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AZ Tech Beat | August 22, 2019

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Women in tech initiatives reach international heights

Women in tech initiatives reach international heights
Chloe Nordquist

Bust out the capes and computers! Women in tech campaigns and initiatives have emerged and built awareness on the national stage.

Only 26 percent of professional computing occupations in the 2014 U.S. workforce was held by women, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. The sheer shortage of women in the tech industry has sparked a lot of attention, especially on social media:

Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference

Girls in Tech is a global organization that focuses on the education and empowerment of influential women in technology. Their annual conference was held in downtown Phoenix this year in April, the first time the event was outside of Silicon Valley. The goal of the conference is to encourage young women to join the STEM ecosystem. The event featured a number of women in tech leadership positions.

Founder Girls in Tech Adrianna Gascoigne

Founder Girls in Tech Adrianna Gascoigne

 

READ: Impactful Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference sparks international conversation

#ItWasNeverADress Campaign

Axosoft launched the #ItWasNeverADress campaign at the Girls in Tech Catalyst conference. The campaign depicted a womens bathroom sign with a cape, instead of a dress. It went viral on Twitter and was picked up by publications like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post. Local arts activist and Axosoft’s Curator of Code Tania Katan and Marketing Unicorn Sara Breeding led the movement.

itwasnevera_dress

READ: I’m more than a dress! Axosoft’s #ItWasNeverADress campaign goes viral

The campaign continues to grow and give back to the community in different ways. In mid-July the #ItWasNeverADress campaign hosted a STEAM conference for 50 girls ages 12-17. Over a span of two days girls learned about confidence, coding, and capes.

Black Girls Code

Founded by Kimberly Bryant in 2011, Black Girls Code (BGC) is a non-profit STEM educator aimed at training girls of color in tech and teaching diversity issues. The organization teaches young girls everything from computer coding to game design to robotics.

black girls code-2

Bryant spent years as a software engineer in the corporate world where there were few women of color. Her experiences and her daughter’s interest in coding led her to create an organization help motivate and empower young girls interested in tech.

READ: Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant helping little girls change the world — interview

The organization also holds hackathons, bilingual workshops, and more. They’ve been a huge participant in the women in tech discussion.

CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap documentary

The documentary by executive producer and GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving shed light on the gender gap in engineering. “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap” looks at the reasons behind the gender gap, as well as other minorities in software engineering.

Watch our interview with the director and GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving

 

The film is filled with stats meant to affect the views and emotions of the viewers, and includes historical to recent information on the impact of women in technology throughout the years.

READ: CODE, a quest for an inclusive society — interview director Robin Hauser Reynolds & CEO GoDaddy Blake Irving

#ILookLikeAnEngineer

In early August, the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag went viral after a OneLogin recruitment ad featuring a female engineer received sexist comments. Isis Wenger, the woman pictured in the ad, received a lot of backlash and decided to start the hashtag on Twitter to challenge stereotypes of engineers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 1.16.39 PM

Via Twitter

 

Hundreds of women and men of all ages and ethnicities in the tech industry took photos of themselves and contributed to the hashtag, showing their support.
For more coverage on women in tech, click here.

Graphics provided by Axosoft & Black Girls Code