3 min. read

Paving A Road For Women In Tech

Not only is it essential but here’s how we do it together with ReDi School of Integration and Zalando

It’s a fact that women are still outnumbered in the tech industry. However, it’s 2022 and change is becoming tangible and that is precisely what we strive for at Xena. Rather than focusing on the negatives, let’s talk about what can actually be done to get women into STEM.

We believe in full transparency and accountability, that’s why we invest 12.5% of our recruitment fees into the progression of girls and women in STEM. We work closely with 2 charity organisations:

In the Netherlands, we work with VHTO and this year donated €38,125 plus hosted a live coding workshop in partnership with VHTO and FUGA to inspire 21 high school girls to pursue a career in music technology.

In Germany, we partnered with ReDI School of Digital Integration and funded a Data Analytics and Python Bootcamp in Berlin. Our friends at Zalando invited us over to host 14 students and the Xena team and go over how to get a job in tech. Since becoming Zalando’s diversity and inclusion hiring partner, we have raised €50,014 and placed over 20 female Engineers and tech Leaders.

Learn more about our event below…

So, how does one get a foot in the tech door?

Roxana Grünberg, Digital Women Student Coordinator at ReDI School kicked us off by sharing the work ReDi School focuses on. In the span of 5 years, ReDi School has been able to teach over 1000 students from 35 different nationalities and offer an intro to programming and analytics, UX/UI classes. Unfortunately, far too many women and nonbinary people arrive to Germany lacking a network, digital skills, or confidence to get out and start creating. Therefore, ReDi  School aims to help these individuals build confidence, come together through networking or social events, 1 to 1 mentoring. and offer child care services for students when onsight classes since 30% are parents.

Next up Laura Beuler, Head of Data Analytics Consulting at Zalando, shared how they take a platform approach to data infrastructure and shared some data principals with us:

➔ Handle data in a trustworthy manor
➔ Democratize data
➔ Keep data lean and optimise for its value
➔ Treat data as a product

A fun fact about Laura is that she comes from a Finance and Strategic management background. She initially joined Zalando’s finance team but they soon realised her interest in data and tech and joined the Data & Analytics team. In her current product team, no one has e a tech background but the common ground they have is their love for numbers and big data.

Followed by, Tomas Christodoulou works in Early Careers at Zalando or how they call it: Future Zalent. Tomas’ team is in charge of filling in early career vacancies such as internships, working student roles, or direct junior entry-level graduates. Tomas shared some insider tips for when applying for your first job:

➔ Focus on keywords and show attention to detail.
➔ Apply less often, and focus on quality over quantity of applications.
➔ Read the role, do you have the skills? Zalando hires based on potential, not looking for a diamond. If you feel like you meet at 50%, please do feel encouraged to apply.
➔ Frame your experience to the specific role.
➔ Know the company and role – what speaks to you?
➔ Do you share the same values as the company?
➔ Many applicants will have similar levels of technical skills, what unique experience do you bring to the table?

Last but not least, our final speaker Farzana Hai from Tech Academy at Zalando shared insights on what to expect once you’re in at Zalando. The Tech Academy is responsible for learning and development within Zalando, where they support the professional growth of the Zalando Tech Communities by providing learning opportunities in collaboration with key partners. If you don’t know where to start with your learning goals, they are here to help by creating a tailored curriculum with instructional learning videos. They want to make learning fun and offer support in analytics, applied science, software engineering, product design, and product management.



What else would you possibly need to kick start your career in tech? If you’re still not feeling convinced, check out our interview with Sophia Sager who enrolled in a bootcamp, got a spot on HelloFresh’s Women In Tech Scholarship and is now a full-time Frontend Engineer.

If you’d like to learn more about ReDI School’s Women In Tech Programs check them out here.


We want to give a special shout and thank all our speakers and partners in crime!

By choosing to work with us, we can make our mission a reality and invest in programs like these Bootcamps that are dedicated to creating a pathway into tech for women.

Work with Xena

The market is calling out for diversity and we’re listening. We hire women in Engineering and Product for companies who are serious about closing the gender gap on their tech team. Work with us and gain access to our gender-diverse talent pool including Senior Engineer, Product and Leadership talent.

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