Finnish tech superstar Milja Köpsi a panelist in Women´s economic empowerment webinar

Finnish tech superstar Milja Köpsi a panelist in Women´s economic empowerment webinar

On Tuesday, May 18 at 9 am EDT Embassy of Finland, Global Affairs Canada and University of Ottawa organize a webinar ”Advancing Women´s and Girls´ Rights: Harnessing Technology and Innovation to Support Women´s Post-Pandemic Economic Empowerment”. One of the great panelists is Milja Köpsi, who received a Nordic Women in Tech Prize last year, on top of having repeatedly been on various Most Influential People in Tech lists.

Milja Köpsi

What comes to mind when you think of a coder? For many of us, the stereotype is a young man, single, with awkward social skills and no life outside work. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Milja Köpsi has seen it first hand.

Köpsi is an award-winning coordinator for Mimmit koodaa: A program in Finland that encourages women to work in IT and companies to hire women. In their massive training sessions, she has met thousands of women, eager to get back into IT.

Yes, you read it correctly: back into IT. In the early days, coding was considered something best suited for talented women who payed attention to details - kind of like needlepoint or knitting. It was only after WW2 when coding was made into a Man’s Job: high-paying engineering work.

”There are still so many old stereotypes and limiting beliefs deciding our career choices,” says Köpsi. But if parents, teachers and career counsellors don’t know about the possibilities, how could they guide girls to find meaningful and fulfilling careers in technology?”

Milja Köpsi believes women bring diverse views, different experiences and new solutions. ”Basically, every company is now a software company. Online stores, healthcare, banks and accounting firms, transport companies and travel agencies, not to mention Netflix, Facebook and Tinder - they all use technology to function,” Köpsi points out. ”All kinds of people use software for work and fun - shouldn’t there be all kinds of people designing it, too?”

And the work is not all about coding: somebody has to design the visuals, think about accessibility, online security, user-friendliness, front-end and back-end.. ”It’s about problem-solving and finding new solutions,” says Milja Köpsi. ”Why wouldn’t women be good at that?”

More info and registration to the webinar hereLink to another website.