Diversity & Inclusion
The Vinetta Project / Women in tech / Year in review

Focus on women in tech: No. 2 #dctech trend of 2016

D.C. is often regarded as one of the best cities to be a woman in tech. Here's what that looked like this year.

The crowd at BEACON's launch in November. (Photo via Twitter)

As the year draws to a close we’re looking back at all that has happened in #dctech — this post is part of our 2016 year in review series. See the full list here.

In 2016 the D.C. area got called the “best” city for women in tech. Among the reasons why was a comparatively small gender pay gap for women in tech in the region. But then, just months later, a second study reported that the gender pay gap in tech in D.C. is actually quite large, meaning D.C. is perhaps not a great city to be a woman in tech.
So what’s the truth?
Well, we did some digging into the methodologies of the two studies, and you can (and should) read that here. But in the broader sense, despite the fact that the tech world is still male-dominated, 2016 was a good year to be a woman in #dctech.
For female founders, The Vinetta Project ran a packed year of programming, including a $20,000 venture challenge to help women raise VC money. And in December, a group of all-star ladies launched BEACON: The DC Women Founders Initiative with support from the city government.
Meanwhile, both the Case Foundation and General Assembly launched photo and social media campaigns to show the true face(s) of diversity in tech. The Tech Lady Hackathon was a huge hit, and Women Who Code DC hosted a hackathon too. DCFemTech expanded its powerful programmer awards to include talented local female designers and local dev Veni Kunche started a newsletter in order to share inspiring stories about women in tech.
There’s still work to be done, though.
This became abundantly clear when DataLensDC’s Kate Rabinowitz dug into the data on female speakers at D.C. tech and data meetups. Turns out, women are grossly underrepresented in speaker roles at these events. The silver lining? This discovery prompted Rabinowitz to create the website wespeaktoo.org as a resource for finding female and non-binary speakers on tech topics.
Here’s to more women in tech finding their voices, raising money and being recognized in 2017.


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