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New student society to support women in technology

The leader of the student society TekFem wants to support women in technology. This is how she wants to accomplish that.

Students Julie Aaasgard and Yvonne-Marie Miniggio.
Julie Aasgaard (left) and Yvonne-Marie Miniggio (right) are taking a master's degree in construction and jointly run the newly established student society TekFem.

 “Since there are so few women in tech, it shows how important it is to have a student society for female technology students.”

This is what Yvonne-Marie Miniggio (31), leader of the student society TekFem, says. She runs the society together with Julie Aasgaard (25) and eight other technology students.

Are you a technology student? See the events organised by the student society TekFem at the bottom of the site.

Link between students and companies

The idea for the student society came after Yvonne-Marie Miniggio noticed that several knowledgeable female students sat quietly through lectures for years, even though she knew they could answer all the questions the lecturer asked.

Yvonne-Marie Miniggio går master i bygg ved UiA og er leder for studentforeningen TekFem.

Yvonne-Marie Miniggio is the leader of the student society TekFem and studies for a master's degree in Civil and Structural Engineering at UiA.

“Several have also been rejected at job interviews because they were not ‘as active’ as male candidates. No women graduating with a technology degree from Agder should have that sensation when they complete their education”, she says.

This is the reason why she started the student society TekFem in May this year. The goal is to be the link between students and companies, but also to create a community of female technology students across programmes.

“We need a student society like this more than the boys do, since we are in the minority here. The boys may need such a measure in the nursing education, where they are the minority. A student society like this may help prevent dropouts”, Julie Aasgaard adds.

Early recruitment

The student society contributes at tech events in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and Science. They also organise social events to create unity and help students build a network.

“In February, we hope to organise ‘Girls and Technology - Inspiration Day’, where we invite secondary school students to the university, to present them with female role models in tech and show them what UiA has to offer in terms of study programmes. As a 16-year-old, it is good to know that a society exists that is just for you”, says Miniggio.

Målet med studentforeningen er å styrke et fellesskap blant kvinnelige teknologistudenter. Foreningen nærmer seg allerede 100 medlemmer siden oppstarten i mai.

The goal of the student society is to grow a community of female technology students. The society already has close to 100 members since its inception in May.

Yvonne-Marie Miniggio emphasizes the importance of recruiting girls at an early age.

“You lose an enormous amount of potential if women are not recruited early. During Arendalsuka, several girls were excited when we showed them how you could design robotic arms for someone who is missing an arm. We have a notion that girls and women are good caregivers, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot also develop good technological solutions. There is an enhanced effect in the industry when we work together”, she says. 

Interested in joining? This is what TekFem has planned:

November 2: Coffee Chat with TekFem

December 7: Coffee Chat with TekFem