The registration for Q Mentoria is now open

The IT industry is facing significant challenges regarding diversity and equality. Recruiting more women is necessary for the industry’s survival and development. Q Mentoria is now launching a new mentoring program that offers women and non-binary individuals exciting opportunities to explore tech and IT.

Anna Edstedt och Lily Tsui.
Peter Hellgren, vd på Consid.

– The lack of diversity in the IT industry is a long-standing problem, and it is everyone’s responsibility to work towards a more inclusive industry. Q Mentoria aims to give more people the opportunity to discover what a career in IT can mean while also gaining inspiration and experience from others in the industry, says Peter Hellgren, CEO of Consid.

IT and tech have come to play an increasingly crucial role in today’s society and world. We see a development where automation, the Internet of Things, and AI have become a natural part of people’s everyday lives. It involves everything from the development of smart homes and self-driving cars to automated decisions about interest rates and infrastructure.

At the same time, the IT industry today consists of only about 30% women, and the industry is often described as masculine, exclusive, and difficult for women to break into. The underrepresentation of women not only affects the industry itself but is also a threat to gender equality in society. In a survey conducted by Sifo in January 2023, one in five young women reported that they feel that the technology they use in their daily lives is not as adapted for them as it is for men.

The equality platform Q by Consid is working to change the image of IT and open up for a more inclusive and equal IT industry. Through the mentoring program Q Mentoria, they want to give more young women and non-binary individuals the chance to explore their interest in technology and demonstrate the opportunities that a career in IT and tech can offer.

– There are endless opportunities in tech! Whether you want to program games or save the world from climate destruction, the answer is a career in tech, and that is what we want to give more people the chance to explore through Q Mentoria, says Anna Edstedt, sustainability strategist and head of Q by Consid.

Within Q Mentoria, mentors and mentees are matched based on expectations for the mentoring program, skills, and interests, all to make the collaboration as good as possible. The mentoring program, which is entirely free to participate in, runs over 5 months between January to May and August to December. During this period, mentors and mentees meet at least once a month, and the meetings can take different forms depending on the mentee’s wishes and needs.

– We are targeting girls, women, and non-binary individuals from high school and up. It can be people who are studying something technology-related or already working in the IT industry. But we also welcome people who have no previous relationship with IT and tech. The most important thing is that there is a curiosity for the field,  says Lily Tsui, project manager and head of Q Mentoria.

The reason for the lack of women in the IT industry is not primarily due to a lack of interest in technical professions. According to the latest nationwide report from communication agency Insight Intelligence, the figures show that it is rather the industry itself that discourages women. Seven out of ten women say they can imagine working in IT-related professions, but six out of ten say they do not want to work in the IT industry. At the same time, 9% of women say they lack a female role model in IT and tech. Through Q Mentoria, they want to give more people the opportunity to meet other women working in tech to show that the industry is for everyone.

– There is an outdated image of what IT entails and it’s often a very narrow view presented by people working in tech. Yes, there are fewer women working in the IT industry, but there are also many highly competent and fantastic female role models, and it’s very important to highlight them. Otherwise, the risk is that the mantra “there are no women in tech” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, says Anna Edstedt.

Q Mentoria is available throughout Sweden, and registration for the autumn mentoring period is now open.

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