Deborah Wyse didn’t identify as a “woman in tech” a year ago.
She started slow. A Girl Develop It class here and there. Then, the women-focused LadyHacks hackathon.
Now, the project manager at Center City’s Solutions for Progress is on the planning committee for next year’s LadyHacks. She organized a class at her company for people who want to learn HTML/CSS (they watch local developer Jenn Lukas’s classes on Skillshare).
Wyse was one of the women we met at the first TechGirlz fundraiser, held at First Round Capital, last week. The event, which former Azavea staffer Amelia Longo helped to organize, had two goals: to raise money for the girls tech education nonprofit and to connect local women in tech.
There were many familiar faces, like RJMetrics VP of Client Analytic Services Anita Andrews, Penn Graduate School of Education’s Bobbi Kurshan and Girl Develop It executive director Corinne Warnshuis, but we also noticed lots of new people — perhaps a symbol of the growth of Philadelphia’s women in tech scene.
Below, we introduce you to four other women we met at the event.
Ronah Harris moved from New York City to help Center City private school Friends Select open a makerspace. That follows a trend we’ve seen in schools around the city.
Amanda Greenberg (right) came to Philly for accelerator DreamIt Ventures. She’s one of four female cofounders out of the 12 DreamIt startups (the program’s highest number of female founders to date). She cofounded Baloonr, a startup focused on brainstorming and launching ideas, with her husband.
Wanda Lee spent two years in banking at Janney Montgomery Scott, all the while eyeing a career in tech. The Bryn Mawr grad is now an associate at venture capital firm Safeguard Scientifics, where she’s the only woman on the deal team. Lee also volunteers with TechGirlz.
Sam McNamee, who runs wine branding business Budwood, took some Girl Develop It classes because she wanted to build a better website for her company and got bored with the WordPress offerings (see it here). Now the University City resident is so into technology that she’s mulling a career move, she told us.