In our experience hiring in Europe, we assumed there might have been a challenge in terms of gender diversity, but this actually became an advantage for us. At Karma we're 60% female, which is unusual in a tech company. And those women are across all teams, including engineering and product. We feel extremely lucky to have attracted this talent.
Another thing we had on our side was the level of English spoken in Sweden; it was a clear advantage for us expanding internationally. At Karma we spoke English internally from the very beginning, even when all employees were Swedish. Now that we have offices in 3 countries and 70 employees from over 20 countries, it's a no-brainer to communicate in English.
The CEE has more gender diversity in its tech workforce than other regions in Europe. This is a 'side effect' of the old communist regimes where it was the basis of the society that both women and men worked equally. Women often pursued careers in STEM fields, which was encouraged due to the focus on industrialisation. I experienced this firsthand as I was growing up in Romania. It was natural for professional-age women to work - most of our mothers worked full time as engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, and took pride in their careers. I only heard the concept of 'part time' when I moved out of Romania! They encouraged their children, regardless of gender, to have educational and career ambitions, and they provided role models. This doesn't mean that there isn't work still to be done, including more representation in key political roles, reporting of diversity statistics and addressing pay gaps.