At some point, most women have faced comments questioning their suitability for roles typically dominated by men. This raises crucial questions about equal opportunities and pursuing our dreams. Our CEO, Jarūnė Preikšaitė, recently appeared on LRT Radio’s “Parastes” to shed light on these issues and talk about women in tech.
There is still a lot to do, and the rate at which women are entering the IT industry is changing very slowly. While 18% of tech workers were women in 2020, it’s predicted that this will only rise to 19% by 2025.
The Myth of ‘Not for Girls’
Remember when you were a kid, and certain toys were “not for girls”? Fast forward to today, and we’re hearing the same about careers in tech.
Young girls often hear that tech careers aren’t suitable for them, pushing them toward other fields. Jarūnė emphasized the “Empowering Girls” project, a collaboration with Junior Achievement.
We have a project with Junior Achievement where our successful mentees visit schools to encourage girls to consider tech as a viable career path. They also stress the importance of subjects like mathematics and physics.
The Power of Belief
What’s the secret to getting more women into tech? Believe it or not, it starts with you and me.
“We need to share diverse stories about women in IT to inspire them to take the first steps into the tech sector,” – says Jarūnė.
The Stubborn Stereotypes in Tech
Jarūnė noted that stereotypes have remained largely unchanged over the years.
People still think that tech is all about coding. In reality, the field offers a wide range of roles—from testing and design to coding in multiple languages for various products
Another common stereotype is that a programmer is a hoodie-wearing hermit.
“Many think that programming is boring, and all you do is sit with a hoodie in a corner and spend all your day in front of a computer screen”, Jarūnė points out.
While understanding of technology evolves gradually, stereotypes persist, especially in emerging fields like cybersecurity. Jarūnė clarifies:
Cybersecurity is like the anonymous where you hack something or break something, or if I don’t live in a big city in Lithuania, then there are no opportunities for me
For those under the impression that you need to be based in a major city to achieve success in the tech industry, it’s time to rethink that notion.
The pandemic has shown that remote work is viable, and companies are looking for talent regardless of location. Opportunities exist everywhere
Supporting women in tech starts with believing in their abilities and continues with education and challenging societal norms, as well as sharing success stories to inspire action.
Listen to the whole conversation (in Lithuanian) here.
The #EmpoweringGirls project is initiated by Lietuvos Junior Achievement and Women Go Tech, where the program alumnae and other female professionals visit schools to empower girls to choose the tech industry as a future career path.