Feminine gamification viewpoint: Technikqueens

Feminine gamification viewpoint: Technikqueens

Earlier this week I spoke at the Gamification in HR conference and equally was inspired by the many great case studies and examples of what companies are doing in this field. One initiative launched by OMV caught my eye for this theme of blog post namely Technikqueens. Apparently only 15% of technology workers in Austria is female and to make a change to this statistic a number of companies such as Siemens, Borealis and OMV have come together and organise the Technikqueens competition, which awards the winning girl with scholarships and other cool prizes.

The purpose of the competition is to inform girls about the potential they can have and show them they already have skills suitable to technology and what cool jobs actually exist in the technology sector. The target audience is between 14-16 years old, which is also the time most students will start making choices or forming choices on further study which ultimately leads to career paths.

The challenge starts online, where everyone can participate and solve technical quests, including those not quite in the target group. The participation for the next stage – the expert phase – is then limited for the best 300 girls from 14-16 years. After the expert phase, the best 50 experts have a chance to be one out of 25 Technikqueens which will be mentored and receive a scholarship – maybe a first step for a technical career.  After all, all the top 50 winners receive a nice price and are invited to participate in an exclusive weekend workshop in Vienna during the final weekend.

The competition is quest driven with a lot of feedback loops and obviously some very attractive rewards. However what also became apparent that the attraction of winning an iPad and hanging out with like-minded girls may be even stronger than the potential to win a scholarship, which was an interesting little aside in feedback for the organisers.

In my view initiatives such as these are a positive for the industry and will lead to some more ladies taking the plunge and pursuing careers in technology, whether it is gamification or something else. The fact that the whole program is already strongly gamified is a definite bonus.

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