Eglė Čiuoderienė: Pioneering Innovation in Tech and Healthcare Digitalization

We’re excited to chat with Eglė Čiuoderienė, an alumna of Women Go Tech and a standout in the tech world. As founder and CEO of a forward-thinking agency, Eglė has made her mark in various sectors, from healthcare to retail.

Her work spans international markets, including Germany and Korea, and she brings her expertise to the European Commission’s Horizon programs. Eglė’s story is a real inspiration, showing just how far talent and determination can take you in tech.

What inspired you to join Women Go Tech, and what were your career aspirations at that time?

I was in the first Women Go Tech cohort. Before joining the program, I didn’t know what to expect, but I completely trusted Žydrūnė Vitaitė, the founder of WGT, to create a valuable learning and growing experience. At that time, I was leading business development efforts for a company specializing in gaming and immersive media, seeking to deepen my technological expertise due to my non-technical academic background in English philology, science journalism, and integrated communications. 

During this period, I spearheaded a highly ambitious project, collaborating as an associative partner in a consortium focused on pioneering 5G mobile technology. This project was part of a larger initiative aiming to introduce groundbreaking 5G connectivity at a major international winter sports event. Our team developed a mixed reality experience and a detailed 3D model of the event’s village, enhancing the visualization of 5 G’s advantages. 

Lacking prior experience in managing a project of this scale, I am immensely thankful for the mentorship received through the program, particularly the strategic guidance and invaluable advice from an experienced mentor Dr. Darius Misiūnas. His insights were crucial in navigating the challenges of this extensive project, enriching my professional journey and contributing to my growth in the tech industry.

How did mentorship influence your career path? 

Looking back on my career journey, I can confidently say that mentorship has played a pivotal role in shaping my path. From the very beginning, I’ve been fortunate to have wise and supportive individuals who have offered guidance, encouragement, and invaluable insights. 

One of the most impactful mentors I had was Dr. Darius Misiunas. During my time working on a challenging project with the 5G Champion consortium, his strategic advice and mentorship helped me navigate complex situations and overcome obstacles. He instilled in me the importance of strategic thinking, clear communication, and a data-driven approach to problem-solving – skills that I continue to leverage today. 

Mentorship has also played a crucial role in my decision to pursue entrepreneurship. Witnessing the inspiring journeys of other successful founders, coupled with the encouragement and support of my mentors, empowered me to take the leap and launch my own business development and digital creative agency. 

The mentorship I’ve received has not only equipped me with valuable skills and knowledge, but it has also fostered my confidence and resilience. My mentors have challenged me to step outside my comfort zone, embrace new opportunities, and never stop learning. They have believed in me even when I doubted myself, and their unwavering support has been instrumental in my growth and success. 

You’ve made a significant leap from being a mentee to now a Chief Advisor in Healthcare Digitalization. What was this journey like? 

My journey from mentee to Chief Advisor in healthcare digitalization wasn’t a straight shot but a series of stepping stones that honed my expertise and fueled my ambition. This journey has been marked by my involvement in a variety of healthcare projects as an advisor in business development and digitalization. 

This role naturally embedded me within the healthcare community, enabling me to develop solutions based on research data in areas such as digitalization, AI, and the use of secondary data. Furthermore, I have been able to identify opportunities for future technological and strategic business enhancements. 

The most significant milestone for me was founding my own company and assuming complete responsibility for its operations. I took this step only after I was confident that I had acquired comprehensive expertise in the field.

Transitioning careers is often challenging. What were some of the obstacles you faced along the way, especially as a woman in tech, and how did you overcome them?

Navigating a career transition can be particularly daunting in the tech industry, where challenges are a daily reality, especially for women. Initially, one encounters hurdles linked to age, education, and experience, alongside the pressures of being in the minority in a male-dominated field and, later, one’s family status. 

As a woman, you often find yourself multitasking, constantly trying to maintain an equilibrium between professional responsibilities and family obligations. However, the landscape is shifting. Initiatives like the WGT program are instrumental in driving this change. 

Personally, I began to engage more with peers who share similar professional and life circumstances and those who understand the specific challenges I face. Surrounding myself with professionals who align with my core values has been crucial not only for growth but also for reducing stress levels.

As a Chief Advisor in Healthcare Digitalization, what does your day-to-day look like, and what are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

As the founder and CEO of my consulting agency, the role fully engages me at all hours, yet I find it energizing rather than draining. My daily activities revolve around seeking clients and assembling a diverse team ranging from developers to UI/UX experts and social media and advertising professionals. I’m also actively forging strategic partnerships within my industry and overseeing all the core aspects of the business, such as website development, branding, and advertising efforts.

Recognizing the limits of my knowledge, I’ve immersed myself in an intensive course covering Digital Marketing, AI, and no-code web development. This not only broadens my industry insights but also connects me with exceptional professionals and potential future collaborators. Embracing Steve Jobs’ philosophy, I believe in staying “hungry and foolish,” always eager to embrace new learning opportunities, regardless of one’s level of expertise.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give current mentees or women considering joining mentorship programs like Women Go Tech?

Drawing from my journey, I would advise any current mentees or women contemplating mentorship initiatives like Women Go Tech to start by pinpointing three specific challenges they are facing in their professional development. 

Seek out a mentor who has successfully navigated similar hurdles and dive in headfirst. Engage actively—ask questions, participate in events, and absorb the wisdom not only from your mentor but also from the WGT team and fellow mentees. 

Remember, you and your peers are the future trailblazers; investing time in building these connections is invaluable, as these relationships may evolve into business partnerships. It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to embrace change. The tech industry is enthralling, dynamic, and ever-evolving. 

You don’t need to be a coder to make a significant impact. Combine your current skills with the new ones you’ll acquire through WGT to forge an enhanced version of yourself.

Where do you see your career heading in the next 5-10 years?

In the next 5-10 years, my ambition is to cultivate my company into an international enterprise that not only excels in business but also fosters the talents of the future. I place great value on the scientific research dimension, so sustaining an R&D department is a priority. 

Alternatively, venturing into a technology startup within the healthcare sector is a possibility — the future holds many opportunities. Above all, my focus is on maintaining integrity, transparency, and a supportive environment while remaining receptive to fresh opportunities and collaborations.

How do you think we can encourage more women to pursue careers in tech?

We need to cultivate a mindset that says, ‘Yes, I can succeed in this field.’ Initiatives like Women Go Tech are pivotal in providing the encouragement and support necessary for women to step forward, take action, and make significant changes in their careers.

 It’s also important to spread awareness that the tech industry is not a monolith. It’s incredibly diverse, offering a myriad of roles that cater to different skills and interests. Whether it’s software development, data analysis, design, project management, or cybersecurity, there’s a place in tech for everyone. 

Finally, what would be your message to women who are just starting their careers in tech or are hesitant to take the leap?

To all the women at the threshold of their tech careers or those feeling tentative about diving in, remember that it’s normal to feel afraid; it shows you’re taking this seriously. 

Weigh the pros and cons, then commit to a trial period—say, six months—to explore this new field and see if it resonates with you and your career aspirations. Taking action is always more productive than sitting on the fence. 

Remember, there’s always a Plan B. If you find that tech isn’t for you, you can return to your previous path, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you gave it a shot. Always strive to move forward and improve yourself. Investing in your growth and evolution is the most valuable investment you can make.

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