“In tech, there are no stupid questions – nor in financial planning”

Our ERGO colleague Nakeema Stefflbauer is founder and CEO of the German non-profit organization FrauenLoop. The tech expert leverages her decades of digitalisation experience to address an immigrant, refugee, and women's marginalization from the technology industry. At this year's re:publica, Nakeema will discuss with Daria Suvorova (WAA Podcast) how to make women financially independent and protect them from poverty in post-retirement years.

Nakeema Stefflbauer, Division Director at ERGO Technology & Services Nakeema Stefflbauer, Division Director at ERGO Technology & Services

Dr. Stefflbauer, not only are you a Division Director at ERGO Technology & Services, managing our Digital Client Services portfolio – you are also the founder and CEO of FrauenLoop. In which of those capacities will you be on stage at re:publica and what will your topic and your key messages be?

At re:publica, my role is to leverage the experience I’ve had as a tech professional working in the insurance industry and as the CEO of FrauenLoop. At FrauenLoop, I often run workshops for women that focus on identifying and prioritising financial targets - not just on programming skills. In reality, even the strongest programmer needs a financial strategy to maximise their security over the long term – and that’s especially true for women.

Which situation are you trying to tackle with your organisation and, specifically, with your talk at re:publica? Are there any statistics or examples that underline these circumstances that need improvement?

Across Germany, 34% of STEM first-year students (short for: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are women, but women comprise only 17% of tech start-up company employees. We’re only 15-20% of startup founders. Beyond these disparities, there is a financial component: Women who change careers and enter full-time technical roles often see their income rise significantly. At FrauenLoop, our graduates achieve, on average, an 86% rise in salary. This says a lot about the earning power of people in women-dominated industries versus earnings in industries where men hold the majority of positions...

How can FrauenLoop and also insurance providers like ERGO help to improve this situation? What should our readers know about how they can possibly contribute?

FrauenLoop is about dismantling stereotypes and empowering women with the skills to succeed in tech. With our financially-relevant products, ERGO can do a lot to dismantle stereotypes about women’s abilities, particularly in making financial decisions. At FrauenLoop, we maintain that there are no stupid tech questions. I think that’s also true when it comes to financial and insurance planning. Especially for an industry like insurance, that is heavily male, we can always do more to avoid stereotyping women customers, for instance, by including women as key decision-makers when we develop customer personas. Just like with technology, making space for women to ask questions without stigma is one of the best ways to help them to manage their own futures – and for us to demonstrate that our company meets customers where they are.

Curious now?

Learn more about Nakeema and FrauenLoop in this video interview here on //next: 
FrauenLoop brings women to tech industry

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