April 24, 2018

How female networks have helped me – and how they can help you

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Michelle Cañada

Business Developer Trainee, Tieto

If you asked me how I became interested in Tieto, I would probably surprise you with my answer. It all started when I was in my second year of studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, one of the biggest schools for engineering in Sweden, where women make up around 30% of the student population. In fact, it is no big secret that the gender distribution in technical education is lopsided to say the least.

Whilst my program, Industrial Engineering and Management, was on par with this statistic, programs like IT and Computer Science had even a smaller number of women. Still, I wanted to connect with other young females in my position, so I applied to take part in a year-long female mentorship program. I also sought to join the female network at KTH as a board member.

Brilliant mentor

My mentor was a brilliant woman, who happened to work as a Customer Executive at Tieto. Although I had not imagined myself pursuing a career in IT, I was soon intrigued by the thought after meeting her for the first time. Helping companies on their digital transformation journey sounded like exciting work, as well as a chance to contribute to a smarter society.

My mentor also invited me to visit Tieto’s offices in Stockholm. I immediately loved the design, openness and atmosphere of the workplace and said to myself: “I want to walk through these halls one day.”  She even set me up with a mock interview with a real recruiter at Tieto, so I would learn useful tips and tricks for when I started looking for work. At the same time, I was actively involved in the female network at KTH. Not only did I connect with fantastic women, but I also met people who helped me with recommendations when applying for my first jobs.  

Women of Tieto

The combination of a strong female role model and a support network that offered valuable work experience is probably why I decided to pursue a career in IT at Tieto. I had first-hand experience of how women could inspire each other, and I wanted to fulfill that potential in my new job. That’s why I approached HR about creating a female network in Tieto Sweden and was wildly surprised when they said “Go!”  The more I delved into the matter, the more I learned about Tieto’s initiatives to increase inclusion, which, in turn, made even more proud about my employer. 

The newly founded female network – Women of Tieto Sweden – recently had its first event and it was a tremendous success! We hosted around eighty amazing females, many of whom I have never met before but cannot wait to get to know. Imagine the possibilities when so many women gather, network and share experiences. I know that wonderful things are about to happen, even though we are just getting started. For me, the most important lesson is that when you take a chance on something you believe in, you can empower yourself and others. Together we are stronger!

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