Name: Oliver Rossbach
Age: 46 Years
Family status: Married, two children, 5 & 8 years old
Where do you live? Dortmund/Ruhr Area
Hobbies: Active sport like mountain biking, running, swimming, fitness, winter sport
What is your professional background?
I am an IT entrepreneur in the e-commerce environment with a strong technical background. Currently, I am the founder of an IT consulting firm with a focus on agile software development and modern cloud technologies. Before that, I managed an agency for enterprise e-commerce projects for five years.
What brought you to S4W?
In a customer project, I collaborated with Alexandra on an online shop relaunch. After she had left the company, we stayed in loose contact. When she told me about her idea for S4W, I immediately was excited and since then we have been working intensively on this topic.
What’s your role at S4W?
I am the CTO at S4W. Together with my software developers I am working on the new platform and make sure it matches customer demands. Further, we continuously monitor and test technological trends (artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, etc.) and try to find out how a modern e-commerce platform can benefit from that. I think there is currently no real innovation, neither in the online or offline fashion trade.
Where do you position S4W in 3 years?
S4W is a platform which provides high-quality and useful content to its female target group. The platform helps you to make a “Bella Figura” in business life as much as it can. Ideally, it will solve the biggest problem of online clothes sales, which is the lack of good fit.
You lead a successful IT consulting. What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge is to find suitable staff and to keep them in the long run. The daily topics we are dealing with require a high level of qualification and a willingness to constantly evolve, coupled with a high passion for this field.
What important trends do you see in the IT industry?
The topic “Artificial Intelligence” will certainly accompany us in the coming years and will allow exciting use cases. In principle, I see more opportunities than I see risks.
Home office and flexible working hours-are these possible working models in your industry?
Absolutely, in my opinion the “nine to five” working model from twenty or thirty years ago has been expended. Software development is a complex and creative process. Employees should be able to work where and when they want. Of course, this also implies a responsible attitude by the employees, in terms of the company.
What proportion of women is there in the IT consulting scene?
Unfortunately, by far too low. At conferences, the proportion of women is usually negligible and as well in everyday working life. I would estimate the proportion of women is about 5 – 10%. Unfortunately, women miss out on attractive career opportunities in the tech sector.
How could it be increased?
The defamation of technically savvy women should finally stop. I already remember this from my school days. Currently, you come across more and more popular – female – tech speakers who are very upset about the lack of acceptance and about being reduced to classical female roles and attributes. The “man or woman” subject should simply play no role in everyday life anymore. Recognition of good work and arguments should be the only things counting.
What have been your most important take-aways in recent years?
“Just do it and learn!” Due to the extremely dynamic market environment, I don’t see any sense in creating large planning documents or business plans over several years. What successfully works today can be totally out tomorrow. You should be able to try out new things quickly, but also reject failed activities quickly, without having major implications.
In your opinion, what are inappropriate outfits for the job and why? Are there differences between women and men?
In my opinion, outfits not fitting the position or role of the wearer are inappropriate. You shouldn’t be ‘overdressed’ but not ‘underdressed’ either. There are certainly differences between women and men. However, women have more freedom in their choice of clothing, but they should be able to handle it properly.
Is it easier for men to dress than for women?
I think so. Due to the larger choice for women, it is more likely for them to take a misstep.
How important is appearance in professional life for you, especially the clothes?
I think the saying “clothes make people” is still true, even though the dress codes have eased considerably. This is especially valid in the IT sector coming from the start-up culture. Clothes should fit you well, look neat and the wearer should feel comfortable.
Styles4Work is present on all social media channels. Do you use social media privately? Do you post yourself?
Yes, I use social media both privately and professionally. However, the focus of my social media activities is higher on the professional side.
Who or what inspires you?
Reinhard Sprinkler has strongly inspired me with his book “The Decent Company”. In this book he gives detailed description and reasonings about the right way of leadership today and particularly what management should not do.
Which social topic is important to you?
Respect for others and tolerance for different opinions should be valued much higher in dealing with each other. A positive exchange of arguments should become more prominent again, rather than sticking to deadlocked opinions. Unfortunately, in many current social and political discussions the opposite often is the case.