“We want to support contemporary role models”

Attractive working conditions, exciting projects – and yet there is a lack of female ICT specialists in particular. Marco Bürli, Head of Project Management at the Canton of Aargau, explains in an interview why he considers personality development to be a central motivating factor in getting girls interested in IT professions. Read part 1 of the interview here.

Marco Bürli from the Canton of Argau.

Why is the Canton of Argau committed to equal opportunities and how do you check whether your measures are bearing fruit?

The Canton of Aargau understood early on that people – and thus its employees – are at the centre. It sounds hackneyed, but you can only provide good services with well-qualified and motivated employees. Commitment, quality and motivation arise when there is a fair basis – and for us, equal opportunities and diversity are part of that. In order to put our money where our mouth is, we check the development status of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as gender equality, and work within the administration to ensure that all employees have the same rights, duties and opportunities in the workplace.

Can you be more specific?

In the administration of the Canton of Aargau, 48.9% of the employees are women, and the proportion of women in management positions is about one third and increasing. We already carried out an initial equal pay analysis in 2012 and repeat it regularly. This resulted in measures that we use to ensure more fairness. In addition, we signed the Equal Pay Charter in 2018. Our Human Resources department provides specific indicators and tools for employees and managers. In addition, the salary bands are published transparently on the internet according to classification.

Why is diversity , e.g.across age groups, relevant foryou in addition to gender equality ?

I believe that diversity contributes to quality improvement. For example, the idea that older employees pass on knowledge to younger colleagues is correct, but not complete. Our “informatics world”, consisting of technologies and methods, is enormously comprehensive and develops so quickly that exchange and knowledge transfer between all ages is necessary. We can only develop good customer-centred services together because of the required speed and the high complexity. A greater diversity of experiences and opinions creates more options and thus better solutions.

In your opinion, what makes it so difficult to increase the proportion of women specifically in the ICT sector?

The available share of women in ICT professions has been increasing for years, but is still at a low level compared to men. In concrete terms: When we advertise highly qualified positions in IT Aargau, experience shows that there are about five women among 40 applicants. The question therefore arises as to how we can motivate more women overall for ICT training and professions in this field.

When it comes to advertising ICT apprenticeships, the problem seems to be less serious?

Yes, exactly. Over the last few years, we have always been able to inspire and recruit motivated and very talented young women for an apprenticeship in IT Aargau. We are very pleased about this because we are not only contributing to the training of specialists, but also to diversity. Overall, however, far too few young women choose one of the many possible career paths in IT. The classic division of roles in the choice of career is decreasing, but it is still present.

The 2nd part of the interview will be published on 4 February.

About the person

Marco Bürli is Head of Project Management, he coordinates and accompanies digitisation projects in all departments of the Canton of Aargau. in 2021, the department was involved in 80 projects, including in real estate management, the justice system, the primary schools and the police. The BFH Wirtschaft’s Public Sector Transformation Institute has been working closely with the Canton of Aargau for several years, implementing joint projects on the digitalisation of the public sector.

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AUTHOR: Jasmine Streich

Jasmine Streich is a research associate at the Institute Public Sector Transformation of the Business School at Bern University of Applied Sciences. Her research work focuses on digital accessibility and the transformation of the public sector.

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