The Power of Mentorship: Unleashing Women's Potential in the Tech

"Indeform Interactive" project manager Gabija - "Women Go Tech" mentoring helps increase women's inclusion in IT

In today's world of innovation, promoting diversity and inclusion is a fundamental aspect of the growth of the technology sector. Despite the efforts made to create a positive attitude towards the inclusion of women in the technology sector, the persistent gender gap is still a pressing issue. However, since 2016, the "Women Go Tech" mentorship program has significantly accelerated progress in this regard, and the initiative has aided thousands of women in starting their careers in technology.

"We continue to address the talent gap in the tech sector by attracting the best talent and helping them to develop their skills and establish themselves in their careers," says Jarūnė Preikšaitė, CEO of “Women Go Tech”.

Gabija Jakutytė, project manager at “Indeform Interactive”, is also contributing to this initiative and hopes to inspire women to take a strong step towards a career in the information technology (IT) sector by her own example.

IT is not just programming

Gabija embarked on her professional journey in the technology sector more than eight years ago, initiating her career in marketing. She subsequently progressed to a brand management role and has now been overseeing IT projects for over three years. Gabija contends that a commonly held belief within society is that all experts in the technology industry must have extensive technical knowledge. While there is no doubt that a programming position is important, Gabija believes that there are many other exciting career opportunities in the technology sector:

"IT is not only about programming. Here you can find yourself in other roles such as QA, analytics, marketing, sales, or project management. And it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. In IT, there are ample opportunities to grow, switch roles, and discover the place where you feel comfortable and fulfilled".

The technology sector offers a wide range of opportunities, regardless of gender or technical background. By joining the mentoring program, Gabija aims to show the breadth of career opportunities in the technology sector. According to Gabija, the career path here is: "really very interesting, with its own challenges, its own opportunities, and it's very broad".

Mentoring can help open up career opportunities

The “Women Go Tech” mentoring program has become a place where Gabija can realize a personal ambition: to help accelerate the integration of women in technology. The desire to raise women's awareness and introduce them to opportunities in this field dates back many years. Her motivation came from personal experience when many women in her environment did not imagine that they could apply their knowledge and experience in the IT sector.

Gabija believes that the foundation of this mindset is laid during the school years when students are required to choose their subjects and modules. Unfortunately, some students may feel that a career in the field of IT is not an option for them when other non-IT electives are given more prominence. This can lead to a lack of interest in pursuing a career in IT, even if they have the potential to excel in the field. The way individuals perceive themselves and utilize their abilities during their formative years often carries through into their adult life. This can be seen in their academic pursuits or their professional endeavors. Unfortunately, certain misconceptions acquired during childhood still act as a barrier for women seeking to enter the field of information technology.

For professionals who have expertise in other industries, transitioning into the field of IT can seem like a daunting process. This is the reason why Gabija joined the “Women Go Tech” mentoring initiative. As a project manager at "Indeform Interactive" her main goal is to encourage women to explore opportunities in IT and to help them apply their knowledge and skills to various tech projects. Gabija believes that connecting with professionals in the tech industry can be a powerful way to motivate and inspire women to grow and advance their careers in this field. By facilitating integration processes and providing guidance and support, Gabija hopes to empower more women to pursue their passion for technology.

"Sometimes, even one conversation can mean a lot. It can help a person discover their true potential and motivate them to explore new career paths. By sharing your experience and insights with someone who is considering a career in IT, you can make a significant contribution to their worldview and, more broadly, their attitude towards opportunities," suggests Gabija.

Obstacles, opportunities, and prospects

To empower women in the tech industry, “Women Go Tech” is taking significant steps to evaluate the current state of the market and identify the potential barriers that may hinder women's entry into the sector.

The organization has carried out two recent studies that have not only shed light on the situation of the Lithuanian market but also the markets and players in twelve other countries in Central and Eastern Europe (the Three Seas Initiative countries).

According to J. Preikšaitė, CEO of “Women Go Tech”, the first study "Building the future power hub for women in tech" sought to evaluate the level of maturity of the market in accepting women and identify the necessary changes to promote gender diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. The second study yielded insights into women's engagement with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the challenges they face.

"The study "Women's engagement with AI in the CEE region" examined the extent to which women are using AI and how companies are helping them to learn how to use its tools. The study also identified barriers and beliefs that prevent women from learning how to use AI tools, as well as differences in markets and readiness to learn how to use these tools. ," adds the CEO of “Women Go Tech”.

The organization is dedicated to creating a positive impact on women working in the ICT sector, and as part of its ongoing efforts, it is expanding its reach to Central and Eastern European markets. Over the next year, the organization aims to develop tools that promote women's participation in the sector and enhance their skills.

"For 2024-2025, we have set a target of training 20,000 women in Central and Eastern Europe in the use of AI tools. The aim is not only to generate interest in technology among women but also to enhance their productivity in their respective jobs. We are also making a strong entry into the Polish and Baltic markets while continuing to support women who have fled the war and those who remain in Ukraine by retraining them in the ICT sector," states the CEO of “Women Go Tech”.

A programme to promote women's leadership

The "IT Project Managers" group of the “Women Go Tech” Acceleration Programme offers an opportunity to develop knowledge about the work specifics of a manager in the IT sector, new trends in leadership, and building contacts through joint projects.

According to Jarūne, the head of “Women Go Tech”, the program not only provides the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue a career in IT project management but also: "reduces the talent shortage in the field by offering employers a wider choice of candidates".

We are confident that Gabija's leadership experience at “Indeform Interactive” and her passion for empowering women will be instrumental in developing and directing the skills of program participants toward success in the IT industry. With her guidance, participants will be able to take their first steps with confidence and build upon their management competencies to achieve their goals.

Innovation and success in the IT industry are closely tied to diversity and inclusion. The impact of women's leadership on the development of the sector and its level of innovation is already significant. By providing mentorship opportunities, we can make strides towards empowering women to realize their full potential and achieve equal participation in the rapidly evolving technology industry!