Women in tech: The future of IT is inclusive (interview)

27.06.2022 by Anete Ezera

“We need to inspire people to become the architects of our future,” states Reinis Bērziņš, a Senior Customer Success Manager at Prezi and a mentor at the Riga Tech Girls mentorship program. And Reinis’ statement is right on point about what Riga Tech Girls, an organization dedicated to educating and preparing women for their careers in tech, tries to achieve.

TechMentor, one of their mentorship programs that took place from January to June 2022 has closed. Meanwhile, Infogram and Prezi tech professionals that took part in the mentorship program look back at their experiences as mentors. If you are interested in Riga Tech Girls, the mentorship program, stats on women in tech, or the takeaways of some of the mentors from Infogram and Prezi, keep reading or jump forward to watch the video interview. 

Riga Tech Girls closing event in June, TechMentor program

Riga Tech Girls closing event on the 30th of July, 2022. Photo credits: Mārcis Gaujenietis.

Overcoming roadblocks for women in tech

It’s no secret that the tech industry is predominantly composed of men. A recent study in 2020 on the percentage of women in tech found that only 28.8% of tech workers are women. While that’s not even a third of the workforce, it’s still an increase compared to the last couple of years. In 2019, women made up 26.2% of the workforce, and in 2018 only 25.9%. Clearly, the interest and opportunities are growing at a steady and slow pace. However, there are still many roadblocks that we need to overcome for women to have an equal chance to excel in the tech industry.

If Riga Tech Girls can be the place that inspires more women to become creators, founders, and leaders, I want to be part of that conversation. Seeing how women navigate those roles next to the other responsibilities we have, inspires and energizes me.” Marta Lenkeviča, Senior Customer Success Manager at Prezi and a mentor at Riga Tech Girls. 

Riga Tech Girls organization aims to remove some of the barriers for women. Also, it encourages women to look into the tech industry. Founded in 2016, the organization has hosted countless workshops to teach essential and in-demand tech skills.  Also, the RTG team has organized several meetups with inspirational speakers. On top, the organization has created the TechMentor program. The program organizators invited tech professionals to mentor women who are interested in starting their careers in tech.

As a result, thousands of women have learned about the tech industry and benefited from the community. Not to mention, the mentors have benefited from the mentorship program in many ways as well. They have enhanced their leadership skills, established new connections, broadened their perspectives, and more. 

Riga Tech Girls closing event, TechMentor program. Women in tech.

Riga Tech Girls closing event on the 30th of July, 2022. Photo credits: Mārcis Gaujenietis.

Women in tech: Inclusivity is at the core

Prezi and Infogram’s values lay very close to the ones of Riga Tech Girls. “[Inclusivity] … is one of our core values, really. But it’s not just an empty corporate value, we actually live it,” states Osvalds Blūzma. He’s the Customer Success Lead at Prezi and a mentor at the Riga Tech Girls program. That’s why several Prezi and Infogram tech professionals are taking part in the TechMentor program as mentors. In the course of the last 6 months, the mentors have been helping and guiding the mentees. They’ve provided assistance through the ups and downs of starting a career in tech. 

“Mentoring is a really unique opportunity for us to step outside our normal circle of friends and social media’s echo chamber to gain a better understanding of how the world looks through someone else’s eyes,” explains Baiba Grugule, marketing director at Prezi and a mentor at Riga Tech Girls. 

Now, the mentorship program has closed, and it celebrated the end of the exciting journey on the 30th of June, 2022. However, we’re continuing the conversation about the future of IT and inclusivity. Watch this video to find out what the mentors have to say about the mentorship program and their main takeaways: 

The Future of IT

One of the co-founders of Infogram, Raimonds Kaže, states in the video: “The most important aspect is looking ahead, making sure that future generations will be less prejudiced than the current one on what roles a person can and should play in society.” This statement perfectly captures the intention many people have when trying to make the world a more inclusive place. We all want to make a difference for the current and especially for future generations. Consequently, taking action now will result in better results tomorrow. 

A better world is a more inclusive world,” affirms Reinis. And without a doubt, an inclusive and diverse environment will benefit people, businesses, organizations, and society as a whole. And it’s up to us to make that change for the better.

Now Riga Tech Girls announced a new program called “Get to know technology” that will take place from the 9th of August until the 27th of October, 2022. The program aims to educate women on technologies and help them develop digital literacy.