From my experience, a lot of young people (same as I was) go through sort of a crisis in their life of not knowing how to find their passions and a job they would love. I took a risk and did a complete 180 in my education choices and it rewarded me with the best job I have ever dreamed of. My new dream is to encourage women to live life bravely and take risks by trying new things based on their passion rather than social norms.

IT development lets the best parts of me shine – that’s my biggest inspiration

Reflecting on my own educational journey, during the later years of school, my focus was primarily on biology and chemistry, with little consideration for IT-related subjects. My aspirations leaned toward entering the medical field, and I was accepted to study obstetrics at LSMU. However, as time progressed, I discovered a passion for continuous learning and creativity, leading me to reassess my career path. Despite initially being drawn to the medical profession, I found myself increasingly intrigued by the possibilities within the tech industry, where innovation and creativity are combined. And to my surprise, front-end development brings the best in both worlds. I was introduced to coding by my friends and started to study Multimedia technology at KTU. So I went from women dominated field (midwifery) to a men-dominated field (it developing). So my biggest inspiration is that IT development lets the best parts of me shine. It combines my creativity and passion for learning in the best way and I am thriving.

How long have you been in this industry, and how do you think the IT industry has evolved in terms of gender diversity and inclusivity over the years?

I am counting 5 years as a hired developer and 2 years of individual learning. I have seen the shift of women being more empowered to be brave and to start looking in the direction of IT. But to be fair I always felt like I belonged even though at times I was the only woman in the team. Regarding more women working in my field, I have yet to feel a big change in the number of new employees still the vast majority are still men. Although my friend is currently working as a web developer where the majority of the team are women, from my experience is more of an exception and not the rule.

What is essential for excelling as a developer?

Having the right attitude is crucial in any field, especially in the world of technology. Being open to trying new things and embracing change and innovation are key traits that set successful people apart. While technical skills can be learned, it’s the enthusiasm for learning and adapting that truly puts one at an advantage. By cultivating a genuine excitement for learning, people not only stay ahead of the curve but also approach challenges with a positive mindset, leading to greater personal and professional growth.

This might help you to succeed as a developer:
  • Having the right attitude.
  • Being excited about learning.
  • Openness to try new things.
  • Being excited about change and innovations. 
What are some key challenges that might hold up the participation of women in IT fields?

Systemic issues of women not being encouraged to be brave and to live life with a head held high. I think the IT field is special because the majority of people working here are very conscious and will be welcoming. We need to believe in ourselves more because we are smart, passionate, and capable.

What are some key challenges that might hold up the participation of women in IT fields?

I can not talk about all women because I think we are all so different and wonderful in our own way. But I greatly benefit from my communication skills, from my experience with working with patients. And I daily benefit from all these years of crocheting, sewing, and so on. It helps me to look at daily problems from different angles and be open to new solutions.

Have you encountered any unconscious bias or gender stereotypes in your career, and how have you addressed them?

It is really difficult to identify if something happens did it happen because of gender or because of something else. I just always like to assume the best about people and not take things personally. But I think that there are some biases in all of us because of how deeply it was engraved in our society that women are less than. Luckily I think IT is one of those fields where people try to be conscious and are open to diversity.

I wish you to be confident and brave. Believe in yourself because I did not believe I could but I did, and so can you. Of course, you will face challenges, but try to enjoy the ride because the time we are given on this earth is short and we can not afford to leave wondering what if.

Ieva Šlipaitienė

This article was written by a Front-End Developer in TeleSoftas. For more insights, follow her on Linkedin – Ieva Šlipaitienė.