March 8th is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It also advocates for gender equality in the workplace in all industries.
According to a 2015 study by the National Center for Women in Information Technology, just 25% of professional computing occupations in the US were held by women. Here at Zivtech, women hold 33% of technical positions. Jody Hamilton is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder at Zivtech. She believes diversity is essential for the technology industry to grow and succeed.
“Technical work is open to all kinds of people. But when you don't fit in with a group it adds stress and takes extra energy. I've found that the more diverse our team is, the easier it is to attract diverse applicants. People want a workplace where they'll be respected, valued, and included, and when you are in a minority group within a field, you don't get to take that for granted. Instead you select your workplace carefully, looking for signs that you will be welcomed.”
Even if you don’t currently work in technology, there are plenty of resources for you to start learning or get involved. Attending classes or events run by women reduces the intimidation that a lot of women face when they want to take the next step. Here are 5 femme-tastic organizations and events that strive to close the gender gap in the tech industry.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is a national organization with a mission to close the gender gap in technology through clubs for grade school girls. The organization has gone from 20 girls in New York to 10,000 girls in 42 states, which is a huge amount of progress! Girls Who Code relies on volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds to facilitate their Clubs.
TechGirlz is a Pennsylvania-based organization with a similar goal - to increase the number of women in technology. This non-profit focuses on teaching middle school girls about technology and future career paths. Zivtech is partnering with TechGirlz for an event during Philly Tech Week. Stay tuned for more information!
Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It has set out to create a network of empowered women who feel confident in their ability to code and build beautiful web and mobile applications. GDI teaches adult women web and software development skills in welcoming, supportive environments. See if there's a chapter near you to get involved with.
Women in Tech Meetups
Meetup.com has a number of groups that work to support women in technology. Groups like ChickTech Philadelphia and #TechInColor provide great opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals who want to build up their skills.
Women in Tech Summit
The Women in Tech Summit is a series of events that aims to pave the way for women to enter the tech industry. Network with other women, attend hands-on workshops, and participate in engaging discussions on trending technology topics. Women at all career levels are welcome and proceeds support TechGirlz.