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Special Issue: Re-imagining who does STEM
Published: 25-05-2020

Trust yourself: You have the IT-Factor! Career coaching for female computer scientists

University of Bamberg, Germany

Silvia Maria Förtsch

Silvia Förtsch studied educational sciences (B. Sc.) at the University of Hagen and empirical educational research (M. Sc.) at the University of Bamberg. She worked as assistant of the Women in Computer Science Equal Opportunities Officer and organized a mentoring program for female students of computer science. From 2012-2015, she was a research associate at the project “Alumnae Tracking”. Since 2015 she works as PhD candidate in the project “Career Coaching in STEM”. Her research interests include longitudinal research on educational and professional pathways, career aspirations, life course research, and gender studies.

University of Bamberg, Germany

Anja Gärtig-Daugs

Anja Gärtig-Daugs studied health economy with focus on public health and information systems at the University of Bayreuth and received her doctoral degree (Dr. rer. pol) in economics.
After graduation, she focused on accompanying empirical research and worked as research associate at several institutions in the field of health care and population studies.
Since 2012 she is senior researcher at the Women in Computer Science Equal Opportunities Office.
Her research focus is on gender studies, job satisfaction, life course research, and elementary computing skills of kids.

Computer sciences self-confidence academic performance self-concept coach-ing


This article aims to investigate gender differences in satisfaction with self-confidence between female and male computer sciences graduates in Germany and its interrelation with career ambitions. The analysis is based on data from the unique Alumnae Tracking Study. The results of our empirical study show that the satisfaction with self-confidence of female graduates is strongly influenced by the academic achievement and self-assessment of their special expertise. Male graduates show a higher satisfaction with self-confidence regardless of their grades at university and their knowledge at time of graduation. Women who graduated from a study program with a high percentage of technical content are less satisfied with their self-confidence compared to graduates from other study programs. In addition, the duration of work experience influences the satisfaction with self-confidence of the computer scientists. Given these results, we offer insight into a coaching program that was implemented at the University of Bamberg. The program aims to strengthen self-confidence and motivational resources. Thus, the career development of computer science graduates is supported. This is illustrated by a case example.

How to Cite

Förtsch, S. M., & Gärtig-Daugs, A. (2020). Trust yourself: You have the IT-Factor! Career coaching for female computer scientists. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 11(3), 490–527. Retrieved from