Angelika Kneidl is the founder and managing director of the wayra's startup accu:rate, which simulates streams of people for companies and public institutions. On the occasion of International Women's Day, we asked her how important the public holiday is for the women's movement and why there are still so few female founders.
Angelika,the international women's day is attracting huge attention worldwide. Why is the holiday still so important?
A lot has happened in our country in recent years, but especially for the many regions in the world where this is not yet the case, such a day is incredibly important. The mere fact that there has to be a holiday for equality is actually a pity, but it has grown historically and we remember today that women have the same status in the world as men. In Germany and the western world we are relatively far ahead in terms of equal rights for women and men. Perhaps it is even time to reopen the "women only" groups. The best is still a combination of women and men and not"women only" or "men only".
More and more women are working in management positions in Germany today. Where is there still room for improvement?
There is clearly a backlog demand in the compatibility of family and career, especially for women. Children are made by two people, so they should be brought up fifty-fifty and not eighty-twenty.Here we still have to take a big step towards equality, so that both women and men are involved in bringing up children. To do this, however, we must think more broadly and question, for example, whether the 40-hour workweek is still viable in the future or whether it makes more sense, in the wake of digitalisation and automation, for a full-time employee to work only 30 hours a week. Or even less. Only then it is really possible to agree on a common upbringing – because women would no longer miss the connection so much and be able to reconcile both worlds. Recognition is above all a social issue, but at the same time the government and companies must create more opportunities to distribute the tasks equally on all shoulders. The Scandinavian countries, which are already much further ahead than we are here, show that this is possible.
If you take a look at the start-up scene, there are still very few female founders.What has to change?
The topic of founding is more a question of mindset. In my opinion, the fact that there are fewer female founders is also due to the fact that women are more security oriented and don't like to take the risk of founding a company as much as men do. There are already numerous support programmes specially designed for women. But starting a business is uncomfortable, risky and involves hard work. On the other hand, although there are more male founders, start-ups that are carried out by women are often more sustainable and are more likely to continue for ten years. When women start up a business, they usually think it through very well and act less impulsively than men. In this respect the characteristics are simply different: Men startup faster and more often, women more targeted and deliberate. If we want to further promote start-ups by women, the start-up culture and conditions should be improved overall. The government can also provide support here, for example by counteracting fears of losing safety nets.