The most important thing is to be encouraged and supported by people around you

Our web developer Annika Niittylä also works as a program manager in Women in Tech Finland.

“I ended up working in Women in Tech through my other activities in the student organizations of Aalto University. Initially I joined Teekkaritytöt, now known as Women of Aalto, to get to know students outside of my own study field”, she tells.

Organizing events and company visits in an inspiring group gave her more self-confidence to take on more challenging responsibilities.

“When Women in Tech was looking for members for an operative team, I joined the team to learn something new from working with a large company network and to work with topics that matter to me.”

Women in Tech Week is here

Women in Tech Week is taking place 7–11 October 2019. The whole week is dedicated to Women in Tech events and it culminates in the Women in Tech Forum – an international one-day event held on 11 October 2019 in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki.

”This year the topic of the Forum is ”Impact Our Future” and we have defined several perspectives to discuss it: living environments, climate change, and health and wellbeing. The event is free of charge and costs are covered by sponsoring companies”, Niittylä says.

She is looking forward to attending workshops, listening to pitches by finalists of the WIT Voice speaker competition and spending a day with inspiring people. And, of course, seeing the result of their teamwork.

”I’ve been working in the operative team for one and half years now. My tasks have been basically everything from selling sponsor packages, coordinating side events, updating the website, communicating with sponsoring companies, and helping with defining the topic and mission of Forum. Sometimes it has felt like running my own company.”

Forum is the main event of Women in Tech Week. All the rest of the week is filled with smaller events, such as breakfast dates, meet-ups, and afterwork events which everyone can attend.

Forum and the side events are not only for women, but for everyone irrespective of gender and background.

“The objective is to gather people from different backgrounds with a keen interest in the future of business and technology. However, when Women in Tech was founded in 2012, the main question was how to encourage more women to work and study in the field of technology. Now, shifts in attitudes have been enlarged to cover the topic more widely: all resources and all kinds of diversity lead to better innovations, new perspectives, and success of Finland.”

Supported by colleagues

What does it feel like working in a field dominated by men?

“I’ve always found this as a funny question and even more funnier answering it in that I’ve enjoyed it very much. When I was in high school, I got used to being among the few girls in physics classes. Most of the time I was struggling with difficult homework, but I still continued following my interests, and ended up studying first bioinformation technology and then computer science at Aalto University”, she answers.

She feels that she has been supported at the right moments. When she was applying to Aalto, one of her best friends was preparing herself for an entrance exam to another university with the same topics.

“Here at FNS, I’ve been supported by my colleagues and their supportive attitude has made me feel that I can handle challenging tasks in web development, but still being true to myself. That’s why I think the most important thing in study and working life, is not the question about who is dominating the field, but to be encouraged and supported by people around you.”

Read more about Women in Tech: womenintech.fi