Women Go Tech is getting ready for the 6th season of the mentoring program, which has already helped hundreds of women to find their ways into the tech world. Needless to say, we wouldn’t be that successful and growing without our mentors. They’ve reshaped the careers of multiple female professionals, aiming to kickstart in the technology industry or completely change their careers towards something more innovative.
Some of the professionals have been with us since the very beginning! Being proud of the fact, today we’re sharing their stories and inspiring ideas on mentoring.
Marija Velžė, Engineering Manager @ TransferGo
Mentoring for 4 years
How did your journey with Women Go Tech start?
It was really random and unexpected! During the first year of the programme, my workplace led a guest lecture on Product Management there. Me and my colleague were invited to this event as the panel speakers. But she got ill and I was left alone – it was a bit stressful, but the session turned out to be really productive! After receiving positive feedback on the lecture, I was inspired to help others with my knowledge and experience. And that’s how I became a mentor!
Why are you continuing doing this for many years?
I believe that it’s all about my mentees! I feel extremely lucky, because all of them have been active, kind, smart and just easy to work with. We’re keeping in touch and I’m very proud of their achievements in tech. Of course, the mission of WGT is no less important, and I love belonging here. Finally, I can develop as a professional and a leader too – the diversity of mentees really helps to move forward.
Your top tip for anyone who considers mentoring?
A great relationship between the mentor and the mentee is the key to success. Your terms should be based on mutual trust: all expectations should be clear and asking help should be encouraged yet the mentor shouldn’t forget that their task is to support their mentee in their choices in tech instead of showing the right direction.
Renata Šumskaitė, CEO @ Curve
Mentoring for 4 years
Why did you join WGT as a mentor?
It was probably the first or the second season of the programme. The co-founders of WGT pitched it to the workstream of Diversity at Barclays Technology Centre in Vilnius. I was leading it, and became very excited about the programme – I truly believe that empowerment, inspiration, knowledge, and sharing experience are needed in today’s job hunt.
What is your motivation to continue this involvement?
My passion for developing others and learning continuously. I am a professional coach and WGT helps me to realise this activity in the best way possible. It’s a two way process – we exchange our time to help mentees achieve great results. Seeing them growing and making the change is the most inspiring thing.
How should a quality mentor behave?
Listen carefully and play it back. To ensure you understand your mentee, ask challenging questions and share/care/support when needed.
Lina Strelkauskienė, Head of Unix @ Telia Lietuva
Mentoring for 5 years
What encouraged you to join WGT?
I caught up with Žydrūnė and Paulius, the co-founders of this programme. Loved their enthusiasm and simply felt that this project would have many long-term prospects! I prefer consistency to one-off actions, so basically that’s how I was in. There were some initial doubts: sometimes it feels I need a mentor myself! But the first season went great. I was very happy with my mentees and the WGT community overall.
Why are you returning to WGT every season?
I see positive changes in the job market as more and more women are choosing tech-related roles. Therefore, I feel that my work makes a great impact. However, not many girls are doing IT at universities and this means there’s still a long way to go. Of course, I’m very inspired by my mentees too – they’re all amazing!
What would be your golden rule for mentoring?
The mentees are the most important thing here: each of them is unique, so you need to adapt and move along with their pace. There isn’t one universal key to success.
Renata Urbonė, Innovation and Digitisation Expert
Mentoring for 4 years
What was the start of your WGT journey?
I received an invitation to join from my teammate at ICT4D projects, whom I had onboarded into this international development combined with the tech world. She explained the mission of the freshly starting initiative and said that if I helped her to come to tech, maybe I can help more women to fast-track to the world of technologies. Thus the main reason was an invitation from the right person, with the right arguments and the right mission.
And what inspires you to rejoin us nearly each season?
I want to do more than just collecting experiences and join the project to try something new. I believe in long-term work and impact. That’s why I continue to contribute to WGT. Organizers are doing a great job and do it with passion.
Could you name the trait which is a must for every mentor?
Every mentee owns a different life story and personality – so listen to understand and respond to encourage. Also, be sincere and authentic when sharing experiences or giving advice.
Lina Šiumetė, General Manager @ Coherent Solutions
Mentoring for 4 years
Why did you join WGT as a mentor and how did your first season go?
I joined because I strongly believed in the very idea of this project. I remember the very first season very well – we had a very nice launch session and then moved to individual work with our mentees. I am still closely following the careers of my mentees and sincerely glad about their achievements – happily most of them are very successful and aiming to go further in their tech journey.
And what are your key reasons to return every season?
Exactly what got me started in the first place. I think that role modelling, mentoring and support are the key elements to choose the direction in the careers. If someone had taken time to share their experience with me at some point in my career, some steps could have been easier or better planned. I see this as a chance to help others by sharing my personal time and experience and hopefully positively influence other women’s career progression.
A great mentor: what are the key features there?
As a mentor, my main focus is the interests and motivation of my mentees. That being said, I don’t believe there is one source of truth on how to be a good mentor. It’s rather the combination of mentor and mentee who work together towards the same goals. So it is very important to find the right fit.