By Sophia Schneidman
In 2014, only 26% of the US's computing workforce was women (Dyton). In 2019 not much has changed. Currently, only 2.2% of investor funding goes to women-led startups (Kappin, 2019). Fortunately, companies such as Ada Developers Academy and PowerToFly have created immersive experiences that provide women the tools to achieve their dreams. Ada Developers Academy is a software development training school that is targeted to women. The program, which offers a seven-month course in Seattle, is completely tuition-free. At Ada Developers, students learn from experts and receive internship opportunities through a bunch of different Puget Sound tech companies (Dyton). PowerToFly is a recruiting startup that places women in remote tech jobs so they can work anywhere in the world. Co-founder and president of PowerToFly, Katharine Zaleski, describes her company as a place that, "Offers women job opportunities that work for both their lives and their careers" (Dyton).
Not only do women need the proper tools to work in the tech industry, but they also need positive role models. Despite only receiving 2.2% of all funding (Kapin, 2019), women-led tech startups are a force to be reckoned. Stephanie Lampkin, the founder of Blendoor, is a great example of a role model. Blendoor is a blind recruiting app that hides a candidates name and photo in the application process. Essentially Blendoor is The Voice for hiring. (Kapin, 2019).
Female role models also exist in some of the largest tech corporations known to date, including Facebook, Youtube, and Yahoo. Fifteen of the most powerful women in tech include Sheryl Sandberg, who is the COO of Facebook. In additional, Susan Wojcicki, who is the CEO of Youtube, and Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, are two role models of mine (Bradford, 2019).
Sheryl Sandberg's favorite piece of advice is that; "There's only one way to get to the top of a ladder, but there are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym. The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours, and even dead ends presents a better chance for fulfillment" (Kleeman, 2019). Sandberg is talking about how women have a lot more hurdles to jump through than their male peers. But that means when a woman finally achieves her dreams, she is potentailly much more fulfilled than when a man reaches his dreams.
Support women. Join WITI at rollback prices
Bradford, Laurence. "15 Of the Most Powerful Women in Tech." The Balance Careers, The
Balance Careers, 25 June 2019, www.thebalancecareers.com/powerful-women-in-tech-2071172
Dyton, Joe. "5 Companies Trying to Close the Tech Gender Gap." Monster Career Advice,
Kapin, Allyson. "50 Women-Led Startups That Are Crushing Tech." Forbes, Forbes Magazine,
10 May 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/allysonkapin/2019/02/20/50-women-led-startups-who-are-crushing-tech/#1e949e3852b3
Kleeman, Sophie. "9 Inspiring Women Leaders in Tech Share Career Advice Everyone Needs to
Hear." Mic, 7 May 2019, www.mic.com/articles/122556/career-advice-quotes-from-women-leaders-in-tech