Helping more women kickstart their careers in technology, or leading them towards a more successful one, is the mission of techaWare, a women-in-tech collective formed in 2016 by employees of Wayne-based IT firm Evolve IP.
And because you can’t be what you can’t see, the group has focused its efforts around supporting the women currently employed in tech and connecting with the next generation of technologists, going into middle and high schools to stump for tech.
Nicci Townsend, director of client technology at Evolve IP and and cofounder of the group, says the goal is helping women in tech succeed regardless of their background or education.
Phoenixville High School and Delaware County Community College are some of the spots where the group shows up to join panels and workshops that advocate for female representation in technology, as well as the Women in Tech Summit.
“What made me want to form this group is that, looking at the number of women that are interested in STEM in high school, there’s a huge dropoff by the time they hit professional status,” said Lindsey Elberti, techaWare cofounder and Evolve IP’s director of organizational development. “We allow high-school students to come in and it’s great to see the girls ask us questions.”
Internally, techaWare also holds workshops on navigating the tech space, efficiency at work and communication skills. Coaching has been effective, Elberti said.
Does the culture at Evolve IP encourage inclusivity? Nicci thinks so. She describes a family-oriented company culture that promotes career-pathing and internal mobility.
“Women here are empowered to go get what they want and do what they do,” Nicci said. “There are women on my team who started in sales and are now going to project management. Because our culture is caring and empathetic, we get to be the pioneers around the topic and try to help as much as we can.”
For all the work the group does with a younger demographic, though, their next event is 21+ only: A wine-tasting meetup titled Women, Wine, and Tech, featuring local female winemakers and conversations on the present and future of women in tech.