This time of year offers a natural pause for so many to reflect on the past year, take stock of where they’re at in life and think about where they want to be. Here at Girls in Tech, we’re no different.
We’re proud to say that we’ve sailed through an astonishing year. In fact, we’re overflowing with the warm and fuzzies these days! Looking back at some of these key milestones, it’s easy to see why our heart is bursting with gratitude this New Year.
Here’s a few of our biggie milestones from one of our most memorable years to date:
We’ve expanded to 60 chapters around the world.
That’s right—60 chapters, led by incredibly talented and incredibly talented volunteer managing directors. These women dedicate countless hours of their weeks to cascade Girls in Tech programming to their local communities. They are passionate, they are resourceful, they are driven to make a difference in their communities. 2016 brought chapter openings in:
- Austin, Texas
- Chicago, Illinois
- New York, New York
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Seattle, Washington
- Berlin, Germany
- London, United Kingdom
- Tokyo, Japan
- Paris, France
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Dublin, Ireland
- Hong Kong
- Melbourne, Australia
We’ve launched major partnerships with leading global brands.
2016 was the year that Girls in Tech created massive traction at the partnership level. We know we cannot do this alone—we need the assistance, resources and knowledge that comes with big brands. Today, we’re thrilled to say that we’ve made major progress in this area in 2016. We’ve created solid partnerships with world-renowned brands such as Facebook, Cisco, S&P Global, Snapchat and SAP SuccessFactors.
Not only do our members have great affinity for these brands, but partnering with these brands means we’ll have more resources to get more programming and more knowledge experts out to chapters around the world. In short, we’ll be able to impact more women as an organization—a huge win!
Additionally, partnerships such as these are a great sign as to the health and the state of the overall tech industry. These are some major brands that are getting behind diversity and inclusion efforts, something we wouldn’t have necessarily seen 10 years ago, let alone even five years ago. Partners, we can’t thank you enough for believing in us and backing our mission!
We hosted our inaugural cocktail fundraiser and awards ceremony.
In an effort to better serve our chapters and better position ourselves to scale, we’ve dedicated enormous time in 2016 to widening our fundraising efforts. This included our inaugural cocktail fundraiser, a very special evening in San Francisco. More than 250 supporters of Girls in Tech showed up to enjoy a festive evening, complete with Brazilian dancers, drummers, an Argentinian Tango guitar performance, a live auction, tasty eats and amazing networking. We also took the opportunity to honor some remarkable women in tech leaders.
It was a success! So successful, in fact, that we’ll be expanding the fundraiser in 2017 to be a black-tie gala. We’ll be rolling out the details (and the red carpet), so stay tuned for more info in the Spring of 2017!
We rang the New York Stock Exchange closing bell.
Nothing says success like standing on the podium of the New York Stock Exchange, a 200-year old institution. This was the experience of a lifetime. We were among just a few non-profits selected every year for this honor. This speaks volumes to the value of the Girls in Tech brand, to the value of the work we’re doing and to the impact we’re making around the world.
And, we wouldn’t have changed a thing about how the experience occurred: amongst all the holiday festivities and lights of New York City, there we were, the Girls in Tech staff, several Board members, several managing directors and other close supporters and advisors—all cozied up on the podium of the NYSE on the afternoon of December 27. The energy was electric; our joy even more so. What a great way to close out 2016!
Speaking of celebrations…it’s just about our 10-year anniversary!
10 years ago, (it will be official come spring of 2017) Girls in Tech launched at a nightclub in San Francisco. We had an event space, a logo, and a crowd of more than 200 women show up. They came from startups and from corporations. They were developers, designers, engineers, scientists, product marketers and digital gurus. They were believers.
Girls in Tech has evolved and matured greatly throughout the last decade. So has the tech industry. Today, we’re more than 50,000 members strong, with 60 chapters around the world. We’re learning and growing. We’re determined to arm women with the skills and knowledge they need to survive, and thrive, in tech.
Yes, we’ve changed a lot in 10 years. We’re a bit (okay, a lot) wiser. We’ve learned a strengths and weaknesses. We’ve learned how to streamline and how to scale. But what hasn’t changed is our belief in our mission and our dedication to eradicating gender disparity in tech.
2016 will surely be difficult to beat, in terms of our successes. However, we’re going in 2017 with complete confidence that 2017 will be a breakthrough year for us. Our goal: look forward and make a difference with every passing day. We challenge you to do the same, no matter where you are in life, in the world or in your career.
Happy New Year to you and yours. With the deepest gratitude and appreciation,
Adriana and the Girls in Tech Team