Happy thoughtful young businesswoman with digital tablet in hand smiling and looking away in front of colleague at background

How scholarships can help women in tech

Happy thoughtful young businesswoman with digital tablet in hand smiling and looking away in front of colleague at background

Carina Brehm is an industrial engineer and currently Vice President of Strategy, Sustainability and Technology Office for Siemens Energy Transmission. Receiving a women-focused scholarship from ESMT enabled her to pursue their Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Management and General Management and develop in her career.


The number of women studying or joining the field of technology is still lacking. In 2020, according to data from Statista, only 25% of employees of the top five tech companies – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft – were female.

When you look at women in engineering specifically, the disparity is even more stark. According to Engineering UK, as of summer 2021, women made up around 16.5% of all engineers. Yet, according to TechCrunch, 74% of girls do desire a career in STEM fields, so the want is there. This indicates more needs to be done to address gender disparity in tech and engineering, to provide more female STEM role models.

One such method includes greater access to higher education for certain sectors, which can be increased through scholarships, of which I have experienced the benefits.

In my early thirties, I gained the opportunity to manage a Siemens Energy factory, of which I was the first woman at the time to do so. After several years working with the team on developing and delivering transformers for wind turbines and other renewable applications, I moved on to managing eight factories in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Canada, US, Colombia, China, and Russia for a broader portfolio.

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As part of developing my management skills, I pursued the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Management and General Management at ESMT Berlin, and consider it an honour to have received the ESMT Women’s Scholarship to enable me to do this.

As well as the lack of gender equality in STEM, there is also lack of gender equality in leadership positions around the world. Focused scholarships enable women to advance their career independently to the organisation they are working in. Scholarships at ESMT Berlin are specifically offered in partnership with the 30% Club, a global gender diversity campaign which aims to increase the number of women on boards and develop a diverse pool of talent for all businesses. Diversity is a success factor when it comes to leadership in all sectors.

ESMT scholarships are open and accessible to every woman everywhere, enriching team diversity. As a decision-maker, you will only succeed if you embrace others’ opinions, perspectives and be open-minded about controverse standpoints. Being able to pursue my diploma through the scholarship allowed me to meet inspiring people exposed to different perspectives of those working for other companies. That all support me on my development journey, being a better leader and entrepreneur.

About the author

Carina BrehmCarina Brehm, industrial engineer and Vice President of Strategy, Sustainability and Technology Office for Siemens Energy Transmission, credits scholarships for the support they can provide women.

In her early thirties, Carina first got the opportunity to manage a Siemens Energy factory in Austria; the first woman at that time to have led the factory. Before assuming leadership, she decided to work on the shop floor and spent a month building transformers. Carina then moved on to managing eight factories in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Canada, US, Colombia, China, and Russia. Today she heads Strategy, Sustainability and Technology Office of Siemens Energy Transmission.

As part of developing her management skills, Carina pursued the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Management and General Management at ESMT Berlin, and considers it an honour to have received the ESMT Women’s Scholarship to enable this.

Able to pursue this diploma through support of the scholarship meant she could meet inspiring people and was exposed to different perspectives of those working for other companies. Carina believes it is important to attract women to business courses through scholarship as diversity is a main factor for any successful business.