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 young people of both genders 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.