Good evening dear Diāna Butina, dear Anna Andersone, dear mentors and mentees,
As always, it is a great pleasure to join your meeting today.
Today marks the end of this year’s mentor program that was realized with the support of Women Go Tech, a movement supporting women in Lithuania’s technology sector, and Google.org.
It was a six-month long program, from January to June 2021, during the dark pinnacle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a mentally and emotionally difficult time, you, dear Riga TechGirls, found the strength to work towards a better and brighter future for girls and women.
160 mentors from Latvia and foreign countries, women and men, donated their knowledge, time and empathy to 260 mentees, mostly women living in Latvia, but also young Latvians living abroad, eager to learn, eager to broaden their horizons in the sector of technology.
These 420 participants voluntarily took part in a new learning experience beyond their professional work, beyond their duties at school, beyond their lessons in university, and beyond their daily tasks at home.
This attitude is admirable and exemplary.
Both sides have benefited from the program.
After these six months, the mentors were able to better understand what really matters to the mentees, how to articulate a complex subject matter to an absolute beginner, and how to guide individually mentees in the direction that is right for them.
On the other hand, the mentees felt comfortable to ask for help or further explanations, were understood and supported in an, until then, unknown area of knowledge, and after six months had the tools to decide if the sector of technology is the right path for them.
Today I want to thank you for all your hard work and wish you a beautiful summer with your family and friends. I hope you can take some time to relax, time to forget about technology, maybe just for a while, and enjoy nature.
But summer will end, and I hope you will return revitalised and full of energy.
Hopefully there will be another mentor’s program next year.
Hopefully many mentors will continue their valuable work.
Hopefully many former mentees will become mentors.
Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you again in autumn.