“Cooperation and networking are essential for all of us because our networks can grow, we can help more women, and companies can take a stand for equality. Our collaboration completes a life cycle,” the conclusion voiced by several networks during the panel discussion at Female Network Forum in Gothenburg, the first joint platform for female tech networks and initiatives in the Gothenburg region. The first event took place at Lindholmen on February 27th, 2019.
Female Network Forum is the first joint platform for female tech networks and initiatives in the Gothenburg region. The idea of the forum is to open doors to different organizations and communities and become a unique gathering place for women in technology.
“When we were planning the event, we couldn’t anticipate how much attention the event will get. We got fully booked in less than a week, and we had over 100 people on the waiting list. Last week, we gathered 200 participants at our first Female Network Forum, and it felt truly amazing,” shares Jessica Mitrosbaras, one of the organizers and Unit Manager at Sigma Technology Solutions.
“Female Network Forum is an ultimate ‘win-win’ platform. On the one hand, we have networks and organizations that get a chance to present themselves, attract new members, and find new partners. On the other hand, we have women who are interested in technology and come to Female Network Forum for inspiration, information about different forums and activities in their city, and new contacts outside their regular network,” adds Nataly Duyko, co-organizer and PR Manager at Sigma Technology.
Four female tech networks joined the panel discussion during Female Network Forum – Women in IT, WiTech, Pink Programming, and Sigma Smart Women Society. Although the networks operate in different ways, they all share the same vision and background – they want to break the stereotype image of an engineer, create a platform for inspiration, and encourage more women to become role models.
When discussing how to attract more girls to technology, the networks highlighted the importance of mentorship, encouraging role models, and changing the stereotypes.
Photo: Samaneh Utter (Women in IT), Natasha Asimiadis (WiTech), Beatrice Silow (Sigma Smart Women Society), Nawar Alkurdi (Pink Programming), Madeleine Erlandsson (Pink Programming). Credit: Anna-Karin Hulth
”Women who come to our events share that they didn’t understand the huge variety of things you can do as a programmer. Some of them decided to change their careers and focus on software development,” says Nawar Alkurdi, Project Leader for Pink Programming in Gothenburg. She has encouraged women to become role models:
“There are stereotypical images of what is needed to become a programmer, and what kind of people ‘can develop software’. This is something that we can change together through sharing different pictures of a developer, showing the diversity of interests and personalities in the industry.”
Samaneh Utter, a software developer who built up a network Women in IT, believes that it is crucial to share real-life examples of how technology changes the world to get more women in the industry:
“I think we need to show what problems technology can solve in society. Real life examples can help young girls and boys understand how technology actually changes the world, and why programming is interesting and cool.”
Susanne Staaf, COO at 1928 Diagnostics, took over the stage after the panel discussion and inspired the audience to become leaders:
“It is fantastic to be here, great energy and very giving discussions from the networks. It was a great pleasure to share the story of 1928 Diagnostics with Female Network Forum participants. Diversity in the industry comes from diverse owners, so I encouraged the participants to take ownership and become leaders, find partnerships, and work on growing their networks, something that they can definitely do via Female Network Forum,” shares Susanne Staaf, COO 1928 Diagnostics.”
Photo: Susanne Staaf, COO 1928 Diagnostics. Credit: Anna-Karin Hulth
Susanne Eliasson and Martina Magnusson Zetterström were among the guests at Female Network Forum. They are also ambassadors for the local network of Teknikkvinnor in West Sweden:
“It was a well-arranged event and great to see so many women gathered together. So interesting to hear other female tech networks sharing the same views and challenges that we face as well. The idea of having a joint forum in Gothenburg where we can gather and learn from each other feels relevant and beneficial for both networks and organizations! Teknikkvinnor Västsverige is a local network for Teknikkvinnor in Göteborg, Borås, and Halmstad. Teknikkvinnor today gather around 27,000 members. We started Teknikkvinnor Västsverige in December and are today close to 700 members. We plan to arrange both offline events and provide an online forum for our members.”
“We would like to thank all the networks, 1928 Diagnostics, and, of course, our guests for a successful first Female Network Forum event. We also thank our partners, Celcius, Innerstaden, Nordic Wellness, Blomsterlandet, Hagabadet, and FAST Sverige for sponsoring goodie bags for our guests,” says Nataly Duyko.
After the successful start and valuable feedback from the participants, Female Network Forum team is now planning the future activities for this forum. Would you like to stay informed and get information about future events? Sign up here: https://sigmatechnology.typeform.com/to/vRWVra
For more information, please contact: Nataly Duyko, PR and Communication Manager at Sigma Technology at +46 725 194 048, firstname.lastname@example.org