2017 marks Girls in Tech’s 10-year anniversary of founding. We’re proud of our decade of achievements, but we also want to take this year to reflect on historical accomplishments of all women throughout technology. In honor of these irreplaceable moments, we’ve created a visual of some of the groundbreaking achievements of women in our past and future. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate these inspirational women—and a decade of Girls in Tech!
The top milestones for women in tech
We’ve still got plenty of work to do.
Women make up 51% of the U.S. population, 55% of the students enrolled in college, and 59% of the US labor force—yet, they remain grossly underrepresented at technology companies. The average number of women at tech companies is just 30%, with only 15% occupying technical positions.
While women have made strides in their earnings, they are still well-underpaid compared to men who hold the exact same position. In 1979, women were paid 63 cents for every dollar men earned; in 2015 they were paid 80 cents per dollar.
It’s more important than ever to encourage, and support, women in tech. The economy demands it: one of the fastest-growing professions among U.S. workers is computer science. There will be an estimated 1.8 million jobs in computing by 2018, per the U.S. Department of Labor.
How it all began, 10 years ago
Girls in Tech hosted its first event a decade ago, in San Francisco in the spring of 2007. It was a typical brisk evening in the city. Adriana Gascoigne showed up early to Slide, a downtown nightclub, to help set up. She got to work quickly, cutting cheese, opening cases of wine and unboxing snacks, napkins, plates. She propped up signage and, at the last minute, placed name badges near the door. In the minutes before guests arrived, she set up a video blog (‘vlog’) to capture the evening.
Today, Adriana is Girls in Tech’s founder and CEO. But that evening, her long-term role was a bit uncertain, the demand for a progressive organization dedicated to women in tech unclear. She’d had a logo created on the fly, thanks to help from a fashion designer friend. And, she’d promoted the event via Facebook. About 200 women RSVP’d.
“It was just a networking event. A bunch of women getting together to celebrate the launch of Girls in Tech. But it was also for them to get to know each other and to know that they weren’t alone in this industry. Maybe they were alone at their individual companies, but within the tech industry as a whole, they weren’t alone,” Adriana reflected.
The 200 women did in fact show up, many with friends in tow. The attendance made two things clear: Adriana was overwhelmed at the positive response. And she knew she had to continue to grow what started that night.
“It was empowering and refreshing to see so many women in the tech industry collaborating and talking to each other about issues and opportunities. I had caught their attention. I knew I needed to make this happen.”
Who is your inspiration?
We’ll be celebrating the achievements of Girls in Tech—and women everywhere—all year long. We’re only looking up. 2017 will bring even greater expansion for Girls in Tech, with a focus on strategic partnerships and a platform of even more support for women in tech.
Tell us, who has inspired you throughout your career?