One of my mottos is “Be an IT girl” – and by IT I mean information technology. With that said, as a proud graduate of RIT with a degree in Information Technology New Media, I am constantly being asked by parents and executives – how do we get more girls involved in STEM (science technology engineering math) and more specifically into computing and code?
When you share visuals and examples, allowing young people to get hands-on experience, that’s way cooler than saying “Try some coding”.
Examples: What’s it like to create a gaming app with a celebrity? Or work on a program that was co-developed for NASA to help get a rover on Mars? Or perhaps pilot a new, safe and secure program that defeats a pandemic computer virus?
One company that realizes the importance of education and growth in STEM is Capital One. Their Future Edge initiative is dedicating $150 million in community grants and initiatives over five years to help more
Americans enter into the digitally-driven economy.
It’s been an honor to work with Capital One and experience first-hand and the importance of offering these opportunities to a wide and diverse audience. Since the get-go, this is a company that understands the importance of diversity in the workplace and is a top outlet for fostering female talent. From being one of ten founding sponsors of Women Who Code, to helping Black Girls Code launch chapters and initiatives across the country, to continued support and engagement at Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Computing, Capital One is making important investments in local and national initiatives to help girls and women in all stages of the pipeline.
I’m extremely excited to put a spotlight on a series of new events designed to empower and support girls and women through technology.
Women in Tech Demo Days
Capital One and AngelHack are hitting the road this August to bring together hundreds of talented women and allies – developers, designers and entrepreneurs – from around the country to compete in series of three one-day events that support the growth of women in technology.
- To give you a further taste of what Demo Days are like: let’s look at one upcoming event in my backyard of NYC on August 13th. Capital One and Girls Who Code, an organization focused on leading the movement to inspire, educate and equip young women with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century technology opportunities, have created a challenge to help inspire more girls to learn coding by creating a web/mobile application that enables girls to imagine themselves as computer scientists.
- This event works exactly as I described above – it will give women of New York the space to create a solution for young girls – one that puts the girls in the “developer seat” and challenge them to create an app or web application. They will first hand see their output, realize their impact and talk about an amazing prize: Winning teams at the NYC event will receive a scholarship to General Assembly to put toward the bootcamp or educational programming of their choice as well as having $15,000 donated in their honor to Girls Who Code.
- In each location, New York (August 13), Dallas Fort-Worth (Fall 2016) and D.C. (August 27), local tech experts will serve as mentors, supporting teams by providing advice to help refine their ideas. While the judges deliberate, a keynote speaker will share her story and suggest ways more women can continue to power through the tech world.
At the end of the day, women and men need to work together to create & innovate. Let’s close that gender gap!
If you’re interested in participating in any of the locations, visit the WIT Demo Day website to sign up!