Two percent of working women in Germany are considered entrepreneurs, while 7 percent of men are counted under the same heading. Berlin Geekettes offers support for entrepreneurial women working in the tech sector—a field that is traditionally dominated by men.
“I created Geekettes as it became increasingly clear that female technology professionals required their own grassroots structure to share wisdom and experience,” explains Erickson on the Berlin Geekettes website. “Organic growth allows us to build a community based on personal relationships and subsequent trust. We exchange experiences, strategize solutions to common problems, and support each other professionally and personally.”
Geekettes hosts speakers “to inspire and motivate women,” and organizes workshops and hackathons which “bring women together to create unique, original products.” The Geekette mentorship program pairs tech professionals with those just getting started in the field for a five-month partnership. Upcoming events include a Gaming Product Development Workshop and a Startup Marketing for Entrepreneurs Seminar.
The group started small: with eight women at dinner. Soon Berlin Geekettes were hosting events and partnering with companies like Deutsche Telekom (who are a continuing sponsor) and Google to create learning and networking opportunities for their members. Most recently, a Geekette chapter launched in Hamburg.
“Bottom line is, yes, people should be judged on merit and not gender,” Erickson said in a 2012 interview with Venture Village. “I think what this scene needs is just more representation, and there are so many phenomenal women building companies here or joining companies who will later on build their own. By highlighting that the world will know that there are real women in tech here in Berlin… That is what the tech scene needs.”