Initiatives Empowering Women in Technology
Even in this modern era, statistics show devastating numbers when it comes to girls and women in STEM fields. However, even with the disparity in numbers there are a few women who are leading in these areas and many organizations are coming up in support of these role models, taking on the stereotypes and helping women achieve success in these fields – sending a powerful message to young girls and women around the world. Take a closer look at some of the organizations that are helping to increase the number of women in STEM fields.
Girls in Tech
Girls in Tech is a global non-profit organization that focuses on the education and empowerment of influential, intelligent, like-minded, and professional women in technology. The organization aims to encourage the growth and success of innovative and entrepreneurial women in the technological field.
Girls in Tech was founded by Adriana Gascoigne in 2007. The organization is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, but has expanded to include chapters around the globe. Born out of the need to provide women a place where they can develop ideas around their careers and businesses, Girls in Tech’s mission strongly focuses on collaboration, growth, and success leading to the development of resources for women to support their voices in the technology field. These resources include educational workshops, conferences, networking functions, social engagements, recruitment events, and round-table discussions.
Girls Who Code
To address the growing gender gap in computing, Intel (in collaboration with other partners) sponsors the Girls Who Code initiative. A staggering 74% of girls express interest in STEM, but only 0.03% eventually go on to choose a STEM-oriented college major. This initiative works to provide young girls with the solid education needed to inspire them to pursue STEM fields.
The initiative organizes the Summer Immersion Program for female students where they can learn more about web design, robotics, and computer science. The girls are mentored by female tech leaders during the program, and after the program ends the students work on projects tackling challenges that face their communities.
Women in STEM (White House)
An initiative by the White House, Women in STEM aims to encourage more women to pursue STEM careers to diversify the scientific community. Women employed in STEM careers earn as much as 33% more than those in other fields experiencing a smaller wage gap. The initiative is actively engaged in increasing the engagement of young female students with STEM subjects, encouraging women to take up mentors in their academic and professional life, and supporting women in the STEM workforce. This initiative by the Obama administration hopes to make these career opportunities more available to women.
Tech Women (U.S. Department of State)
An initiative by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Tech Women is a professional exchange and mentorship program that was developed as a result of President Obama’s efforts to improve and strengthen ties between the United States, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Tech Women’s mission is built on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s vision of “smart diplomacy and power,” hence its primary mission is empowering women through technology. The initiative provides support and ideas to the new generation, helping women break down stereotypes in technology. Reaching out to women across oceans, the initiative builds on the idea of international innovation powered by technology.
WeTech (Institute of International Education)
Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) is an association of partners designing and supporting a series of innovative activities to train, network, and offer professional opportunities. Led by IIE, WeTech aims to guide women in the growth of their talents and skills so that they can successfully pursue careers in technology.
The organization has developed several programs such as the Afterschool Program, Qcamp for Girls in STEM, Seed Fund for Women + Girls in Computer Science, Mentoring Program, and STEM Scholarships for Women. These programs are available internationally for women and girls in India, Africa, and the United States.
National Girls Collaborative Project
Formed in 2002, the National Girls Collaborative Project brings together organizations throughout the United States committed to informing, encouraging and inspiring girls to pursue professions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The organization aims to maximize access to shared resources, strengthen capacity, and leverage its growing network to create greater STEM opportunities for the next generation of women.
Association for Women in Science
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) was founded in 1972 for women who work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To aid women in their professional lives, AWIS provides coaching and mentoring services for its members. The association also advocates on behalf of women in STEM on matters like pay equity, awards and recognition, and implicit bias. In addition, the association provides resources such as books, educational videos, workshops, and research jobs.