At WGT, we’re always excited to see tech companies bringing female leadership to the next level. One of these positive examples is our partners from Genius Sports, an international data, technology and commercial partner, powering the global ecosystem across sports, betting and media. Having offices in 10 locations worldwide, Genius Sports is collaborating with multiple renowned sport brands, including NFL, Euroleague, BET365 and many more.
When it comes to the Genius Sports office in Lithuania, it’s easy to spot how female leadership in tech is strongly embraced there. Across more than 90 employees, multiple success stories can be found, and today we’re speaking to Aistė and Dalia, two females holding tech lead roles in Genius Sports at the moment.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Aistė: I am a quality professional, working in IT for more than 8 years now. I am also that kind of person that always has trouble answering questions like ‘tell us about yourself’!
Dalia: I am a sports enthusiast, board game geek, working in Genius Sports as a Head of Genius Live Studio.
What do you do in your daily role?
Aistė: As the QA Director, I work with quality engineers and QA leads in the company’s development hubs across Vilnius, Tallinn, London, Sofia, Medellin. We help development teams deliver with confidence and meet high expectations our users have. This requires strategies for both testing and defect prevention, and these are our areas of expertise.
Dalia: I am responsible for ensuring smooth operations of the sports streaming solution within Genius Sports which provide excellent customer experience as well.
How would you describe the women’s role in IT and IT diversity?
Aistė: In my eyes the IT field is very welcoming right now and this benefits everyone seeking new opportunities, including women. Last I heard there is a shortage of 14.000 specialists in the Lithuanian IT market. Companies are going to great lengths to find new talent or to grow people into the positions. The IT industry used to be male-dominated, but this is changing rapidly.
From my own experience, in international IT companies in Vilnius, doors are wide open for women everywhere. Genius Sports is no exception! Diversity does not end at recruitment – people need to feel welcomed, respected and treated equally. For the International Women’s Day this year, we had a special podcast and I was happy to hear my female colleagues from across the globe share the same experience in Genius like me, as they’re treated with respect and equality.
Diversity does not end at recruitment – people need to feel welcomed, respected and treated equally.
Dalia: Women’s role in IT should not be different to the one that men have as we all work towards better products and processes. Nevertheless, since women are still the minority in this industry, we should still continue proving that any woman with the right skills and knowledge can be successful and this is not only men’s business.
Women’s role in IT should not be different to the one that men have
And how did you start your career in IT?
Aistė: I hold a Masters’ degree in Information Systems Management, but it focused on management rather than computer engineering. When I finished my studies, I sent my CV to several IT companies. And the only response I got was for…an unpaid internship. However, this opportunity seemed worthwhile, so I took it. The company liked my work ethics and offered a permanent position after the internship finished. That first job as the IT project manager provided me with a fundamental understanding of how software development works in real life. 3 years later, when I wanted to switch to a quality assurance role, I had to start from square 1 again, which was as a junior QA position. I remember reading a whole book on testing to prepare for the interview in a day or two! This dedication to learn did not end when I got the job and it even accelerated my career further.
I remember reading a whole book on testing to prepare for the interview in a day or two!
Dalia: I always had two passions in my life: technology and sports. I grew up watching biathlon, ski jumping and athletics with my dad. It came as no surprise then that I dreamt to do at least something in my life related to sports and as you may know sports consist of so much data available to analyze and also consume! It took time to get me where I am today: volunteering in sports events such as Eurobasket 2011 in Lithuania and at the UEFA Champions League Final in Lisbon, working in business consulting, doing big data analytics as my major in Master’s degree, gaining IT project management experience. I walked towards my goals step by step, and with the right people I met in this path, I managed to succeed and actually work in the area that I enjoy a lot.
It came as no surprise then that I dreamt to do at least something in my life related to sports and as you may know sports consist of so much data available to analyze and also consume!
What motivates you the most in this lead role?
Aistė: To see how my work improves processes and inspires me or people around me to grow.
Dalia: Success both individual and team wise. Everytime you achieve a milestone or finish a grand project this feeling that this cannot be compared to anything, especially if you see that not only you but also the team members and customers are happy.
How does your company benefit from taking part in the WGT program?
Aistė: Programs like WGT connect the company with the community, and this is important to us. Furthermore, we learn to talk about our profession in a way people new to IT can understand as well as introduce ourselves as a potential future employer to women who are just entering the market right now – and get to share our way of thinking about software quality!
Dalia: First of all, I think it is a proof of the company being socially responsible – in Lithuania we still have the struggle of attracting women to be in the IT industry due to historical reasons. Nevertheless, by promoting the success stories around the corner and mentoring the women that are still doubtful about their capabilities, we can be a part of this change. Additionally, I believe that the company can have easier access to the pool of so many talented women, so we are able to identify their strengths and maybe even offer an opportunity within Genius Sports.
Nevertheless, by promoting the success stories around the corner and mentoring the women that are still doubtful about their capabilities, we can be a part of this change.
Finally, could you please share some information about Genius Sports and open positions?
Aistė: We are a sports data company, and sometimes people think only genuine sport enthusiasts come work here – that is not the case! And as I am not a big sports fan myself, it’s like with any other job: you need to learn the domain. In our case, this can be rules for a particular sport. We constantly look to expand our teams, and all of the open positions can be found here: https://geniussports.com/home/careers/jobs/.
Dalia: Currently Genius Sports is in search of multiple roles. Regarding my domain, Genius Live Studio, we are searching for new customer onboarding specialists and support officers that are the crucial part of making sure the leagues and federations do receive the highest level of product support. The most interesting part in our team is that we work with both software and hardware that no other team does within the company! Please follow our Linkedin profile and use a chance to apply, I am sure that we can offer something both fun and challenging.