Diana Unander and Natasha Asimiadis, founders of WiTech. Photo: Niklas Gustavsson
The female IT network WiTech has grown from 0 to 200 active members during its first year. Today, women from over 40 companies in Kronoberg and Kalmar region attend WiTech’s tech talks and casual afterworks. On November 24, WiTech arranged an anniversary event at Sigma Technology’s new office in ICON, Växjö.
Natasha Asimiadis, information manager at Sigma Technology Solutions, is the co-founder of the network together with Diana Unander, Research and Project Coordinator at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology at Linnaeus University.
“A year ago, I couldn’t even imagine that there were so many women working in the IT industry here. During these 12 months, we got so much support and attention. This inspires me to continue and develop the network,” shares Natasha Asimiadis.
Learn, exchange knowledge, and network with WiTech
WiTech has three main goals: inspire future generations of girls to choose IT, create more female role models, and become a meeting place for students and women working in IT.
To achieve these goals, WiTech arranges different kinds of events:
Tech talk is an inspirational seminar, where WiTech invites female experts in different areas as speakers. During 2018, WiTech arranged ten tech talks. The topics vary a lot – from continuous delivery, social interaction robots, Lean UX, entrepreneurship, to takeaways from Women in Tech conference, recruiting women in IT and Tech, game development, and diversity in IT.
Casual afterworks is WiTech’s way to create a meeting place for women in the region. That’s where women in IT can network, make new contacts, and create great opportunities together. Casual afterworks are currently organized in Växjö and Kalmar.
To inspire future generations, WiTech arranges lectures at schools. The network members visit different education establishments in the region and share their stories of how they chose IT.
“We have also started a student ambassador program in schools. This helps us to share information about the network and arrange student visits to IT companies in the region. We are also partners with GoTech, IGEDay, Hello World, and Kodkollektivet,” shares Natasha.
WiTech celebrated the sponsors of the network: Sigma Technology, Visma, LeoVegas, Play’n Go, and Södra. Photo: Niklas Gustavsson
200% funding on Kickstarter
As a non-profit organization, WiTech decided to start a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter in spring 2018. The network was still very new and the decision to try Kickstarter felt venturesome—if Natasha and Diana don’t reach 100% of the goal, the Kickstarter project wouldn’t be funded at all. After 30 days, WiTech raised SEK 134,000, 200% of the goal they set. This proved once again how relevant the network is for the region.
Sigma Technology became, of course, one of the gold sponsors of WiTech.
“WiTech is working towards an important goal—making the IT industry more equal and innovative. By 2022, Sweden will lack 70,000 IT experts. If we are to become a digital nation, we need to attract future generations to work with IT, and especially girls. We see this female network as a meeting place where women—both the ones who work in IT and the ones who are not yet there—can network and find great cooperation opportunities together. This is essential to make IT business more equal and successful in the long run. We are proud to support WiTech,” says Niklas Malmros, CEO at Sigma Technology Solutions.
Decided to celebrate the anniversary with a family day
On Saturday, November 24, WiTech decided to have a big celebration, where everyone was welcome—our members, their families, and friends. The agenda included a programming course from Hello World, programming courses for kids aged 10-18, interactive activities from Mattefredag, an initiative of Linnaeus University andBaltic Institute of Mathematics, and a tech talk with Helena Collin who shared her story and talked about entrepreneurship. Teknikum, a leading tech high school in Växjö, came to WiTech’s events with their robots that all participants, and especially kids, got to test.
“For Linnaeus University, the network has become a great platform for our female students and researchers to network and share knowledge with women from industry and other organizations. WiTech also inspires girls and women to choose IT and helps us to recruit more females to our programs,” says Diana.
National network by 2021
The network plans to grow and become nation-wide by 2021. The first event outside Kronoberg and Kalmar region is planned in Gothenburg in 2019.
Would you like to be a part of the first Female IT Network? Find more information at witech.nu.
For more information, please, contact:
Natasha Asimiadis, Co-founder of WiTech, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nataly Duyko, PR & Communications Manager at Sigma Technology, email@example.com.