DELEGATE GROUP NEWS

- 14 -
Apr
2021

Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations No Comments

REMINDER! “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar on 6th May 2021 @3pm EST, sponsored by Delegate is fast approaching.

Today 20–50% of hospital patients are affected by malnutrition, closely linked to poor patient outcomes and high costs. Dietary intake monitoring can help to prevent or correct malnutrition, but the busy working schedule of hospital staff, and patients’ sometimes poor recollection of what they ate in hospital, are counterproductive to an effective system.

Join Dr Shelley Roberts as she shares over 4 years of research findings of putting the task – as well as the responsibility – of intake tracking squarely in the patient’s hands, and supporting this with the right, easy-to-adopt and easy-to-use technology.

Register now for our Webinar ⇽

 

Engaging hospital patients in their nutrition care using technology: the NUTRI-TEC study

Dr Shelley Roberts and her team of researchers and clinicians have worked with Delegate to develop an innovative, technology-based intervention that allows patients to actively participate in their own nutrition care, streamlining processes for hospital staff and increasing patient adherence to nutrition care. The intervention, NUTRI-TEC, involves patient-led dietary intake tracking and nutritional goal setting via the Delegate foodservice portal, accessed through patient bedside computer screens at our hospital. It was rigorously developed in a four-phase program of research, including a literature review, iterative development and evaluation cycle, usability testing and interviews with hospital patients and staff, and a feasibility study that tested the intervention with real hospital patients. NUTRI-TEC is underpinned by theories (of patient participation in care, self-efficacy and technology acceptance) and research evidence; and had significant end-user input from hospital patients and staff.

Below you can find the links to the published research papers;

✓ Pilot study paper (feasibility testing of the NUTRI-TEC intervention with hospital patients):

° URL link

° PDF link

✓ Patient interviews paper (perceptions of NUTRI-TEC intervention; subset of patients from pilot study)

° URL link

✓ Intervention development paper (development of NUTRI-TEC):

° URL link

° PDF link

✓ Staff interviews paper (staff perceptions of mock-up NUTRI-TEC program, during development phase):

° URL link

° PDF link

✓ Patient usability paper (patient perceptions and usability testing of mock-up program, during development phase):

° URL link

Now that we have peaked your interest, Register for the Webinar TODAY!

Meet Dr Shelley Roberts

Dr Shelley Roberts is an Allied Health Research Fellow and Accredited Practicing Dietitian working in a conjoint research position between Griffith University and Gold Coast Health. Her research focuses on improving nutrition among hospitalized patients, with interests in patient participation in care, health information technology, and knowledge translation. Since 2016, Dr Roberts has led a program of research to develop, implement and evaluate a technology-based intervention that allows patients to actively participate in their nutrition care at the hospital bedside, through patient-led dietary intake tracking and nutritional goal setting and monitoring. This work aims to improve the nutrition intakes and statuses of hospitalized patients, in order to improve outcomes for patients and hospitals.

To hear all the details, ask your questions about the research and see how NUTRI-TEC could benefit your organization, come join Shelley on the Delegate sponsored “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar on 6th May 2021 @ 3pm EST, (1 CEU will be awarded)


- 09 -
Apr
2021

Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations No Comments

Patient Centered Care acknowledges that every patient is unique with different values, preferences and desired health outcomes based on his or her background, experiences and lifestyle. The dietitian must have a conversation with a patient or family member in order to discern this information and then co-create a nutritional plan and goal(s) based on his or her learnings. Helping a patient or caregiver to connect the importance of specific food and fluids to the healing process and/or disease prevention improves one’s confidence and ability to successfully manage their condition.

NUTRI-TEC is an in app, similar to MyFitnessPal that can be used by the patient and dietitian in the healthcare to improve a variety of clinical outcomes.

Delegate are thrilled to announce our 2nd presenter, Sheryl Lozicki RDN MBA, at our upcoming “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar on May 6th 2021 @ 3pm EST, (1 CEU will be awarded)

 

Register for our Webinar now


NUTRI-TEC, A Nutrition Services Solution to Patient Centered Care


Patient Satisfaction
.
HCAHPS does not directly ask about food, but studies demonstrate food service quality impacts patient recovery and overall satisfaction of a hospital stay.  A menu is a familiar and comforting choice that a patient can easily understand, unlike much of the medical jargon and treatment regimens. Ordering food and tracking intake is an activity many patients can willingly, successfully perform. When food is not eaten or trends are identified, it provides an opportunity for nutrition services team to learn why, if it’s a recipe, temperature or appearance driven and to take the necessary actions to improve food service.


Improved Intake
.
According to a 2019 study, more than half of patients leave more than half of their meals uneaten. We know that reduced nutritional intake delays recovery, increases risk of infections, reduces wound healing, increases length of stay and readmissions.  When a patient is engaged in choosing their menu options, is knowledgeable on why nutrition is important to their recovery, has participated in goal setting and ties it together via an app, food and fluid intake is bound to improve.

Calorie Counts. It is estimated that calorie counts are now ordered in only 20% of our hospitals. Dietitians have ceased to order them for a multitude of reasons. Calorie Count sheets don’t make their way to the patient’s bedside, from the bedside back to the dietitian for calculation, are thrown away with the meal tray and are often incomplete. An ineffective process and/or bad data is wasted effort. NUTRI-TEC is a game changer. Rather than relying on a nurse to document intake the patient becomes the author. Nursing labor is spared, accuracy is enhanced, and the patient is owning a piece of their recovery.  

Nutrition InitiativesTimely interventions related to malnutrition, wound management, enhanced recovery after surgery, bariatric weight loss, diabetic blood sugars, renal disease management and GI disorders all have the potential for better outcomes when the patient is fully engaged, and meal consumption is successfully tracked. Data drives better decision making. For the dietitian and patients this comes in the form of food and fluid intake. When it comes to malnutrition, are supplements consumed or does the patient have taste fatigue? When the diabetic patient follows the prescribed meal pattern is their blood sugar successfully controlled or do adjustments still need to be made? Is the gluten free patient learning how to eat a balanced diet in the absence of wheat, barley, oats and rye?

Dietitian Satisfaction. Is it likely that dietitians will gain more job satisfaction as they utilize NUTRI-TEC for better data driven decision-making. Documentation will be enhanced through timely access to detailed macro and micronutrient intakes. Patient-dietitian relationships will be fostered as brief teaching of how to use the tool, shared decision making on treatment goals and responsibilities are determined making follow-up visits more intentional and meaningful.

Continuum of CareHow are hospitals currently teaching patients about the importance of good nutrition and their diets? The patient who is engaged in managing their nutritional care during hospitalization, is better apt they are apt to continue this post discharge. Improving their knowledge about their nutritional health increases their skills and confidence to self-manage post discharge.

The Bottom Line. Enhanced patient satisfaction, improved intake, better food services, meaningful calorie counts, data driven nutrition interventions, greater dietitian job satisfaction and supportive continuum of care through an innovative app is just what the dietitian ordered. 

 

Register for our Webinar now

 

Meet Sheryl Lozicki

 

Sheryl Lozicki is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with an MBA. She is currently responsible for standardizing clinical nutrition work and creating best practice programs to enhance clinical outcomes within a national healthcare system.  This includes early malnutrition identification and intervention, perioperative nutrition optimization and wound management guidelines in addition to food service initiatives targeting patient satisfaction and colleague knowledge on food service fundamentals with an aim to enhance dietary compliance and improve patient safety.  In addition to her current healthcare experience, Sheryl has worked in university education, senior living, private practice, media and corporate wellness.

To hear more about Patient Centered Care and to ask your questions, come join Sheryl on the Delegate sponsored “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar (1 CEU will be awarded) on Thursday May 6th 2021 @ 3pm EST

 


- 08 -
Apr
2021

Tired of manual, laborious cost tracking of floor stock? No Comments

Manual management of your daily service unit floor stock is a huge time stealer. Not only do your employees have to restock the areas, but at end of month cost tracking must be done to ensure all revenue has been captured for finance to reconcile.

In the case of Critical Access Hospitals, successfully managing the floor stock is not possible and leads to lost revenue and/or less time with the patients!

Enter: Stella

Stella’s Critical Access Hospital Food Service Solution (CAHFSS) has been specifically designed for Critical Access Hospitals like yours!

End-to-end Floor Stock management
simple tracking and invoicing
cross charging at a glance
No administrative work

book a demo now

Stella’s CAHFSS Packages are easy to set-up and do not need any software installation.

Stella provides the complete administration and management of the Floor Stock Solution. Freeing up your team’s time to concentrate on the patient’s well-being.

Tracking and invoicing of floor stock goods are available at the touch of a button. This leaves your employees more time to look after the patient’s needs instead of searching for lost goods.

Single page report can be passed to finance for cross-charging.

Minimize waste by only sending requested goods ensuring theywill be used before their expiration date.

Conclusion

Your hospital is not too small to profit from the Food Service Solution provided by Stella! We believe, it is all about the patient experience and it does not matter if you are feeding 1 or 1000!

Increase efficiency
Increase Press-Ganey scores

book a demo now

Just like any full acute hospital, you can reap the benefits:

Increase efficiency and reduce FTE cost by not being tied to PC and printer. Rather your staff is mobile, working in real time.

Reducing food-waste achieved by restocking only what is required.

As the Stella CAH team provides and manages all menu, recipe, diet & allergen and nutritional coding which ensure compliance, patient risk is a mitigated.

Increases in patient satisfaction scores through improved meal choice options, seasonal menus, and empowering patients to place their meal orders on their own devices.

 

Peaked your interest? Book a meeting now!  book a demo now


- 02 -
Apr
2021

Food Service Management Stories – In Vino Veritas No Comments

Warehousing and inventory. Pretty much standard topics in the field of food service management. And yet – modelled into a software suite, these two classics often bring unexpected challenges. In many cases we advised Customers to question the “one solution for all“ and leave the beaten track.

In the following article, let us show you some examples of how our customers have optimized their processes and saved money with the help of our warehousing and inventory modules.

The following project stories give you an idea about

How do I optimize manpower and time per inventory?
How to make internal processes more secure and controllable?

Project 1: What really matters in inventory taking

The customer
A Swiss food service corporation with a 5-star restaurant, company catering and industrial catering. Even a kebab stand is part of the company portfolio.

The project
Delegate modules for purchasing, formulation, warehousing, cash register and Conference & Events are to be implemented.

The road to success
Project successfully completed. On time. Within budget. After 3 months, our customer service team receives a call: “It just doesn’t work like that. Global inventory management and the associated inventories eat up so much time that the value of an accurately managed warehouse doesn’t justify the inventory effort!”

In a workshop with the customer, we were able to find out that there was one area in particular that was causing costs due to stock depletion and incorrect inventory counts. The item class concerned was wines and spirits in the highest price segment (up to 2.000 EUR per bottle), which were mainly used in boardroom catering and in the associated exclusive and star-rated restaurants. The clear identification of the relevant product groups also brought the necessary focus. As a solution, only high- and highest-priced products were considered in detail in the inventory instead of spending valuable time and energy by covering all merchandise areas and thus frustrating employees and burdening the system.

My tip for all those companies that rely on software support for the first time in food service management:
You need 2-3 complete rounds of inventories to identify the real challenges. Only then should you start to eliminate initial shortcomings. This way, you will first gain confidence in using the system and generate truly valid figures.  Only when the users confidently and routinely handle the system will they gain security and trust the data.  Then they can recognize that unexpected figures are not a matter of input errors and the process is actually represented as it is. On the basis of this realization, changes are much easier to achieve!

The solution in this case was to focus on selected product groups. This meant that the available manpower could be used optimally!

The result

Selective inventories secure the high-priced goods
Relieved employees!

Project 2: Inexplicable stock depletion explained

The customer
An energy supply company with company catering

The project
Delegate modules for purchasing, formulation, menu planning, warehousing, cash register/POS and Conference & Events are to be implemented.

The challenge
Soon after implementation and going live, it became clear in the inventory management system that the customer experienced inexplicable inventory depletion in the wine warehouse. For example, a meeting, where 2 bottles of high-priced wine were consumed, was hosted. However, at the next meeting, the precalculated inventory levels clearly showed that three bottles were missing from the warehouse. The wine had “grown legs.” With the help of Delegate’s inventory management system, this could be proved and verified.

The result
The processes were changed internally in such a way that stock withdrawals of this kind (e.g. high-priced wines) could no longer be carried out arbitrarily by any person. The kitchen management had to be informed in advance. The inexplicable shrinkage was thus a thing of the past!

The energy supplier itself said that “the certainty we could gain from the generated data enabled us to take the right action. Only the operation of Delegates’ merchandise management and the inventory based on it could explain the discrepancies. It showed that the flow of goods for the additional bottles never existed, and the wine was never sold.”

My tip!
Employees and companies that have been working according to the same routines for months and years have the opportunity to re-examine their processes by switching to our product. Instead of remaining trapped in the same, historically grown processes, the question now comes from the outside: “Why are you actually doing what you are doing? What should be the result? What is the added value?”

This is where great opportunities for improvement lie. However, in order to answer these questions in a qualified manner and address the really relevant problems, reliable Data are needed.

The success:

No more inexplicable depletion/loss of valuable stock.
Clear and straightforward processes create confidence.
Processes can be re-examined, underpinned with data and thus improved!

The author:
Silke Steiner is a Project Manager with Delegate. Silke is a trained engine fitter and an academic graduate of Biotechnology. She worked abroad for several years in the Food Safety sector in F&B in Israel and Georgia. After 3 years of project management in national and international business, trade and research cooperation projects she joined Delegate and has been with Delegate for 6 years. Silke has supported the successful implementation of Delegate Food Service in a variety of different sectors such as catering, restaurant chains, corporate catering and healthcare catering.


- 29 -
Mar
2021

Diakonie Johannesstift – Digitization of the production kitchen for 31 locations No Comments

As the largest denominational healthcare and social enterprise in Berlin and northern Germany, 9,300 employees of Johannesstift Diakonie gAG provide medical care for patients in hospitals, care for residents of all ages, and care for children and parents in difficult family situations on a daily basis. High cost pressure, constantly changing framework conditions and increasing competition also pose new challenges for Johannesstift Diakonie in providing optimum care for patients and residents. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Johannesstift Diakonie Services GmbH in Berlin supports the healthcare facilities in coping with the daily challenges. It is not only the company’s own facilities that rely on its services in the areas of catering, strategic and operational purchasing, and logistics. External customers such as schools, daycare centers and other healthcare facilities also use the wide range of services offered by Services GmbH. Of the approximately 800 employees of the service company, around 120 produce 11,500 meals a day in the modern central kitchen in Berlin Spandau, thus ensuring the supply of food at 31 locations. The furthest tour even stretches up to 150 kilometers.

The challenge

The creation of individual menu plans for all locations, including communication to customers, was a major challenge. The daily orders were entered manually, which resulted in a very high time expenditure. Even more challenging was the preparation of the production lists. Orders came in through various channels and then had to be laboriously consolidated. The affiliated hospitals had the additional requirements of taking into account food types, allergens and dislikes in the patient orders. The accounting of the catering days and the correct allocation of the goods inputs was only possible with a great deal of effort.

The solution

With the introduction of Delegate Patients Service and the integrated central production module, all necessary processes could be implemented and optimized. From purchasing, article and recipe management, menu planning and central production to menu ordering via mobile devices including billing, all processes could be mapped completely digitally with the new system. All orders are now transferred via various channels in the system and automatically merged in production. The flexible display of the labels supports the portioning or picking of the meals. Thanks to the connection to the hospital information system, patient data including allergens is transferred directly to the system and taken into account in the integrated menu ordering solution. The days on which meals are served can thus be billed precisely to the customer and the goods used can be allocated correctly. Many manual processes are now represented digitally. This has eliminated sources of error and freed up staff for other activities.

Advantages

Transparent purchasing processes

Electronic connection of suppliers

Automatic transfer of LMIV data

Central menu planning for different customers

Simplification of the production & picking process

Flexible labeling of the produced meals

Supplier-independent menu ordering and merchandise management system in one

Use of private mobile devices for menu ordering

Clear allocation of food types and allergens per patient

Accurate patient accounting of the days of catering

Optimized costing of goods

Download PDF


- 24 -
Mar
2021

Tired of hearing about how your Patient Menus have not changed or been updated in forever!? No Comments

For Critical Access Hospitals, manpower is at a premium. You need to make do with what you have while still being compared to the quality and service of any other hospital no matter how big or small. “Spare” FTEs are not available to test and develop recipes, or change and update your patient menus, which limits the options and quality for your patients.

Enter: Stella

Stella’s Critical Access Hospital Food Service Solution (CAHFSS) has been specifically designed for Critical Access Hospitals like yours!

Patient Menus change automatically & include holiday specials
No coding Allergens or Diet Info
No manual input
No administrative work

Book a demo now

Stella’s CAHFSS packages are easy to set-up and do not require any software installation.

Stella provides you with a complete, vast and instantly usable set of recipes and menus, that are fully coded in respect of diet & allergen compliances along with Nutritional information included, all in line with the Nutritional Care Manual. No need for manual input.

Stella guarantees that your patient menus are changed/updated at least twice per year. Additionally, Stellawill ensure you have special holiday menus ready to offer for your patients.

Stella’s integrated Survey Module, allows you to get real-time feedback, on new menu offerings, ensuring patient satisfaction is continually met.

In addition, Stella provides the complete administration and management of the software solution. No need to burden IT or your Food Service Staff with standard maintenance duties such as inputting nutritional, diet or allergen data.

The ability to allow patients to place their meal orders on their own devices will provide your employees time for what really counts – dedicated patient interaction.

Most important of all, patient satisfaction scores will increase!

Conclusion

Your hospital is not too small to profit from the Food Service Solution provided by Stella! We believe, it is all about the patient experience and it does not matter if you are feeding 1 or 1000!

Diverse patient menus
Increase Press-Ganey scores
Mitigate Patient Risk
reduce food-waste

Book a demo now

Just like any full acute hospital, you can reap the following benefits:

Patient risk is a mitigated thanks to the Stella CAH team providing and managing all menu, recipe, diet & allergen and nutritional coding which ensure compliance.

Increases in patient satisfaction scores through improved meal choice options, seasonal menus, and empowering patients to place their meal orders on their own devices.

Increase efficiency and reduce FTE cost by not being tied to PC and printer. Rather your staff is mobile, working with patients in real time. This is supported by real-time interfacing to your EHR/EMR.

Reducing food-waste achieved by having real-time data about your patients (E.g. meal trays not being sent to discharged patients)

Book a demo now


- 22 -
Mar
2021

Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations No Comments

Today 20–50% of hospital patients are affected by malnutrition, closely linked to poor patient outcomes and high costs. Dietary intake monitoring can help to prevent or correct malnutrition, but the busy working schedule of hospital staff, and patients’ sometimes poor recollection of what they ate in hospital, are counterproductive to an effective system.

The very promising results of putting the task – as well as the responsibility – of intake tracking squarely in the patient’s hands, and supporting this with the right, easy-to-adopt and easy-to-use technology, are described in the work of Dr Shelley Roberts and her team of researchers.

Delegate are proud to have been supporting Dr Shelley Roberts on this important topic for the last 4 years and are thrilled to be sponsoring the upcoming “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar on 6th May 2021 @ 4pm EST, 1 CEU will be awarded

Register for our Webinar now

Engaging hospital patients in their nutrition care using technology:  the NUTRI-TEC study

In hospital, patients with (or at risk of) malnutrition are referred to dietitians for nutrition care. Dietitians apply nutrition interventions to help prevent the poor patient outcomes and high costs associated with malnutrition, which affects 20–50% of hospital patients. The effect of nutrition care is assessed by monitoring patient dietary intakes in relation to their nutrition requirements. However, collecting dietary intake data is difficult in busy hospital environments; patients may struggle to recall their food intake, or staff may lack the time to record intakes at mealtimes. Furthermore, the success of nutrition interventions often depends on patients’ understanding of and adherence to dietary prescriptions.

Our team of researchers and clinicians have worked with Delegate to develop an innovative, technology-based intervention that allows patients to actively participate in their own nutrition care, streamlining processes for hospital staff and increasing patient adherence to nutrition care. The intervention, NUTRI-TEC, involves patient-led dietary intake tracking and nutritional goal setting via the Delegate foodservice portal, accessed through patient bedside computer screens at our hospital. It was rigorously developed in a four-phase program of research, including a literature review, iterative development and evaluation cycle, usability testing and interviews with hospital patients and staff, and a feasibility study that tested the intervention with real hospital patients. NUTRI-TEC is underpinned by theories (of patient participation in care, self-efficacy and technology acceptance) and research evidence; and had significant end-user input from hospital patients and staff.

 

Conclusion

Our feasibility work shows that NUTRI-TEC is likely to improve dietary intakes and promote patient engagement in nutrition care, while being acceptable to patients and staff. Further work will test its clinical effectiveness in a randomised controlled trial.

Register for our Webinar now

The figure below describes the intervention’s components and how it works in practice alongside usual care.

 

Meet Dr Shelley Roberts

Dr Shelley Roberts is an Allied Health Research Fellow and Accredited Practicing Dietitian working in a conjoint research position between Griffith University and Gold Coast Health. Her research focuses on improving nutritionamong hospitalized patients, with interests in patient participation in care, health information technology, and knowledge translation. Since 2016, Dr Roberts has led a program of research to develop, implement and evaluate a technology-based intervention that allows patients to actively participate in their nutrition care at the hospital bedside, through patient-led dietary intake tracking and nutritional goal setting and monitoring. This work aims to improve the nutrition intakes and statuses of hospitalized patients, in order to improve outcomes for patients and hospitals.

To hear all the details and ask your questions, come join Shelley on the Delegate sponsored “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar.


- 17 -
Mar
2021

Be a Food-Service Superhero No Comments

Start Saving Money

Throw away your crystal ball – start with predictive cost center ordering

 

Food Service Director

In your patient dining room, either patient dining room or behavioural health situations, forecasting relies solely on your employees’ gut-feeling and that, often, is a very bad indicator. The result is overproduction and thus unnecessary waste.

With Delegates new predictive forecasting functionality calculated order quantities will be applied based on orders that have been taken and delivered in the past. This gives the Chefs a much more accurate list of what needs to be produced. Resulting in less production waste, reducing spend and saving you money.

Want to know more? Contact us!


 

Don’t flush money down the toilet!

Accounts payables manager

Tired of chasing after your invoice approvers, to really collect those hard-earned cash-discounts? In most organizations invoice cash discounts are easily lost due to operational shortcomings. And having to pay full price on something a much better price has been negotiated for is, in essence, throwing money down the drain!

With Delegates cash-discount reminder you can now help those busy approvers by sending an email notification that they have outstanding invoices to approve. More approved invoices within vendor payment terms equals more cash discounts gained equals more money in your bank!

Want to know more? Contact us!


 

Food Safety

HACCP compliance made easy

Food Safety Officer

To be in line with food safety regulations (HACCP) many store-men and goods-recipients rely on old error-prone methods like taking food-temperature with a manual thermometer, entering the value on the delivery note and at some point (even days!) later transcribe it into a software system or onto paper records. The downsides: Notes get lost, transcription errors happen, and all in all, the process is simply to laborious, unreliable and cannot be audited easily.

With the new Bluetooth temperature measuring integration, say goodbye to manual processes and interventions. Temperature readings are automatically transmitted to the application without any risk of incorrect transcribing. In addition, once the need for an audit arises, it takes you only a simple click to provide all relevant information to your auditor proving that you are HACCP compliant.

Want to know more? Contact us!

ow more? Contact us!


- 08 -
Mar
2021

Women in Information and Communication Technology No Comments

Initial considerations

An article by our Delegate employee Petra B.

It started with a supposedly straightforward assignment: “On the occasion of International Women’s Day, please write a short text for us about women in the ICT industry.” But how do you do justice to such a broad topic? There would be a great deal to say and think about. The longer I reflected, the more challenging the topic seemed. And actually, it isn’t just “Women in Information and Communications Technology” but rather “Why are Women in ICT still seen as something rather unusual”? When you look at the statistics, the latter point becomes very obvious. It seems that, unfortunately, one aspect still conditions the other. So here is a very brief attempt to grasp the status quo and, at the same time, to consider its causes.

It is clear that equal rights and equal treatment of girls should begin early in education, socialization and later academic and/or vocational training. Only then can a basis emerge on which true equal treatment as well as equal professional opportunities for women and men exist. The civil status and family situation must also be taken into consideration. It is simply unfair that one half of the population is disproportionately often confronted with the “child OR career” question. In particular in technology and research developments and progress move rapidly. In a large majority of families, it is the women who stay at home for longer periods of time for childcare or work part-time.  Therefore, it stands to reason that their chances of getting a senior or research position, etc. are drastically reduced by a longer absence from the workplace (or part-time availability). This inequality is very real.  There is still a lot of catching up to do, socially and politically.  However – leaving aside the issue of starting a family and the subsequent child care – in an ideal world we should not even have to ask questions about equal treatment of men and women in ICT.  We are a workforce. Colleagues. We work with our minds (sometimes even our brains 😋) and it is irrelevant how strong, how old or how tall we are. Therefore, the gender of employees in the IT industry should not be relevant at all. So much for the theory. In practice, however, us women still sometimes get astonished looks when we mention in conversation with others that we work for a software company. And these are the considerations that engulfed me when I got the assignment to write this text.


Causal Research. Why are things the way they are?

The figures, for both Europe and Austria, speak a very clear language: Women in ICT specialist occupations make up only a small percentage of the workforce in this sector.

Yet it would be particularly easy to create equal conditions for all in the ICT sector. Physical strength or integrity are no criteria for success in our professions. We would actually have the ideal foundation for equality, because inventiveness, innovative spirit and problem-solving skills are (I do hope there is general consensus on this point) independent of gender. So why are things the way they are?

The majority of us (I’m talking about Generation X or older) were certainly still socialized with the generally known gender stereotypes. Ambition for boys, modesty and restraint for girls, etc., I’m sure everyone knows what I mean.  Will a young man apply for a specialized job when he has not finished his studies or other training, while a young woman resigns herself to doing so later, (“when you are good enough…”)? These are not obvious discriminations, and presumably much of the “treating women and girls differently” in engineering does not and did not happen intentionally. 

It may well be the old “boys-are-better-in-math” patterns that were not questioned and thus led to a kind of ‘underlying’ discrimination. That could explain the imbalance that still exists. Of course, there are many different reasons, not just this one. The situation has risen from historical and social developments. And now it is high time for further steps towards equality. I think that once we have realized that, it is already a move in the right direction.

We women in Europe are comparatively privileged and society has come relatively far on the way to equal opportunities for all. The vast majority of women here fortunately have the freedom to take decisions autonomously. Our educational, social and health care systems may have their shortcomings, but they are just as available to us as they are to our male counterparts.  Great opportunities are open to us, but we still have to seize them ourselves.  In many other regions of the world, however, the future path of life for girls is already mapped out at birth. They are subordinate to men their whole lives and socially strictly confined to traditional roles. They’ll have significantly fewer or in the worst case no educational opportunities at all, and hardly any freedom of choice in family planning or in taking up a profession. 



An Anecdote

In my further research, I found an anecdote in a New York Times text about Bill Gates giving a lecture to ICT professionals in Saudi Arabia in the early 2000s. The participants sat separated according to sexes, on the left side of the room 4/5 of the participants: the men. The remaining fifth, the women, sat on the right. A very small group, separated from the men by a physical barrier. If one recalls this very image, one realizes how ‘exotic’ female employees in ICT were and unfortunately still are. The superiority in numbers as well as the barrier were not only symbolic but obvious and palpable in the room. At the end of the talk, participants asked questions, including whether it would be a realistic goal for Saudi Arabia to become one of the top 10 countries in the technology sector by 2010. Gates’ response was that this could not be the case at all if Saudi Arabia failed to utilize half of the talent in the country, which they obviously currently did. The women in the audience applauded and cheered.  Right he was. It is a long-standing problem that our research, art and culture lose potential talents because these persons happened to be born as women. Perhaps a woman could have painted like Rembrandt if only she had had the appropriate opportunities and resources.  Research and technology have presumably missed out on brilliant female engineers, inventors or programmers who were never able to develop and exploit their abilities due to lack of education, resources or because of social circumstances or religious constraints.  This situation should not continue. It’s up to us to change that.

We at Delegate

The global ratio in our company is 18:41 (ratio F 1:2.3 M), therefore more than twice as many men than women. Here at our headquarters in Vienna, we are 13 women and 32 men (ratio F 1:2.5 M). We are much better positioned in terms of women in ICT than statistics would suggest. I am happy to report that women are represented in every department (the only exception being the IT / Infrastructure team). My team lead and our senior are female. We have women working in programming, software testing, as a product specialist, in project management, customer support, service, marketing and administration. My female colleagues are the coolest! Still, it’s clear – us women are outnumbered. And only a few of us actually have specialized training in ICT. Many are career changers, for example from marketing or education. That’s not an obvious career move at first sight, but we all work with great dedication and, even more importantly, with a lot of success. Even as people who originally came from other disciplines, we can hold our own in our working environment.  Colleagues treat each other with respect. Still, as a woman – and especially as a career changer – you move way outside the comfort zone in the beginning. But outside of the comfort zone is where you learn the most! Delegate encourages and challenges its employees, and that is a good thing.

The Future


There is a positive trend that more and more women are doing technology-related training and working in the ICT sector. However, the percentage of women in this sector of the economy is still low. Much more is needed in terms of labor market policy initiatives, educational support and social rethinking for true equality of female and male workers, regardless of the sector. And now I’m back to where I started. So much could be said, so much to be concerned about. Politically, socially and at a company level. It would be far beyond the scope of this little essay to elaborate on all these things. That’s why I’ll close with a wish: It would be great if future female colleagues could feel directly ‘at home’ in technology and IT based on their training and mindset.

When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.
– Melinda Gates


- 01 -
Mar
2021

Temperature Measuring is Now Possible Via Bluetooth Device No Comments

An ingenious new functionality for Mobile Solution

 

What is it good for?

When accepting the delivery of goods, the temperature of certain items needs to be taken due to mandatory HACCP checks. To facilitate this process, support of Bluetooth temperature devices has been implemented for Mobile Solution.

 
Ready to Optimize Your Process?

The new functionality helps to simplify the process of temperature checking by sending the results directly from the Bluetooth device to the Mobile Solution HACCP Overview. The results will be displayed in Mobile Solution, and as with manual entries they can also exported to the Web Client.

 
The best advantages of this feature:

Easy to Use
Automatic transmission of measurement results
Eliminates the manual recording and copying errors

 
Let’s do it!

Find out how much easier and more efficient HACCP controls can be with our new Feature. Not only can your employees save valuable time when receiving goods, but also human errors in manual data recording are no longer an issue when temperature check results are directly transmitted to Mobile Solution in a matter of seconds.

This feature increases the integrity of your records without any additional effort. Discover how simple, fast and precise the handling of temperature data can be with our new Bluetooth temperature device support for Mobile Solution.