endless opportunities. Engineering is an exhilarating field, and the number of women in this profession is still relatively low. When choosing your education path, I would advise you to opt for a program that emphasises hands-on learning and craftsmanship. You will acquire other skills such as management along the way. It's important to actively seek out networks like Women in Tech and other similar groups, where you can receive guidance and support during the initial years of your career.
As for companies, it's crucial to recognise that the field of engineering is ever-evolving, and relying solely on outdated knowledge will not lead to success in the future. Embracing a culture of continuous learning is your greatest advantage, so encourage and support individuals who are eager to learn, regardless of their age, gender, or years of experience. It's also important for companies to align their actions with their stated values. While companies may have impressive statements on paper, the reality behind the scenes may not always reflect those ideals.
Head of Software and Architecture