Due to a light travel schedule in April, I was actually in town and able to attend a workshop hosted by the New York Code + Design Academy (NYCDA). As I mentioned I’m in the tech field and NYCDA hosts talks for women in tech – whether you’re already in the field or thinking about joining it. This past week, Giorgia Rossi, Co-Founder of Lookbooker, was the guest speaker. First off, she’s awesome. She’s a great speaker – very passionate, approachable and candid.
The idea for Lookbooker was born out of a user-generated need. She needed a manicure and couldn’t easily find a salon with an available appointment. The rest is history as they say. The interesting thing? She’s not even “techie”, but to quote her closing statement, “if you need it, build it.” And, that’s exactly what she did. To learn more about her story, surf here.
What I enjoyed most about the talk was the candor and facts presented. It’s hard to argue with numbers.
The truth is women are severely underrepresented in the tech field and if you take that a step further, we tend not to be in revenue generating positions, like sales and finance. Instead we tend to sit in cost centers, i.e. spending the money in departments like marketing, HR, etc. Not that it’s a bad thing, just a fact. This was a point brought up by one of the many male attendees. He wanted to see how his company could attract more female employees and he noted that he practically sees zero female applicants for the sales or developer type of positions at his company.
This is interesting considering women were amongst the first computer programmers!
HOWEVER, in spite of the bleak situation and the stats being stacked against women aspiring for a career in STEM, Giorgia was excited and exclaimed this is the “Golden Age for Women in Tech“! Here’s why…
Now more than ever, girls and women need to understand female role models exist and this is a viable career option, especially in the NYC area. Per Rossi’s presentation, New York has grown to be one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the world, led in part by women. In NYC, 15% of tech firms are run by women and there are 4x as many women employed in computer occupations in NYC than there are in San Francisco. To add icing on the cake, women rule the internet from social media activism, to being majority of the purchasing power for many e-commerce platforms and nearly ~80% of consumer spending for offline transactions. In summary, women have power and now’s the time to unleash it!
See below for 10 organizations who not only have a powerful mission to engage women in entering and then staying in technology, but also are dedicated in supporting them along the way.
- Black Girls Code
- Anita Borg Institute
- Women in Tech NYC
- Girls Who Code
- Girls in Tech
- Girl’s Inc.
- Women in Technology International
- National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
- Girl Develop It
I don’t typically write about events I attend, but this one particularly hit home and I felt compelled to share.
happy surfing, tiffany