While change is happening for women in tech, it’s just not happening fast enough. And it doesn’t help that the world is in crisis.
Women are still earning only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men (even less for women of color). And “the number of women serving in leadership positions has barely budged over the past two years”, according to IBM research.
The pandemic has slowed things further, with women being twice as likely to lose their jobs during this time and 42 percent shouldering more household work, compared to only 11 percent of men.
Yes, there is a ‘but’ to all this.
We’re changing the narrative of this crisis.
Girls in Tech is positioned to help women weather this storm.
Our organization is built to help women not only survive during times like this, but thrive. It’s why our programs are thoughtfully designed to give job security and economic empowerment to underrepresented groups through education and professional support.
We know there’s a lot set against women in tech. But we know what women in tech are capable of. We’re blessed to see girls following their dreams, starting businesses, driving organizational change, and breaking through barriers in the tech industry every damn day, all over the world. It’s amazing. You’re amazing.
Join us as we explore the Girls in Tech impact in 2021.
Celebrating female role models
Women are vastly outnumbered in the tech industry – this we know.
According to the TrustRadius 2021 Women in Tech Report 72 percent of women in tech felt outnumbered by men in business meetings by at least a 2:1 ratio in 2021. And 26 percent reported being outnumbered by 5:1 or more in most meetings.
Lack of support, mentoring and female role models are significant contributors to feelings of isolation and imposter syndrome for women in the workplace. So we took it upon ourselves to share some inspiring role models this International Women’s Day.
We called out some impressive women making waves in the tech industry, including Whitney Wolfe-Herd and Melanie Perkins and Timnit Gebru. Because it’s important that our community knows what they can achieve, what’s possible.
Putting pressure on organizations to act
With only 25.1 percent of executive or senior-level officials and managers at S&P companies being women (only 4.6 percent having women CEOs!), this year we felt it was time to put pressure on organizations to achieve gender parity in the boardroom
Not just empty promises and slow-moving equality targets. Real, immediate action.
We kicked off our Half the Board campaign, asking organizations to commit to achieving 50/50 gender parity in boardrooms by 2025.
Bringing the community together
This year, 1,877 women registered to attend the 2021 Girls in Tech Virtual Conference to hear from over 25 industry-leading speakers. It was a day to remember, attendees walking away empowered, uplifted and having learned new skills and techniques for thriving in the tech industry.
Women in tech are even continuing to benefit from the day’s valuable sessions by rewatching the powerful sessions on YouTube.
Building skills and confidence
Education and career support is a key area we focused on in 2021. Our global programs helped thousands of women pitch their ideas, start businesses, get promotions and put their fancy new tech skills into action. Here are just a few of the programs we ran.
Mentorship is a powerful tool for career advancement. This year we launched an exciting virtual mentorship program, pairing 176 mentees paired with 176 mentors for 3 months of support, guidance and learning.
The feedback so far is positive, and mentees and mentors alike are pleased to be connecting with other women in tech, developing confidence, setting goals, and workshopping career challenges together.
Digital Career Fair
Over 475 jobseekers registered for this year’s one-day virtual event, allowing them to connect directly with representatives from top global companies. This was a chance for candidates to take a proactive approach to looking for work opportunities, and for companies to access top talent.
This event provided value like the Girls in Tech Jobs Board, but in real time, with the opportunity to enable real conversations.
In this 4-week sprint, women formed teams or worked as individuals to design innovative IoT (Internet of Things) solutions for real-world problems.
257 participants submitted 20 projects, and the inspiring winners received cash prizes to help further develop their projects. It was a great opportunity for women in our community to put their tech skills to use, work as a team, and think creatively.
During this exciting, month-long competition, we received 44 pitches from incredible women of all ages, races and backgrounds. The competition was designed to promote female founders, with winning startups receiving mentorship, promotion and cash prizes to move their business forward.
Thank you to our community
It’s been an inspiring year – albeit a hard one for many of us. But at Girls in Tech, we’re confident that the impact of our organization reaches far beyond the pageviews, clicks, opens, likes, comments, submissions, event tickets and tangible numbers we can gauge.
We’d like to thank our local chapters for doing such vital work on the ground to equip and motivate women in tech, and the organizations they work for, in cities and communities across the world.
We’d like to thank our amazing partners and sponsors for making our programs and resources viable.
And we’d like to thank you, too, for being here. For supporting us. For believing in what we’re doing. For being a part of the journey.
As we look to 2022 and beyond, we’re filled with hope and anticipation. This crisis is turning things around. In many ways for the better.