“Women Go Tech” is a forge of women’s success in the tech industry

44 women pursuing their goals, the strongest professionals from Lithuanian technology companies and five months of intensive consultations – this is how the mentoring program “Women Go Tech” gives birth to business success stories, courageous personal decisions and new professional experiences that will help women to successfully work in the tech industry.

“Society’s stereotypes about professions, gender roles or personal capabilities do not break overnight. This also holds true for information and communication technology business, where the share of women has so far been modest. However, there are ongoing changes that are further enhanced by the mentoring program “Women Go Tech”. This program helps women discover their talents and new opportunities, provides technological knowledge that they can use in almost all areas of life”, says Paulius Vertelka, Executive Director at INFOBALT.

The first women’s mentoring program, “Women Go Tech”, was organized by Global Shapers, which is the youth arm of the World Economic Forum, the INFOBALT Association and the main project partner, Telia Lietuva. The mentoring program “Women Go Tech” is patronized by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.

“The five months of the program, along with professionals from tech companies, have helped women discover their potential. In the technology sector there is a huge space that is constantly expanding; therefore, there is a lot of work and tasks – more than 2 thousand new jobs appear in the Lithuanian IT sector alone each year. Every day we need new solutions, ideas and experiences – things that have no age or gender – just like any profession in the tech industry”, – says Andrius Šemeškevičius, CTO at Telia Lietuva.

The program’s participants directly saw and tried how they could better fulfil their potential; though for some girls the technology field was a totally new world, for others it was an already familiar field, in which they improved themselves professionally. Before the start, the organizers received a total of 251 applications for participation in the program, which indicates the strong desire of women to enter the tech industry, adapt their skills in a new environment, explore and take advantage of the opportunities that are opening up.

The organizers of “Women Go Tech” believe that more and more women will gradually become tech-savvy, there will be examples of spectacular success, and therefore the invisible barriers and stereotypes that still hamper or discourage women from choosing the IT industry will disappear.

"During my school days, I knew a lot of great girls who were fond of exact sciences and had a good knowledge of them. I am sure that each of those girls could fulfil her potential in the IT field. However, the environment, stereotypes, and the lack of a good example have led them to different choices. But time goes on and the situation is changing for the better. I am glad that the attitude of all of us is gradually changing, and every year there is an increasing number of studies and career opportunities in the tech industry as well as initiatives such as “Women Go Tech” or “Vilnius Girls Code” that encourage girls and women to take the first steps in this industry, and to improve themselves regardless of education, experience or age”, says Marija Velžė, Product Owner at TransferGo, the company which conducted training in the program.

The launch of the program “Women Go Tech” in February coincided with the birthday of the first female programmer. Known as the mother of programming, Ada Lovelace was born 201 year ago, and when she entered the exclusively masculine world of exact sciences at the time, she started a real revolution. A. Lovelace is an excellent proof that women have been changing the world of technologies for many years, although this industry is still stereotyped as a male-dominated one.