We celebrate the beginning of spring with the WiTech newsletter! In this edition, you can read about our events with Consid, Softhouse, Linnaeus University, Sigma Technology Group, IoT Lab, and the interview with the IT Woman of the Year (Linnéregion) Ida Lidholt, among other updates. Check your inbox (take a look at your spam folder, just in case).
We have had a chance to talk to Ida Lidholt, the winner of the IT Woman of the Year award 2023.
What has the award “IT Woman of the Year” meant for you?
It has been great on a personal level to receive recognition for what I do and my knowledge within my field. It is also fun that e-sports is highlighted as part of the technology industry and an obvious actor in our era.
What reactions did you get after the recognition?
The response has been positive, and many people have contacted me whom I had not previously spoken to. Also, getting to know the other finalists has been great fun and educational, especially how they experience their everyday life.
Could you tell us about your way into the tech industry?
I had a non-conventional way into the tech industry. By hanging around with people who enjoyed games, I realized that my colleagues and I could actually make a living out of it.
What will be your advice for the ones just considering a career in IT & Tech?
The tech industry is the future. We are living in the digital era, and the work opportunities and variety of jobs within this field will be massive in the future.
Who are your role models?
I’ve never had a role model, but a person I want to give an extra thank you for everything she does to highlight women in the tech industry is the founder of the prize “Årets IT-kvinna” – Catarina Bachér. She works tirelessly to uplift other women, so the extra spotlight should also be on her!
The Christmas holiday season is upon us, bringing us some time for reflection and finding new inspiration. We have gathered a collection of useful links with communities and articles that may interest you.
Autumn is a great time to start learning, exploring, and finding new inspiration. We have gathered a collection of useful links with articles, communities, and courses that we hope are interesting for you.
What is the current state of female representation in tech? What challenges are there, and how do different companies tackle that? We have collected a few interesting reports for you:
Recently, we have gotten a chance to talk to Hanna Jungvid, a digitalization & transformation expert and entrepreneur. Hanna made a journey from production planner to driving IT transformation projects, starting as an employee and becoming a CEO and founder.
Hanna, tell us about yourself.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Work Science, organizational change, and labor market. I remember how I reflected as a student that we didn’t study much IT, and I felt that information technology would define the future. My curiosity started with a thought on how IT may change work for people. That’s when I decided to complete a course on IT governance and strategy at Gothenburg University.
What have you learned after studying IT?
I have surely broadened my perspective. Oftentimes when we talk about IT, we think about just programming. But it is so much more.
I learned how to assess an organization’s digital maturity and how well digital processes are defined. I have found a like-minded colleague, and we have decided to start a company. We concentrated on LinkedIn and contacted lots of organizations to see if we could help.
After that, we did so much more than the actual digital maturity. For example, I helped Stena Fastigheter set up new KPIs to measure digital transformation and helped Volvo Trucks to leverage master data to make dealers more findable.
Why did you want to start something of your own?
The idea developed over time. It all started as a summer job project since I wanted to explore the aspect of digital transformation more. After the summer, I found myself becoming an independent consultant. I like having control over my finances and being able to define the price for my expertise and services. I am my own boss and can decide what assignments to take.
What do you work on right now?
Apart from being a VP of Operations in my company, I am a project manager and product owner in the project on how to use master data and bring value from it for Volvo Trucks.
I lead development to modernize an existing business application and its organization. We currently introduce the user experience aspect in the product and make sure that the application is integrated with other systems. Basically, we are turning the existing application into something that will be useful for the audience and with minimal dependency issues.
What knowledge helps you with your current challenge?
What I work with now is very specific.
I learned strategies and how organizations work both within IT and outside. This background helps me a lot. Insights I’ve received from the analytics course help me analyze and compile information to be able to draw relevant conclusions.
Do you have any advice for WiTech members?
Before I entered the IT sector, I thought it was hard to understand what it was about. Now I know that it is not that difficult and is as open and exciting as any other sector. Don’t presume IT to be a closed world.
If you are curious – just take the first step. Mine was to take a course.
Try to get connections with people working in IT. This will allow you to enter the sphere more easily and get more insight into opportunities that may be interesting for you.
Top 3 sources of inspiration for you?
Awesome women leading change
Collaboration and exchanging ideas with others
A problem that needs solving
Who is your role model?
I try to pick up small learnings from all people I meet
How can the Ukrainian digitalization journey continue during the war and how can Swedish companies and individuals help both people staying in Ukraine and the ones moving to Sweden? Those were some of the questions discussed during WiTech’s Tech Talk hosted by Sigma Technology in Växjö on March 30. Over 40 participants from local companies, academia, and the public sector attended the event.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the lives of over 44 million Ukrainians, forcing almost 4 million Ukrainians to flee the country, causing thousands of civilian casualties, and creating a humanitarian catastrophe in several major Ukrainian cities.
The strong spirit and dedication of Ukrainians touched the hearts of many people and countries around the world. During this Tech Talk, we talked about the digital transformation that Ukraine has made in recent years and the role of IT, Communication, and Technology in times of war.
“The Ukrainian tech landscape can be described as an IT wonder. Today, the IT industry employs 290,000 people in Ukraine. The country has just over 5,000 IT companies, which account for about four percent of GDP. The country was also the first in the world to introduce a completely digital ID document via its mobile platform Diia,” shares Nataly Lamkén, Board Member of WiTech and CCO at Sigma Technology Group. “The way how Ukrainian IT community is built, with over 20 IT clusters around the country, helps companies unite during the war and together react fast and make a real impact to help the country by donating to humanitarian needs and to theUkrainian army, paying taxes in advance to support the country’s economy, and volunteering supporting the cyber army.”
The evening kicked off with an introduction to the Ukrainian IT landscape and later turned into a panel discussion with Elena Marchenko, Head of Marketing at Sigma Software, and Hanna Khrystianovych, Digitalization Program Manager at Sigma Software. Both Elena and Hanna had to leave Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and are now establishing a new life in Sweden. Sigma Software, part of Sigma Technology Group, has had a thorough business continuity plan since 2014 that includes both evacuation and reallocation. During the first two weeks, the company has evacuated 2800 employees with families to safe places. Today, 95% of employees are working on their projects.
Elena and Hanna shared unique insights on how we can support people in Ukraine.
“Many are now wondering what can be done to help Ukraine and its people. I think it’s giving us the possibility to continue working. Most of my colleagues who stayed in Ukraine find it vital. Both as individuals who want to make their living and do what they are good at. And as citizens who need to support Ukraine’s economy through the war to then be able to rebuild the country,” says Elena Marchenko.
“Continue supporting the country financially, both by raising money and by buying Ukrainian goods and services, hiring Ukrainians. For the Ukrainian refugees who come to Sweden, in addition to housing, food, and clothing, social contacts are important. Being welcomed and introduced to the country means a lot. For example, even meeting over lunch can be a way to help,” adds Hanna Khrystianovich.
Raising the topic of Ukrainian IT and how the country can be supported was an obvious choice for WiTech.
“WiTech’s goals and mission, in addition to networking and creating role models, are also to inform and enlighten. We think it is obvious to highlight and contribute to the dialogue around the situation in Ukraine. And there are many people who want to talk about this and to help, especially in the IT Tech industry, so this is simply a channel to spread awareness,” says WiTech Chairwoman Jeanette Schwartz.
Would you like to join the coming WiTech events? Become a member and follow the network on witech.nu and social media.
WiTech wants to create a meeting platform and networking for both students and companies with the aim of raising female role models and inspiring the younger generation to invest in a career in IT. At present, WiTech has over 200 members representing more than 30 companies in Kronoberg and Kalmar.
WiTech is a non-profit and independent association and is run by a board that brings together representatives from both business and academia. Chairman of the Board Jeanette Schwartz, TietoEvry. Read more at witech.nu.
There is a time of the year when you can get information about all the use of internet, at least all the Swedish use, and that is when Internetstiftelsen, releases its yearly report. This year “Svenskarna och Internet 2021” is no exception, just dig in to all the statistics about how we use internet and tech.
A reflection after reading the “Wizards of the Web – an outsider’s journey into tech, programming and mathemagics”, by Jacob Svensson.
It is interesting to read about the people and companies behind the tech scene and the creators of the tech that provide us with todays daily digital life of algorithms and automated systems. The book is a research report and the author analyses a number of interviews with people (programmers and engineers in tech) and discusses what they are influenced by in their work.
The questions and answers about origin of companies and inspiration show the roots from the culture of hippie, hacker, entrepreneurial, startups, modern, masculinity, suburbian and middle class culture. And contradicting combinations of these cultures. Just by reading the table of content you see the hippie vs startup entrepreneur, prank dude vs quality assurance, asking for help vs self confident.
My reflection is that this book show a quite inclusive view of the programmers world and work. When I started to read the book I was fascinated by the broad range of influence there is in this culture and the explained contradiction between several of the major cultural themes.
I thought I would find more on the topic of female inclusion but as the title says this book has more focus on a discussion of imagination and wizardmaking in mathematics and programming. And that is also an interesting topic.
//written by Nina Månsson at WiTech
Wizards of the Web – an outsider’s journey into tech, programming and mathemagics