Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer, founder and CEO of FrauenLoop
Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer is the founder and CEO of FrauenLoop. She describes the FrauenLoop program as a reinvention of the way women learn programming and technical subjects. They offer women the chance to work with pioneering women who are themselves already working in programming roles, in technical roles and the tech industry with the mission to bring more women into the tech industry in paid roles to build up critical mass.
What motivated you to start FrauenLoop?
I realized that I was working since approximately two years in Berlin’s tech sector and every day I would leave my neighborhood in Berlin, and I would go to a bubble in tech. The demographics where different, mostly male, mostly white, mostly under 35 and I realized that this had such a big disconnect with the world I was living in and that I brought my family to live in in Berlin, but I wanted to bring those worlds together and increase the degree of diversity, age difference, cultural diversity that was visible and that was available to add to the tech sector in Berlin.
What does the program look like?
We offer evening classes to accommodate women’s schedules and weekend workshops to add to the knowledge that they need in order to successfully present themselves, pass technical tests and get hired in the tech industry.
What is special about FrauenLoop?
FrauenLoop is defined by our mentors and the breadth of representation we have in our student body. We have on average over 20 nationalities represented and that makes for an incredibly inspiring group of women to learn from and to learn with.
Why is diversity in tech important?
Because it affects all of us even if we don’t realize it. At one point we may all be parents if not we will certainly all be over 35.
What kind of tech industry would you like to see in the future?
I would wish for a tech industry that is the envy of the world that had talent from all over the world vying for the opportunity to come and to participate and to learn or to contribute in some way and I think that that’s possible if we embrace diversity and invest in it. I would love to see a tech industry in which women, in which mothers, in which people of color, in which people who are visibly religious do not have to worry or change themselves in order to fit into the industry that is building our future.
How do you shape the future for women with FrauenLoop?
I would say we are shaping the future for women by including them in the tech sector and by ensuring that their views, their perspectives and their talents are heard and recognized.
What’s your next project?
Working with our corporate tech partners to reduce bias and identify bias within the whole of the tech recruitment pipeline.
What’s the biggest success you achieved so far with FrauenLoop?
Probably being asked to participate in a European parliamentary panel to present FrauenLoop as a best practice for how to incorporate more adult women into the tech sector in computer programming and in technical roles.
If you could change one thing for women in Berlin, what would it be?
I would ask them to dare greatly and to be more fearless particularly in the area of reinvention.
The video series "Women Empowerment" took place in cooperation with IgnoreGravity and aims to make Berlin's diverse initiatives for women in business visible.