24 Apr Speaker Spotlight-Silja Litvin
Silja Litvin is a remarkable woman in the world of STEAM. A former model, she gave up that lavish career to become a psychologist. Silja has a passion for helping those who suffer from mental illnesses. This passion is what prompted her to create and serve as CEO of Psycapps.
Psycapps is an app that helps users identify and self-manage mental issues and find a therapist who can offer disorder specific treatment on demand. Silja simultaneously set up a company, PsycApps, to be able to publish and distribute the app to those around the globe in need of mental health support.
Wonder Women Tech wishes Silja the best of luck in her endeavor to curb mental illness, and we could not be more excited to have her speak at our upcoming conference in London.
Wonder Women Tech (WWT): What inspired you to launch your company?
Silja Litvin (SL): I always wanted to bring psychology closer to people. There is still this threshold of fear and stigma for some people. That fear hinders them from educating themselves and getting help on time before a disorder gets difficult to manage and consequences have piled up (relationships ending, loss of a job, even homelessness). So I asked myself what would happen if mental health would be accessible on the ultimate comfort zone: one’s smartphone!? It started out as my PhD thesis and morphed into a business project shaped by all the research I did proving that there was indeed a large market for digital mental health.
WWT: In what ways does your professional and/or personal mission align with the mission of Wonder Women Tech to highlight women and diversity in STEAM industries?
SL: In the start-up world, female founders such as myself are surrounded by men in most situations, whether we are trying to raise money or are putting a development team together. I find it frustrating that women and minorities are so underrepresented. Women and diverse individuals have so much to offer and immense creative power that is not being sourced. That hinders balanced growth and offers only a very one-sided product development. WWT is looking to change that by creating opportunities of exposure and learning experiences. I am honoured and excited to be a part of that journey, our philosophy and our goals are definitely aligned.
WWT: Why did you choose to participate in the WWT London Conference and what sort of impact are you looking to make there?
SL: I would like to share the wonderful experience of creating and launching a scientific project with my fellow females. If I speak up and share my journey, maybe I will be able to inspire other girls and women to explore the STEAM world!
WWT: Why do you feel people should attend the WWT London Conference?
SL: To help build a community, to get inspired about what women are doing in the STEAM world, and to educate oneself about all the amazing projects going on in your ‘neighbourhood’. Last but not least, to socialize, network, and have fun.
WWT: What advice do you have for women looking to get into STEAM industries?
SL: If you love what you do, don’t let ANYONE deter you. Not your family, not perceived gender roles, not being the only woman or minority ethnicity in your group. 2) Look for mentors. There are a lot of male and female mentors out there that wish for you to strive for success, please reach out! 3) Join communities. Networks will help and support you! 4) Take good care of your mental health. Watch out for your tech consumption, your sleeping, and eating habits. A healthy mind in a healthy body will get you the furthest!