The Future of Women in Tech is Hanging in the Balance

Written by Jarret Moses, Infusionsoft

Technology has been used as a truly universal conduit for positive change. It has literally given a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless; However, even with all technology has done for us, we have only scratched the surface. All things, even nature, search to find equilibrium. The world of technology is no different, thus it is imperative that as an industry we foster, nurture, and maintain female engagement to bring balance to our male centric workforce.
We can only solution for the issues we see, and we see the world from the vantage point of experience. Given our current male/ female imbalance, we are consistently trying to solve problems with only half of the equation. At the end of the day, a bunch of guys solve guy problems. When people start new companies or lead the charge for change at an established one, they are looking to solve problems meaningful and important to them. Just like Scott and Eric Martineau founded Infusionsoft to solve a problem dear to them, amazing women like Sandy Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems and Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, solved problems relevant to their experience. They saw problems, (some of which had existing solutions), and crafted thriving, competitive alternatives. We need more, varied technologies to deepen our capacity for change. Without more women solutioning, our efforts remain shallow, at best.
It takes a certain level of fearlessness and strength to venture into a world sometimes devoid of anyone who looks like you or shares your perspective on the world. The next generation is always watching and learning from the previous. We are the role models of tomorrow’s leaders – the mentors of the inventors of the next big thing, but we are not reflective of all those who look to us. When taking a journey of a thousand miles, you want to talk to someone who has taken that journey. As today’s girls are looking at technology and searching for a role model, they have a much harder time than their male peers. The gender disparity creates a cyclical problem which contributes to a lack of women in tech. This must stop.

We need to disrupt norms and cycles which discourage girls from growing into leaders. While Lean In has brought this issue to the forefront, we must carry this conversation. We must break our habits of discouraging girls from tackling difficult problems or under emphasizing their intellect and substituting it with vanity.

Ironically, it starts by looking in the mirror. Imagine if a co-worker told you their daughter was pursuing science and math hobbies or seeking out leadership roles in her community. We would be happy to hear this, and perhaps note that girl is extraordinary. That feeling of glee we feel, is in actuality, abnormal normality. We should be working to create a world in which that glee and pride is no different than if her brother had the same interests. Our industry must create a vision of the world for girls which shows them women and men are equally apt to solve difficult problems, lead, and create a better tomorrow for everyone.

The heart of our industry is powered by problem solving. Women having a larger share in the problem discovery and solutioning process will create a brighter future for everyone. The solution is attainable and we all need to take a stake reaching it.

Rockit & Apollo Official Sponsors of Girls in Tech’s Catalyst Conference

We are proud to announce that Rockit is an official sponsor of the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in Phoenix! This is an event you won’t want to miss.

The event, occurring Sunday, April 26th through Tuesday, April 28th, will offer participants a chance to hear from more than 45 notable female presidents, CEOs, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, venture capitalists, journalists and leaders in the tech industry and STEM fields. The event even kicks off with a pool party on the roof-top at Hotel Palomar, followed by a speech from the Mayor of Phoenix.

Participants will gain a unique experience learning about topics on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership, business, the grind and the workplace, and diversity and education. Countless speakers and strong women leaders in business and tech will lead the event.

Local Support

Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEOof Girls in Tech, started the non-profit organization in 2007 to promote opportunities around the empowerment, engagement and education of women in tech. Adriana has served as a strategic advisor to several tech startups and embodies the type of role model needed to shape our city’s future in the largely growing and booming tech industry.

Rockit is a firm believer in getting more women interested in the tech industry and STEM opportunities. Times are changing: Men are no longer the only bread and butter winners in society, and we are looking to women to serve as the new leaders in the tech business and industry sectors.

You’ve heard it in the news: more women role models and mentors are needed to continue the trend of boosting the number of female students and adults into STEM fields. And President Obama believes that the development of world-class talent in STEM is critical to America’s global leadership.

Statistics show that women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations, and they experience a smaller wage gap relative to men in any other occupation. Through Rockit Bootcamp, women are able to become qualified web developers in 12 weeks, preparing them to find jobs making an average of $50,000 or more.

Free Scholarship

To encourage attendance to the Catalyst Conference, Rockit Bootcamp is going to be giving away a full scholarship to an upcoming web development-training cohort—a 12-week, $8,000 value. Applicants will be able to sign up at the Rockit booth during the event, in which they will be given a raffle ticket to wear on their event lanyards as an indication that they have applied to win the free tuition.

Rockit’s booth will also serve to inform participants about the boot camp and present our mission to help close the tech and STEM skills gap that is hurting the growth of our economy.

Don’t miss our breakout session during the event! Join us on Tuesday, April 28th from 11:40 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. for an opportunity to learn from web developer Kris Faulter in Leveling the Playing Field: How the accelerated learning model is helping to alter the gender disparity in the technology workforce.

Rockit’s next full time web development program begins June 8. To learn more, click here.


We had a great time talking to the SKINLESS PROJECT! Read below for a great read about our CEO, Adriana Gascoigne:

Girls in Tech, The State Of Women In Technology

1) Girls in Tech your brain child. Why did we need such an entity today?

Reinvesting in the community which fosters STEM education for young girls is fundamental in helping build confidence, provide exposure and excitement around an industry that is traditionally very male dominated. Teaching fun, interactive workshops that inspire girls to ask questions and drive interest in technical fields is the key – Girls in Tech has created several programs such as the Global Classroom, which teaches girls how to code and design websites, iPhone/Android app building workshops, Microsoft 101, which provides an overview on how to use basic Office programs, business plan building/product launch workshops, GIT Tech-Shadowing giving girls an opportunity to hang out at a high-tech company or a start up for a day or our Girls in Tech Summer Camp, offering field trips to tech museums, workshops, tech companies, etc.

2) Why do you think there is a new wave of awareness for women in technology?

Now that we have the data, analytic and psychological studies surrounding the inequality that women versus men face in the workplace – pay, promotions, how they are treated, etc. – we need to do something about it! We actually have to hold companies, executives and employees accountable with policies that encourage respect and friendly, productive, and supportive work environments. Companies should be encouraged and rewarded when they publish data surrounding diversity and promote the programs that they are launching as a result of that data. For instance, Facebook and LinkedIn just implemented a program to encourage more female developers and engineers to apply for jobs. They are instituting a process which is focused on creating an environment and training programs where women can thrive and climb up the ladder if they choose to do so.

Another huge change is the number of profit and non-profit organizations that have been launched specifically focused on empowering and educating women to become leaders. Universities rarely teach EQ or soft skills, including leadership skills so this, in addition to confidence-building, is very important for women who are just as smart or smarter than men, but tend to be more timid or less likely to tout their accomplishments and speak up during meetings.

Joining an organization like Girls in Tech will enable like-minded, powerful women in the tech industry to learn and grow with each other and provide role models and specific skills that can help them excel both professionally and personally.

3) Technology is how we live. Would you agree that women cannot afford to be out of the loop? Do you think women have the same advantage as men or face different challenges?

Women face different challenges due to the fact that the “brogrammer” culture is present not only at start ups but also at large, high-tech corporations and venture capital firms (old boys club). The notion that women can feel fully comfortable, productive and assimilate in an environment that is primarily created and orchestrated by men does not exist (there are exceptions, however). There are unconscious biases that are present in the fabric of day-to-day interactions in the workplace, including the way people of different genders communicate with one another, recruitment tactics, balance of idea- sharing during meetings, sponsors (vs. mentors) in the workplace. Some initiatives that can help level the playing field include…


STUDENTS! Win Tickets to the Catalyst Conference!

Get a glimpse of post-graduate reality. Join the amazing ladies of the tech world from across the globe as they congregate on topics like funding, diversity, work-life balance, social entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation, and more at the Catalyst Conference in Phoenix, Arizona April 26 to 28th.

STUDENTS: Use code gitccstudent for over 60% off your ticket price (just $75 to attend) to experience this inspirational and educational summit packed with female industry leaders!  #GitReady and visit for all the deets or tweet @GirlsInTech for info. *please note: you will need to show a valid school ID during conference check-in.


March 17 – March 30

Create a post discussing the most effective ways you’ve seen women work together to achieve something great, (IE working together for one great cause, working as one). In our case, it’s Girls in Tech and everything we’re about. What are some other examples you can provide to showcase collaboration for the greater good?

HOW:  Post your story on your LINKED IN and TWEET it out or Tweet a 140 character message specific to the topic.
You MUST hashtag #GITReady tag @GirlsINTech to be entered to win!

PRIZE PACK: A swanky prize pack packed with gift certificates, a haute tee, Google Play cards, must have snacks ,and more, fit for an all around top student, INCLUDING A SEAT TO THE CATALYST CONFERENCE APRIL 26-28TH !
(OVER $400 value)

Gender Diversity In Startups Might Be More Important Than You Thought

Did you know that while it is no secret that the tech startup community is lacking women, this gender imbalance may actually be impeding startups? David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars, delves into this topic and provides tips for combating gender disparity in this Wall Street Journal blog entry.

Cohen references a 2010 study completed by researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Union College on collective intelligence in groups. As Cohen points out, the study “found that groups with more women had a higher collective intelligence, which led to better group cooperation.” David also stresses the importance of creating a more balanced work team in stating, “This is not just a problem for women – it’s a big problem for all of us, because we’re missing out on immeasurable untapped talent, creativity and different points of view.”

Continue reading David’s post to learn more on his five tips that will help you create a more diverse startup culture. You can also learn more about related collective intelligence research from Christopher F. Chabris, a previous NCWIT Summit presenter, in his archived presentation titled, “Women and the Collective Intelligence of Human Groups.”

Source: NCWIT

Is the Innotribe Startup Challenge For Me?

If you are reading this, thinking should I / shouldn’t I participate, then I want to challenge you, and flip it to say: why wouldn’t you?

The Innotribe Startup Challenge is free to enter, unlike other challenges. We don’t charge for companies to pitch, and it’s open to startups as well as more grown-up companies who are still under the radar. It’s dedicated to FinTech entrepreneurs, this means that the judges we recruit, the audience we attract are the people you needto reach as they know any idea coming out of Innotribe will be relevant to them.

So, what’s in it for me?

Feedback: during the selection process, your application form will be read by a team of judges, from investors, VC’s technologists and bankers, and they will give youfeedback on your pitch deck, how it can be improved, even if you don’t get selected. If one of the judges finds your idea interesting, they may choose to reach out to you and talk regardless of your ranking in the competition.

Exposure: if you make it through the selection process, you will be invited to one of our regional showcases, in London, Singapore or New York, to pitch your idea to a room of relevant people who will be assessing your presentation. Using the media channels, blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn, we will expose your ideas to our 20,000+ followers, before, during and after the showcase.

Since Innotribe launched in 2009, we have seen over $350 million in investment, purchase and acquisition transactions for the Startups that have participated in our programme.

Coaching: We don’t throw you into the showcase cold. We have a team of coaches who will help you refine your pitch, before the showcase, to really connect with the audience, and to challenge you on your idea, in order to help you deliver a high quality pitch, which will be available on our YouTube channel.

Win the regional showcase, and we will be inviting you to come to Sibos, the biggest financial services conference in the world, organized by SWIFT. Here you will be pitching against the winners of the other regional showcases, in the Grand Finale, with exposure to the 5000+ financial decision makers who come to Sibos on a yearly basis. The networking opportunities on their own should be reason enough to sign up.

Cash Prize: Last but not least, should an early stage startup make it through the regional showcase, and win the Grand Finale, they will be awarded a cash prize of $50,000.

The Innotribe Startup Challenge gives your business the exposure it needs to take it to the next level, provides you with access to key financial decision makers, offers feedback and coaching from our highly experienced set of industry experts, and for the startups among you a shot at a big cash prize, all this for no fee.

To paraphrase kennedy, ask not what you can do for innotribe, but ask what innotribe can do for you and your business!

Sign-up at before 23rd February and be part of our 2014 journey!

16 Traits of a Great IT Leader

Did you know, according to a recent article featured on, while many great leaders share similar characteristics, it may take a more specific set of skills to succeed as a tech leader? Today’s IT leaders face a unique set of challenges in comparison to other corporate leaders, including the rate and pace of change, the massive integration of systems and processes, cybersecurity and privacy threats, and many others. Personal and professional development is therefore critical in the demanding IT field.

“While there are some things one cannot change about individuals, some leadership traits can be learned. There are very few people who are natural leaders – leadership is something people have to work at. Knowing what your shortcomings are, and recognizing them as such, is half the battle,” says Allan Boardman, International Vice President at ISACA.

The 16 traits in this article can help you become more successful in a technology career.

Source: NCWIT

How Ben and Jerry’s Helps During the Tough Days (but not in the way you may think!): Some Tips for New Startup Founders

Entry written by Allison Strouse

Hi, Girls in Tech! Allison Strouse here, your former co-editor. It has been a while since my last blog post, and I want to give an update on my latest adventure in tech. I am happy to announce that I have launched my own business, called Yarly.

Yarly’s mission is to help people get the most out of their memories. At Yarly, we are building a photo hub for archiving and organizing photos that gives you the power and flexibility to work with your photos the way you want to. Want to save some photos to DropBox and others to your desktop? Done. Want to share some photos to Facebook and others to Instagram? Done. Want to share certain photos with only specific people? Done. We are delivering a photo platform of choice delivered across all platforms, so you can have an organized and archived photo hub that gives you all of the flexibility and optionality that you want. Did I mention that you also own your data? Yeah, we provide that too.

Starting a business of my own has long been a desire of mine, but I wanted to take my time to make sure I had the proper skills to do it right. After three years as a Senior Manager at the leading online lead generation company, QuinStreet, and currently pursuing my MBA, the time felt right to take the entrepreneurial leap. However, I have learned that actually going through the start-up steps is where most of the learning is done, and I continue to learn every day. But before learned lessons become forgotten ones and new challenges take their place, I want to relay some of my learnings in hopes that I can inspire some of you take this very exciting leap. Here I go…

1. Have major conviction for your idea

In my eyes, Yarly is perfectly positioned to take advantage of four major current trends:

1)   An explosion in the number of photos being taken (880bn expected to be snapped in 2014, up almost 100% from five years ago)

2)   Popular social media photo-sharing sites becoming less and less private. We’ve seen this with recent Facebook changes such as the decreased age limit and mandatory profile search

3)   Data privacy and control concerns due to recent NSA revelations

4)   Increasing reputational concerns with social media – more than half of career recruiters now check your Facebook profile

Due to these four trends, there are more and more photos that simply sit on people’s camera rolls and sadly never get archived, shared and enjoyed. Yarly is designed to provide a cross-platform hub for organization and archival where users can interact with their photos in a way that suits the user. Photos are our most prided possession, and when people wake up to a sampling of photos scattered across social media platforms, where our data is no longer our own, users will demand a solution that works for them, not for advertisers.

Despite my very strong convictions for Yarly, there will always be the doubters out there. I’ve heard negative feedback including the crowded nature of the space to the deep pockets of large players. Where I see a huge market with a huge opportunity for disruption, there are many others who see impossibility. It has taken time to learn this, but I have finally become able to tune out the negative noise, and I’ve learned that this is critical for entrepreneurial success.

While I believe that all people give advice from a very kind place, this does not mean that I need to agree with them. This is easier said than done. When sticking to my convictions gets tough, I remind myself that this is what starting a business is all about. If there were absolute certainty that a business would work out, everyone would start one.

When this type of rationality fails…

Plan B: I think of other successful businesses and what they must have gone through in their early days. Google wasn’t the first search engine. I can only imagine the reactions they got when they decided to go up against Yahoo, AltaVista and a dozen others. Not only did they have many large competitors, but Google was competing in a space that proved zero customer loyalty at the time. At least for photos, a user gets more invested every time they use the product.

But when I still feel down…

Plan C: What about Ben and Jerry’s? When Ben and Jerry’s decided to start an ice cream company in 1978, I am pretty confident that people considered the ice cream space to be fully mature. When Ben and Jerry approached their friends and investors with the idea of innovating on ice cream, I’m sure they got a lot of crazy stares. We all know how this story ended. In fact, innovation in this market is still happening. In 2010, Melt Bakery was founded in the Lower East Side NYC, and they are innovating on the ice cream sandwich. I had my first one last week at the Madison Square Eats festival. Their red velvet meltcakes with cream cheese ice cream is delicious!

If we all listened to the completely realistic voices around us, these wonderful innovations in areas that many people consider to be “done” would sadly never come to be.

2. Team team team

I hear a lot of concerns from hopeful startup founders on finding a team, and they seem to put it off as long as possible. However, to the contrary, I think that having a team is the most fun part of a startup. There is nothing more fulfilling than going through this journey with others and experiencing the ups and downs as a unit. Also, with the experience of starting Yarly on my own and then bringing on a founding team, I can tell you from experience that things really get rolling only once a solid team is in place.  I also couldn’t see an investor investing in a founder who hasn’t proven their skills in team building. Yes, bringing on other equity holders feels risky and unkown, but if you find the right people, embrace the partnership like they are family, and I assure you that this type of commitment, loyalty and trust is a lot of gosh darn fun.

3. Just do it

Last, but not least, my advice to entrepreneur hopefuls is to do as the Nike saying goes, “Just do it.” At every bump in the road, remind yourself of your accomplishments and how far you have come already. When there seem to be many reasons to turn around, take a moment to think about the reasons to forge ahead. This is when having a great support system at home comes in handy. These people will be the words of reason when you feel unsure. These are the people who will remind you of how much you have accomplished and how proud you should be so you can confidently take that next step forward.

I hope that these lessons learned will be helpful to the Girls in Tech community and beyond. As always, please feel free to reach out to me:



Yarly Facebook Page


The Value of Gender and Racial Diversity in Tech

Diversity Expands The Qualified Employee Pool

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2018, there will be a total of nearly 1.4 million computing-related jobs added in the U.S., an increase of 22% from 2008. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the number of people graduating from college with computer or information sciences degrees has been decreasing steadily since 2004. At this rate, fewer than one-third of the vacant computing jobs expected by 2018 could be filled by U.S. graduates with computing degrees. Increasingly, non-IT jobs require deep knowledge of computing as well. A computing major or minor provides a versatile skill set that crosses disciplines and is essential in today’s information economy.

Diversity Improves the Bottom Line

Technology companies with the highest representation of women in their senior management teams showed a higher return on equity than did those with fewer or no women in senior management. A recent study determined that racial and gender diversity were associated with increased sales revenue, more customers, and greater profits.

Diversity Enhances Innovation

Information technology informs all aspects of modern society. Incorporating women and people of color is vital to the future of technological innovation. When we bring a wider variety of people into IT, our innovation will be enhanced through the valuable contributions that diverse perspectives bring.

Diversity Promotes Equality

With technology playing an increasingly crucial role in all of our lives, having more people from different backgrounds participate in its creation break down gender and racial economic inequalities.

Source: NCWIT

Top 10 Ways Managers Can Retain Technical Women

Below are ten important recommendations supervisors can readily adopt to improve retention for all employees. They are particularly useful for retaining women and employees from underrepresented groups.

  1. Sponsor female employees and make their accomplishments visible

Sponsorship means advocating for employees and showcasing their work in the right places and with the right people. Research shows that women with sponsors are four times more likely to remain with a company than those without a sponsor.

  1. Encourage female employees to take on specific roles and challenges

More than 350 studies show that being a minority in a particular environment can significantly reduce confidence and risk-taking but that simple encouragement can be a big help. Never underestimate the power of simply saying, “You should take on this role or apply for this position” or “You did well on this project.”

  1. Ensure that your team recognizes a diversity of communication styles

Some employees have been raised to believe that it is immodest to “sing their own praises.” Talk with your team about the importance of listening to a range of communication styles — not just to team members who speak loudly or most often or who feel comfortable talking about their own accomplishments. Actively seek out the perspectives of quieter team members.

  1. Provide female employees with clear opportunities to demonstrate their technical abilities

Give female employees explicit responsibility for technical assignments with defined deliverables and expectations. This enables women to demonstrate clearly their technical abilities — something that research shows can be more difficult to do when one is a minority on a team.

  1. Ensure that female employees know “it’s not just about technical ability”

Sometimes employees believe that doing a great job is all that is needed to get ahead; however, employees also must be well-rounded in business acumen, company politics, and knowledge of the industry landscape. Communicate this early on and help female employees develop a plan that will enable them to do this.

  1. Provide early, ongoing, and specific feedback

Do not rely on vague assessments such as “you need to be more of a team player.” Make sure all feedback is specific, compares actual performance to expectations, and includes concrete examples of things that have been done well or need to be improved.

  1. Treat employees as individuals, not as representatives of a group

Avoid calling attention to employees on the basis of their gender, race/ethnicity, or disabilities. While it is important to remember that members of underrepresented groups can share some similar experiences, do not treat employees as “token representatives” who can speak for an entire identity group.

  1. Examine task assignments for patterns that subtly disadvantage female employees

Women are often assigned or feel compelled to take less visible assignments or execution rather than creative roles. Keep track of which employees get which roles. If patterns emerge, ask whether these patterns are based on actual ability or if they might be based on unconscious assumptions.1

  1. Ensure that performance evaluation instruments or processes are results-based and avoid unconscious biases

Use concrete examples to support all evaluative statements. Make sure that promotion and resource allocation policies do not unfairly penalize employees (e.g., for utilizing flextime, working from home).

  1. Track recruitment, retention, and advancement

Keep tabs on the demographics of candidates who are interviewed and who accept positions, as well as employees who stay, leave, are promoted, and receive pay raises. This information will help you identify how well you are meeting your goals and where improvement is needed.