Diversity at ITU

Digitalization and technology are changing all aspects of society. This is why the IT University of Copenhagen strive for increased diversity and equality in tech and IT.

Since 2015, the board and executive management at ITU have kept diversity a top priority. The result is a number of initiatives to attract female students and improve ITU’s outreach to women as well as other underrepresented groups.

Leaves in two colours

ITU’s Gender Equality Plan sets a framework for the gender equality work at the university, outlines concrete gender diversity and inclusion measures, secures eligibility to Horizon Europe, The EU’s Research, and Innovation Programme, and is a contribution to the fulfilment of the UN’s sustainable Development Goals.

In the Gender Equality Plan, the university focuses on three tracks – recruitment, study environment, and working environment – in order to ensure gender diversity and an inclusive atmosphere among students and staff alike.

With the Gender Equality Plan, ITU establishes a comprehensive structure for gender equality work outlining how the effort is organized, databased, and monitored as well as clarified with an action plan, selected interventions, implementation, and follow-up processes.

The focus on gender diversity, and diversity in general, is anchored in ITU’s strategy with a clear objective of improving the gender balance among graduates and enable all students and staff to thrive and excel together.

Read the Gender Equality Plan

Projects and collaborations

Stemningsbillede fra Coding Cafe

An important component of ITU’s diversity strategy is a specific outreach project conducted in collaboration with various funds and organizations. In order to increase the number of female applicants, ITU has applied for and received funds from Villum Foundation and Novo Nordisk Foundation. 

The funds collected help finance different activities introducing young women to programming, IT and career options for IT graduates. These activities are facilitated by the Communications Department at ITU.





FAQ on gender diversity and equality

Why do special initiatives for women matter?
More boys than girls are introduced to programming during their childhood and teenage years, and consequently many young men are familiar with IT when choosing a field of study. Research shows that it is more likely that young people choose an IT-related specialization if they have had some experience within the field prior to applying for an IT-related degree. This is why ITU has chosen to give young women the opportunity to have a go at programming before they choose a field of study.

Through our initiatives, young women are also introduced to female role models from across the IT sector. This is to disprove the prejudices about gender roles and limitations in IT and tech.

The admissions procedure at ITU does not, however, take gender into account in any capacity, and the procedure fully complies with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education and Research.

Does ITU have equivalent initiatives for men?
ITU offers a variety of activities to all young people curious to learn more about our IT bachelor’s degrees and programs. As a visiting high school student, you can become “Student for a Day” and experience the study environment at ITU in person. You can visit the Open House event every year in February, and you can undertake a “studiepraktik” (a short-term internship). We also regularly invite entire high school classes to introductory programming classes and visits at ITU.

Are women by nature less interested in IT?
Factors such as culture and gender stereotypes affect young people’s choice of an educational path to a high degree. In Denmark, both the labor market and educational sector are relatively gender segregated. In an effort to overcome this occupational segregation, ITU seeks to make young women further aware of IT fields of study and the opportunities they bring about. Therefore, the overall purpose of ITU’s various initiatives is to awaken a curiosity among potentially interested young women and to show what IT is actually all about. We want women to make informed decisions regarding their education.

What results has ITU achieved?
We see a clear tendency whereby more and more women apply for our technical programs and get admitted as well. From 2016 to 2020 the share of women among newly admitted bachelor students rose from 25 percent to 34 percent. The share of women enrolled in the BSc program in Software Development rose from 12 to 27 percent.