(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Perry)
To make the change you want to see, you often have to make it normal.
So, all the trend stories about the lack of gender parity in the IT sector help bring attention to the field’s (sometimes grotesque) shortcomings, but they also highlight how abnormal it all is. Another approach is to keep it simple.
Karen Schoellkopf has worked in the New York tech startup scene for the last six years but is perhaps better known for her visual art and hobby projects.
Technical.ly Brooklyn first met her when she presented at our Rise civic tech conference on the use of open data in her Seven Deadly Sins of Times Square project. Her small take on female inclusivity comes with a straightforward name: Hire More Women In Tech.
Based in Prospect Heights, Schoellkopf first launched the single page last July but continues to add resources — it’s full of data, research and examples. It’s simple and link heavy, aiming to be the first place where you might send someone interested in the topic or someone first approaching what remains a major issue in any technology conversation.
“Bigger is not always better,” Schoellkopf said of the site. “The whole point is that it’s easily skim-able and digestible”
The site’s reach is targeted, with just 15,000 visitors since launch, but full of hiring managers and founders who have told her it’s something they’ll use as they develop the recruiting practices for their new companies. Of course, it’s meant to be a simple page added to a world of efforts working to welcome, support and maintain inclusivity, gender or otherwise, in a leading sector, like tech, not the solution.
Schoellkopf is full of modest side projects that aim to contribute to a bigger goal. This one, though, came with more lessons than most — sharing the site on Hacker News got her blowback from some who wanted to pester her for the project, she said.