After backlash, a campaign to expand what 'women in tech' means - Technical.ly DC

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Mar. 16, 2015 12:00 pm

After backlash, a campaign to expand what ‘women in tech’ means

The Women in Tech campaign, led by digital agency Social Driver and others, seeks to broaden definitions.

An image from the WIT campaign.

(Courtesy image)

A marketer. A roving developer. The founder of Hear Me Code, the free coding classes for women.

These profiles were all featured in the Women in Tech campaign, which launched in late January and seeks to showcase the varied roles women can play in the tech industry. It also aims to bring together different organizations, instead of keeping them in separate “silos,” through a mentorship program, said Emily Rasowsky, a managing strategist at Social Driver.

The campaign was created in response to backlash from a Capital Standard story that featured “The New Face of Tech,” based on interviews with six women who worked at local marketing agency Social Driver. Among them, none were engineers.

So, Social Driver, along with Women in Technology and Networking Women in Technology, collaborated to feature women working in varied positions in the technology industry. The campaign has now gathered over 1,000 Twitter followers.

Rasowsky explained to Technical.ly DC why she believes it’s important to value all the different jobs available to women working in technology:

Expanding our definition of what ‘women in tech’ means is important because it helps showcase the many different roles, responsibilities, and backgrounds that women in tech actually have, beyond but still inclusive of engineering. Today, technology is growing and changing faster than ever before across every single industry. In the future, it’s not unlikely that most every professional role will require some form of technology expertise – no matter what background you have – so we have to start now by highlighting the different roles that make up women in tech. You wouldn’t necessarily tell the CMO of a healthcare firm that he or she is not in the ‘healthcare industry’ so why limit the ‘tech industry’ to only engineering?

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The Women in Tech campaign also hopes to bring together different organizations, instead of keeping them in seperate “silos,” said Rasowsky. “Our goal is to create a program that uses the stories we have collected to inspire connection between women in tech — no matter what their background.”

Women in Tech will hold an event in April to celebrate the women featured in its campaign.

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