Over the years, women have changed the world and played a considerable role in accelerating techno-scientific progress through innovation and science. And behind the things that make our lives easier today are inventions that belong to many women. For example, modern medicine experienced significant progress after the one-handed medical syringe was created. Wireless transmissions, bulletproof vests and solar panels are other important things that make our existence easier being invented by women. In order to encourage and support women to be as involved as possible in the field of information technologies, to choose jobs in the IT industry and to learn about new professional opportunities, the “Tech Women Summit 2022” was held in Chisinau. The third edition was attended by the president of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, special guests from the country and abroad, women from the IT field, but also enthusiasts who want to develop a profession in this industry.
In her speech, President Maia Sandu spoke about female leadership in government positions, the need for women to actively participate in decision-making processes, but also the importance of their training and involvement as actively as possible in the political, social and economic life of the country.
Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova: “Involvement is the most important element, mutual encouragement and support is the second most important thing and what you are doing here is part of these two strong points. I think we need to show more solidarity, between us, women. It is important to share the experience and knowledge we have. It is work for all, because we have a long way to go before, we can succeed in building a free and prosperous country. I want to come with a tip that helped me too, it’s easier to overcome difficulties when you do things with passion. It can help you even when the conditions are dire, if you do things with passion, if you have the feeling of contributing to the common good, then no trial is too great.”
The third edition of the summit brought together an impressive community of women interested in IT, leaders in key industries who talked about their path to success, as well as the decision to choose the tech industry.
Katarina Fried, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova: “There is a demand for women in the IT field, and we must ensure that we create the necessary conditions for them to remain in the field. I believe that all of you, who are present in this room, are inspiring women, model women who can contribute to the even greater development of this network. Let’s try to make changes for the better, to have a future based on values, sustainability and innovation, and to make this journey possible, we need many different skills.”
Andrea Cuzyova, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Moldova: “Moldova’s experience in STEM education, the professions of the future, is an example for European countries and I congratulate you for it. But we still know that only 31% of jobs in the IT sector are occupied by women who earn 33% less than men. Gender equality in STEM fields is a goal in itself for us, for the Moldovan authorities, as well as for the tech community. We must support girls and women to have the opportunity to enter and succeed in this very important sector.”
Svetlana Andries, UN Women Moldova program specialist: “In the Republic of Moldova, the choice of a profession is considerably influenced by gender roles. Girls tend to choose specializations in fields with a humanistic profile, philology, political science, social sciences, social assistance, etc., which are less paid than those in STEM fields, where mostly men enroll. This is why we support various programs to empower women in IT. One of them is “Women in Online Work”, a program that encourages women from the Republic of Moldova to develop the necessary skills to work in this sector – either to start a profession from scratch or to improve their already acquired skills. Starting from April, this program expanded its scope of activity to women and girls from Ukraine who currently live in the Republic of Moldova.”
In recent years, the ICT women’s community has developed around the Tekwill project, which has implemented dozens of initiatives in the field, and more than 45 percent of the beneficiaries are women.
Irina Oriol, Tekwill deputy coordinator: “The IT industry in the Republic of Moldova has demonstrated excellence and growth at a very fast pace, which requires talents, and the talents are also available to women. If we look at today’s community, the average age of young women is under 30, which tells us that in 10 years, we will have even more talented women in this field. We are absolutely convinced that together we can demonstrate that we have great potential for the information technology industry.”
Stefanie Ciutac, coordinator and president of “TechWomen Moldova”: “Since its establishment, the TechWomen Moldova community has managed to organize over 20 events and initiatives in which approximately 2400 women have participated. One of our initiatives is also the mentoring program – a 3-month program, which involves the involvement of several IT experts, mentors, who dedicate their time and knowledge to several participants, so that they can re-profile themselves in this field later. This year, we registered a record number of graduates of the mentorship program. 60 girls and women wanted to accumulate as much knowledge as possible in this field, and 10 of them managed to get a job in the IT field immediately after completing the program.”
The participants of the event had the opportunity to meet and benefit from the exchange of experience from professionals from the international IT industry. Representatives of Silicon Vailey’s Mixbook and Pentalog Europe&Asia are just some of the big names that attended the event. In total, more than 300 girls and women attended the event and had the chance to be inspired and explore professional opportunities. During the summit, workshops were also organized in three sets, in the fields: QA Manual, QA Automation, DevOps, Big Data, Scrum/Agile, Product Development, where the latest trends, progress and innovative visions were presented.
“Tech Women Summit 2022” was organized with the support of strategic partners, such as: Sweden, the Delegation of the European Union, UN Women, UNDP, SlovakAid, Tekwill, ATIC, iHub, and private companies in the IT field: Mixbook, Extole, Stefanini, Amdaris , Pentalog, Orange Systems, Enspire Creative, Paynet, OF4.
“Tech Women Summit 2022” is a platform dedicated to women of any age, both students and employees, who want a career change. The event aims to encourage them to choose professions in IT, a field that requires various skills – creativity, organization, analysis and logic. Tech Women was launched in 2018 with the support of the “Tekwill” project, funded by USAID and Sweden. The initiative aims to strengthen the knowledge of women in technology and bring professionals together to share their knowledge, best practices, but also to motivate other girls and women to pursue a career in IT.