“It’s not just about recruiting women”

The journey to increasing female representation in IT is pivotal and ongoing. With the award Årets IT-kvinna i Linnéregionen—the “IT woman of the Year” in the Linnaeus region—just around the corner, we’ve sat down with last year’s winner Ida Lidholt for some insights into her latest milestones and learnings from her visits to the LeoVegas Group’s offices in Växjö, Stockholm, and Malta.

A year has passed since you were awarded “Årets IT-kvinna”, IT woman of the Year, in the Linnaeus region. What’s happened since?

“This year has flown by so quickly, yet it has been tremendously enjoyable! Since last November, my company European Speedrunner Assembly has hosted two charity events, raising over 2 million Swedish kronor for the Swedish Alzheimer’s Foundation (Alzheimerfonden). We are now planning our third event for December to support Make-A-Wish International. Currently, for the second time this year, we are collaborating with Echo, one of the world’s most successful esports teams. 

My other business, Smålands Spelhall, moved our arcade to a new venue, three times larger than the previous one, and have consulted for DreamHack twice, managing their entire Retro Area. Additionally, I’ve had the honor of being invited to Prince Daniel’s Entrepreneur’s Day, among other exciting activities in my daily life!”

Digitri’s award “Årets IT-kvinna” aims to inspire more women to join the tech sector. What would you say to women who are considering a career in IT?

“IT is the future, and it’s an expansive field! I believe that almost everyone can find something enjoyable within its scope. It’s also a rapidly evolving area, so if you, like me, love learning new things, this is the field to be in. It’s always in transition, continually advancing, and it keeps us on our toes.”

There’s still quite a gap between the amount of men versus women working in the tech industry (see if you can find a stat for Sweden at least). What can companies do to close the gap? 

“I find it intriguing yet perplexing when children are criticized for playing video games instead of pursuing a “real hobby”. Adults frequently complain about this hobby, and at the same time we struggle to find sufficient manpower in IT. What if, instead, we encourage children to embrace technology from a young age, preparing them for the future that has already arrived?

Additionally, I believe companies must improve and develop their workplace environments. Women should not only feel safe and welcome but also be provided with career opportunities within these companies. It’s not just about recruiting women; it’s crucial to ensure they remain with the company for the long term.”

As the winner, you got to do a “Grand Tour”, visiting LeoVegas Group offices in Växjö, Stockholm, and Malta. What were the key takeaways, and what was your impression of the igaming industry? 

“I was truly impressed by the responsibility that LeoVegas assumes. Just as in esports, it’s easy to concentrate on the negative aspects of igaming while overlooking the positives. Speaking of a good workplace environment, one could practically feel the positive energy and the emphasis on creating a positive work climate for employees at LeoVegas Group!”