Women who change the world with technology


Written by Kreete

March 08, 2023 | 8 min read

In the past year, Thorgate has employed more women than men. Since switching to hybrid working, the IT company is at its peak regarding the number of women working at Thorgate. The women at Thorgate got together for a discussion on everyday challenges and opportunities that women in IT face, here is an excerpt from the discussion that we believe the entire industry should be having.

The everyday challenges and opportunities

According to the 2022 Women in the Workplace study, it was found that women are now seeking more from their jobs and are leaving their employers at an unprecedented rate to achieve it. A modern woman has become more aware of her abilities and is more demanding of the recognition that she deserves. Nevertheless, according to the study, women leaders are 2x as likely as men leaders to be mistaken for someone more junior and 37% of women have experienced a coworker getting credit for their idea, compared to 27% of men in the same position.

“As a society, we have come a long way within the last 100 years regarding women in the work field, but there is still much to do,” says marketing specialist Kreete Mi Rand when asked about the challenges. “In Estonia, the pay gap is one of the highest compared to the rest of Europe which is a problem and should not be forgotten until it is solved. In my opinion, we have more unqualified men being paid more than women in the same position and with more experience and better qualifications.”

“I have not been in this field for a while, but it seems to me that as a woman you still have to prove yourself in order to gain favour. Personally, I have not encountered gender inequality at work within Thorgate but it is true that I can feel it at some client or cooperation partner meetings,” adds Waybiller’s Customer Success Manager Külli Kerem. “My work can get very technical, and apparently better knowledge of this field is expected from men. So far, I have managed to solve complex situations and perhaps change opinions,” she adds on a positive note.

“Perhaps this makes me naive but I am relieved to answer no,” says HR assistant Teele-Riin Raja about the experience with inequality at the workplace. “I must confess that I was biased by my surprise that women would want to be, say, maintenance technicians in my prior job in the manufacturing sector,” she adds.

Project Manager Johanna Valge admits that inequality has not disappeared: “Luckily in this day, we can actually take female figures as role models. Women who have come a long way in IT with their willpower and courage, not only in the world but also here in Estonia. Personally, I would look at it as an opportunity to be different, to prove myself and to fill those gaps that men cannot fill.”

Thorgate’s Key Account Manager Evelin Mutli adds that it should not be important if you are a man or a woman. “A person in the IT sector should be interested in innovation, eager to always learn more, and share their knowledge with the clients. Definitely, it is not a job only for men and no woman should be scared to make her dreams come true in IT,” she says.

The modern women in the IT industry

A vast majority of women prefer remote or hybrid work to being fully on-site—and this preference is about more than flexibility. “Being responsible for hiring and onboarding people for our company, I can see that the amount of women in IT isn’t as low as one would think,” says Thorgate’s CCO Grete Kungla and adds: “The difference between men and women is that women are a lot shyer about their skills and knowledge. What has changed in the overall perspective of being an IT woman is that, unlike many other sectors, IT lets you choose your own time and place of work, therefore the internal struggle of “career vs family” isn’t as big of a struggle as it might’ve been years ago.”

Most Thorgate women do agree that the dominance of men in the IT industry is still very high. Andra Sooneste, the customer success manager at our logistics spin-off Waybiller added, “It is not a secret that the tech industry has been male-dominated, and still is, but luckily several myths about IT, like women are not suited for the roles, IT is all about coding etc, have been broken and more women have joined and are joining the sector. Today women in IT cover different roles: they work in both technical and non-technical positions.”

Kreete adds: “I feel that the rise of start-ups and technology companies have been more male-dominated in the past but it is refreshing to see that more and more women have risen up to the challenge, been promoted to more senior roles and are more in magisterial positions compared to how the industry looked ten years ago. I am inspired by the examples we have today and I am positive that the industry not only has but will continue to grow, learn and improve as there are more powerful women choosing the technology sector every day.”

thorgate women

Values that support the environment

To support growth, development and equality in a work environment, Thorgate has designed a value system.

“I chose Thorgate for its values,” says Teele, “The one value that resonates with me the most is honesty. No matter how harsh the truth is, I want to hear it. It has been with me since my childhood when I felt the information was being withheld from me despite the fact that I could see something was wrong. I must admit, some of our operations meetings on Friday mornings have been intense, but I prefer us not to beat around the bush.”

Other women also highlight honesty and transparency. “I was truly surprised when I joined to see that it is a company where communication is so transparent that it doesn’t create overhead and prevents problems,” says Kreete. “It was also refreshing to see that it is a company that doesn’t advertise itself with a “no BS policy” but rather lives and breathes it naturally. It is important that the culture and values align with my own and that there is mutual trust between the company and the employee.”

“I would definitely point out transparent communication on the part of the management,” adds Johanna. “Also, involvement in issues concerning employees. But no less important for me is a friendly, development-supporting environment and a pushy attitude in a good way, which motivates every personality in the system to be the best version of themselves, with all their quirks and peculiarities, because this is how the company itself is enriched and grows.”

Evelin says that being transparent is also emphasised in the communication with the clients: “In Thorgate, the focus is on quality and transparent communication with the employees and clients. We have one of a kind company culture as Thorgate is always ready to support growth and listen to its employees. It is very important for me that the employer would be supportive, praise and notice the smallest achievements, and have dedicated smart people - and this is something that Thorgate has.”

“For an employer, I consider it important that goals and culture are in place and that they are not just written on paper, but also followed,” says Külli. “Also, honest and direct communication with employees creates a better team feeling and trust. The employer should definitely think through their values, clearly communicate them and, of course, act on them.”

In addition to honesty and transparency, Andra and Grete bring out flexibility in the group. “A supportive team, learning and development opportunities, workplace flexibility, work-life balance and competitive remuneration are the things that are important to me in an employer. A great company culture is one where there is respect, trust, involvement, teamwork and communication. Thorgate seems to have it all,” says Andra. Grete adds that learning opportunities are another great perk. “We are open to ideas, we take different thoughts into account and if something is well proven, then act on them as well. We have a lot of different ways to keep learning, but we are also open to trying and failing,” she says.

Know your worth and make it double

Powerful women have a way of lifting up other women. Thorgate ladies share their encouraging words in the hope to inspire others. Külli endorses women to appreciate their abilities: “If you do what you like and you have knowledge and skills in that field, then there is no reason for anyone to treat you differently. Go ahead with confidence!”

“Staying true to yourself and knowing your worth is the key - never split the difference when it comes to negotiating pay, workload and working conditions,” says Kreete. “Learning to stand up for yourself and ask what you’re really worth is something that I am still learning myself.

Oftentimes I underestimate myself and I can see that among my female friends as well. Of course, there are times when I have felt that people don’t trust my opinion in certain situations but these are the circumstances when standing your ground is more crucial than ever (but also considering the big picture and knowing when to speak up).”

Grete advises staying true to oneself. “Don’t try to change your attitude or any personality traits to “fit in” - just do what you’re good at and keep on learning,” she says.

Staying hungry is supported by others as well. “Don´t underestimate yourself, believe in yourself, make yourself heard and keep learning,” says Andra and Evelin adds: “Be humble, eager to learn, proactive, and confident.”

Assessing skills and values is a key to success for Johanna: “Being a woman in the IT industry is an opportunity to be different. I recommend looking in the mirror and finding your values and skills, be they soft or hard skills, to fill in gaps that others don’t.”

“The IT industry is diverse, dynamic and full of both obstacles and opportunities,” concludes Teele. “IT serves to make people’s lives easier and we at Thorgate believe it has the potential to improve the world. Because IT encompasses a wide range of roles, I think that everyone, regardless of gender, can find their place here.”

Thorgate is a group of IT companies providing innovation and investments to change the world with technology. We help best-in-class companies build digital products to automate processes and access our innovative solutions like Waybiller to boost efficiency. Using this know-how and capital, we invest in like-minded, tech-oriented startups and individuals passionate about Python. Today, Thorgate is one of the finest product companies in the Nordics and the Baltics leading with quality Python development.

Get to know more about Thorgate’s company culture by downloading our culture book here: and take a look at our open positions at