#TechElevateHER: Empowering Women in Tech

Remember when we posted about #TechElevateHER on the day of girls in ICT? Here is a gathered experience post as Meri is heading to the last weekend of the program in Copenhagen!  Hope you gain some insights on how women in tech can achieve careers on par with men!

#TechElevateHER is a fully-funded tech and entrepreneurship mentorship course for 40 young Nordic women powered by GeekGirlMeetup, a leading Swedish tech NGO, and TikTokNordic. Participants are tech and entrepreneurship minded with the goal of increasing female participation in the tech and entrepreneurship industry as well as dismantle barriers and promote diversity. The course combines meetings, in-person and online, and mentorship to provide new perspective, career ideas, and an unique experience to the participants.

Breaking Barriers for Women in Tech

I’m proud that I’ve been selected as one of the participants of #TechElevateHER. My goal for the participation is to get new connections (as some incredible friends), learn from the leading Nordic women already achieving their own careers, and to explore my own talents and how to use them while being a woman in the tech industry. 

Codemate's Meri Piirainen at #techelevatingher
Codemate’s Meri Piirainen is one of the selected participants of #TechElevateHER.

Women occupy only 22% of tech roles in Europe. This lack of women can also be seen in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) studies as 18% drop from school to university, and an additional 15% from university to workforce (Blumberg et al, 2023). Through #TechElevateHER the organizers see potential to make the tech field more attractive to young women. Speakers like Eleonora Svanberg Cambridge MsC, Oxford PhD Student, Liv Sandberg General Manager at TikTok GBS Central Europe & Nordic, and Yvonne Pernodd Vice President Europe at Business Sweden highlight the need to stay in the tech field and how important it is for us women to stay confident within the man-dominated fields.

We’re incredibly proud and excited to bring together so many prominent female experts from the Nordics to share their knowledge and experience as speakers and mentors through TechElevateHER. Their dedication is key to motivating and supporting the next wave of young women in technology and entrepreneurship, says Heidi Harman, Founder and Head of Strategic Partnerships at GeekGirl Meetup.

Inspiring the Next Generation

The course started in Stockholm, Sweden in March with a weekend full of getting to know others, inspirational talks, and a little coding workshop. Seeing how young women from different backgrounds came together to learn more about today’s topics, including success keys for international companies, studying STEM even when feeling stupid, and gender equality, was truly inspirational and I got to leave the event with a huge smile and a mind full of ideas.

The course includes weekends in all Nordic capitals, some attended online and some in-person. As I’m living in Norway I’m able to attend all possible cities in-person to meet all the amazing lecturers and participants. Mentorship is also an important part of our starting career. From our mentors’ we are to learn and hear about career related topics of our choice.

Today, we understand that organizations and companies embracing diversity are often more profitable and achieve higher performance. Despite this knowledge, there remains an urgent need for greater representation in the tech sector and among the cohort of startup founders. TechElevteHER aims to reduce barriers and inspire more women to venture into the tech landscape in their own unique way, drawing inspiration from incredible role models and mentors, says Liv Sandberg, General Manager at TikTok GBS Central Europe & Nordic.

The program has a theme to focus on each weekend. Helsinki focused on programming and different ways of learning. We got to hear about Hive Helsinki, a programming school without any teachers or lectures but purely focusing on peer-to-peer learning guiding students to “future-proofed career”. Helsinki taught the participants more about collaborative learning, and Oslo weekend focused on entrepreneurship with a hint of user experience design on product development.

As an experience, this journey has been eye-opening to new ideas and career aspects. Here are some main thoughts that have stayed with me through different speakers we have heard in the program.

Learning that you can study the field you’ve chosen and still be able to combine it with different areas is something that I’ll keep in mind when thinking of where to use my software engineering studies. 

Having an open mind and being true to yourself will help you go forward with your career. And when combining your passions the world will open the right path for you. 

Women really are underrepresented in tech & STEM fields but with some structural changes in these fields and the example shown to younger people, there is potential for more women staying in the tech industry. This is something I would like to work on achieving in my studies to gain much needed girl power into the man-dominated field.

Embracing the Journey

Overall the experience has made me realize how important it is that I’m studying and working towards a tech career. The world needs more women in tech and if I could act as an example or inspiration to someone else wondering if they could fit in the tech industry, I would be glad to take the role! All the girls attending #TechElevateHER are happy to be chosen as the first patch of young women to show their way through the tech industry -in many different ways.

Keep up what’s happening at Codemate! Follow us on Instagram, X and LinkedIn!

More stories

Check our blog for more interesting content

See all