This editorial article is a part of Technical.ly's Women in Tech month.
You can easily take stock of the tech industry’s gender gap by strolling around the office of a random tech company.
More of a numbers person? Just have a look at U.S. Census Bureau statistics: Seven out of every 10 technologists in Philadelphia are male, according to the agency’s American Community Survey, cited in a report by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.
The disparity in these numbers spells out a a multifaceted problem for the tech sector. The most urgent one is glaring: It means that women, who already grapple with a palpable gender pay gap, are being largely underrepresented in the fastest growing sliver of the local economy.
For managers, a company without a diverse team and an inclusive culture will ward off talented staffers, at a time when talent is the hottest commodity. For consumers, the adverse effects of homogeneous companies have been widely chronicled. One example is the first version of Apple’s health app, which claimed to track major all health indicators yet lacked a way to track menstrual cycles. And for employees from underrepresented groups, a mostly-male workforce can open the door to a lack of inclusivity in the workplace and even harassment (which, as developer Shanise Barona will tell you, is a technical problem.)
In response to the vast culture issues in tech, and the inequities laid bare by the numbers, a wide-ranging support system has risen, in a bid to connect women with career-building opportunities in tech and entrepreneurship. That said: Don’t read this list as a way to put the onus on women for the industry’s diversity problems — as one disgraced Microsoft ad once did — but rather as a testament to that support system, and a push to ensure the resources reach those who want them.
In the spirit of Women in Tech Month, Technical.ly crowdsourced from Philly women in tech an updated version of our 2017 list of career-building resources for women. We use “resources” as a purposefully broad term here, one that encompasses everything from local meetups to books, from websites to podcasts, and from mentorship programs to nonprofits.
Quick shoutout to everyone who helped us compile this list: Lauren Hallden, Zeina Barr, Sharon Hake, Tiffanie Stanard, Maggie Deptola, Amelia Longo, Adriana Vazquez, Melissa Le, Jen Dionisio, Alisha Miranda, Yuval Yarden, Jessica Cornell, Jessica David, Sharon Hake, Brie Wildau, Rana Fayez, Suzie Nieman, Morgan Berman, Alana Bly, Kiera Smalls, Adele Oliva, Heather B., Ashley Turner, Tahroma Alligood, Mariah Schmidt and Kristen Fitch.
(Also, hat tip to former Technical.ly Philly reporter Juliana Reyes who for years reported on women in tech.)
Here’s the list, which we’ve broken down by categories for easy access:
Meetups and events
- The Women in Tech Summit: Happening yearly in Philly and other cities across the country, in a bid to connect women technologists.
- The Women in Tech Network: Founded by Jumoke Dada, the project aims to connect tech-savvy women in a “digital cafe” format.
- Women in Tech Soiree: An annual bash highlighting supportive spaces for women and diverse groups in tech. Its fifth-annual iteration is happening May 7, organized by Mogulette, in partnership with Stimulus, Open Access Philly and Coded by Kids.
- FemmeHacks: A women–only hackathon that focuses on students.
- ChickTech Philly: The local chapter of a national org is focusing on workforce readiness next month. Here’s what organizer Sarah Herrmann said about the group’s name.
- Rad Girls in Tech: And the annual Rad Awards.
- The Lesbians who Tech meetup group.
- Philly Tech Week 2019 presented by Comcast: Every year, Technical.ly convenes the local tech community for a week-long celebration of technology and innovation, including several sessions focused on women in tech. Have a look at what’s in store so far.
- HUE Tech Summit: A tech conference that centers women of color. The theme for this year? “Fortitude.”
- NYC-based Women in Product meetup. Maybe worth a day trip?
- Philly Tech Sistas: A group aimed to help women of color get more involved in the technology field.
- Black Women Talk: New York-based conference for Black women entrepreneurs.
- HerCorner: D.C.-born program for women in business, which has a Philly chapter.
- Philadelphia Women in GIS:A local Meetup group supporting women in the geospatial space.
- Female Founders and Funders: Comcast LIFT Labs’ new event series focused on female entrepreneurs.
- Great Dames’ mentoring program: Great Dames’ Circle and Peer Advisory groups offer advice for budding women entrepreneurs.
- Femme and Fortune: Melissa Alam’s online platform for women entrepreneurs, which offers creative services specifically focused on women-founded businesses.
- The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs: A mentorship and advice group focusing on early stage companies.
- Bryn Mawr College’s internship program.
- Brazen Global:There’s a Philly chapter to this network of women entrepreneurs.
- Minority Business Development Center at the Enterprise Center in Philadelphia: A business development center that, per its website, has generated some $290 million in contracts and financing for women founders in Pennsylvania since 2004.
- Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities: Helping women-founded companies get access to state contracts.
- techaWare: A suburban women-in-tech collective founded in 2016.
- Girls Who Code: Reshma Saujani’s nonprofit is starting to have a presence in Philly, starting with a summer immersion camp for teen girls in Philly.
- Venture Café: The University City venue offers weekly programming on tech and entrepreneurship. University City Science Center’s Kristen Fitch says the sessions are meant to offer access to “an open, welcoming community to all.”
- Strong Feelings: Philly-based hosts Katel LeDû and Sara Wachter-Boettcher talk work, friendship and feminism.
- #CauseAScene: Kim Crayton’s podcast, focused on issues of diversity and race in the tech ecosystem.
- Call Your Girlfriend: No-BS convos on women and work.
- The Bootstrapped VC podcast from Backstage Capital.
- The Broad Experience podcast.
- Unladylike, hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin.
- Ask a Manager, by Alison Green.
- Amanda Steinberg’s book “Worth it”: A primer on taking advantage of personal finances from the DailyWorth CEO.
- Susan Weinschenk’s books “100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People” and “How to Get People To Do Stuff.”
- “Be More Pirate: Or How to Take on the World and Win”
- Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink“: An introduction to the adaptive unconscious mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information.
- Amy Cuddy’s book “Presence“: On the power of body language.
- Melissa Perry’s book “Escaping the Build Trap.”
- Esther Derby’s book “Agile Retrospective.”
- “Eloquent Rage,” by Brittney Cooper
- “Rage Becomes Her,” by Soraya Chemaly
- “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space,” by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin.
- The League for Entrepreneurial Women at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
- Tech Ladies: The national network of women technologists has a popular tech jobs section focused on women technologists.
- TechGirlz: Acquired this year by Chicago-based CompTIA’s nonprofit arm, the Philly-born nonprofit is on track to serve its TechGirl No. 20,000.
- Coded by Kids: As a teacher, that is. Coded by Kids operations manager Maggie Deptola told us that female devs should consider becoming instructors with the organization.
- We Evolve: After Girl Develop It’s chapter lead resigned, several hundred members of that community’s Slack group transitioned over to a new community called We Evolve. For now, it’s a Slack group with the mission of “supporting and encouraging women, trans men, and non-binary adults on their tech journeys.”
- Elpha: An online community of women in tech discussing “work, life and everything in between.”
- The ITEM: A nonprofit focused on workforce diversity.
- NAWBO: Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners represents some 9 million women-owned businesses in the country. It has a Philly chapter.
Websites and blogs
- Twitter (yes, Twitter): Stitch product designer Lauren Hallden said the social media network has helped her connect with underrepresented people in tech.
- The Career Shifters blog.
- Hannah Rosen’s article on changing careers in your 40s.
- This Entrepreneur list of 50 ways to fund a women-founded company: Lilu founder Adriana Vazquez swears by it.
- Alisha Miranda’s guide to career pathing.
- Technical.ly’s women in tech tag: As an update to last year, you can now find all out Women in Tech Month coverage in there, including this article.
- Skillcrush: Online technical skill-building.
- Diversify Tech Newsletter: A weekly newsletter sharing resources for underrepresented groups. Think conferences, events, job opportunities and scholarships to tech conferences.
- Recruiting Brainfood: A newsletter with best practices in recruiting from Hung Lee, CEO of workshape.io.
- Learn to Code with Me: Laurence Bedford, herself a self-taught technologist, offers resources for people just starting out in their programming journey.
- Tracey-Welson Rossman’s roadmap to upending the wage gap.
- Tamara Buckland’s Developer Growth Framework: A spreadsheet to help “identify and clarify appropriate behaviors and expectations for developers at different stages of their careers.”
- iFundWomen: A New York-based crowdfunding platform that helps women founders raise seed capital. Last year it launched in Philly, too.
- PHL Design Co’s #phl-xx Slack channel: Practical advice for women in design.
- “Dream, Girl“: A documentary on women entrepreneurs by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Erin Bagwell. Here’s how to watch it.
- Seeking mentorship: Consultant Brie Wildau said “the human element goes a long way” when thinking through problems.
- … or speech coaching: Sharon Hake, of Great Dames, recommends seeking a coach like Laura Sicola, of Vocal Impact Productions, who can help women “gain the ability to confidently and authentically command the room, connect with the audience, and close the deal in any context.”
- … or Brazilian jiu jitsu: MilkCrate founder Morgan Berman credits her practiced of the martial art with helping her life stay balanced. “Learning how to fight, and how to fight men or anyone else bigger or stronger than me has been the biggest gift I’ve ever given myself. It’s also helped me find comfort in the uncomfortable. Like being one of the only woman in the room. Or on the mat.”
- The Headspace app: “It’s so important for people to turn off their ‘work’ and take time to give their minds a break,” says SocialLadder cofounder Alana Bly. “I’ve been meditating for years and have found headspace is a great tool to introduce friends/coworkers to meditation. It’s approachable, affordable and can be done with minimal commitment.”
- Our interview with Grubhub CTO Maria Belousova: Where she lays out the company’s roadmap to making a remote team function smoothly.
- Technica.ly’s This Week in Jobs newsletter: Weekly roundups of open tech jobs in the area (and remote jobs), including those that don’t require a college degree.
- Technical.ly’s jobs board: For jobs, of course.
- Bumble Bizz: Swipe on this app to connect with other entrepreneurs in the area.
- Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk: A look at how body language shapes who we are.
- Coworking spaces: Hake strongly encourages women to join a coworking space, for access to an environment that “can help brainstorm business ideas and make connections to resources and potential clients.” Some, like Indy Hall, have a code of conduct. The Old City space declares itself to be a “respectful and harassment-free” environment for everyone.
Did we miss any? Let us know — firstname.lastname@example.org.
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