Women of Tech
A collaborative product design project created by myself and RISD student Joshua Shao.
Today tech related jobs are ranked first among the fastest growing industries in the U.S. Because of this rapid growth and the widespread influence technology and media has over society, it seems simply just that the people working in these fields represent diversely the communities they directly effect.
For the past decade the gender gap in tech has been analyzed, researched, and rallied upon to discover and encourage a stronger female presence in the tech space. Activists and researchers each have varying reasons for the potential issue, and new data is constantly leading to new discoveries. There are believers in the pipeline problem, some who see it as an economic issue, an educational issue, and others as h3 cultural issue.
Where We Are Today
Everyone knows the stories of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, known as chief innovators and the faces of technology itself. This may ring true, I don’t write to downplay their accomplishments that make up modern day technology, but to highlight the history of females in computing—both in present and in past—that seems to have been erased. It’s because of women like Grace Hopper who led COBOL language still used today, Ada Lovelace who theorized the method for ‘looping’ in computing, and many others that this field is allowed the bright future it has today, and because of marketing and media that their story has been buried.
As you can see from this graph produced by NPR, for decades the number of women studying computer science was growing faster than the number of men. However a decline begins in 1984, and continues to decrease yearly. Currently, according to The Office of The Chief Economist’s Women In STEM: 2017 Update, only 25% of women currently attain a job in a STEM related field of work… With tech being one of the fastest growing industries in the country it’s important to encourage the opportunity for tech to be a career path for girls.
What Other Are Doing
In attempts to bridge this gap Girls Who Code—a company that introduces youth girls to the tech world in a summer immersion program—reports that about 74% of young girls express an interest in STEM fields and computer science which, from then to college drops to only 18 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees held by women.
Girls Who Code along with other organizations like Tech Ladies, and She Geeks Out are among those who support and encourage a stronger female presence in the workplace. The intention being: when there’s little to no female support in certain companies, women can find a community here with these empowering organizations.
What We're Doing
In the recent wave of feminism, women in tech have not only cried about about the clear gender gap, but also of theharassment issues in the workplace. As this is becoming a heightened issue in the media riding on the same wavelength as #METOO, women in tech will begin to do all they can to rise up and become leading voices in tech companies by the simple act of sharing stories and teaching one another skills to survive and to thrive. This is why we’ve created Women of Tech, your go to guide for women making it in tech.
Women of Tech is an online repository of women in tech who are breaking the glass computer screen and inspiring myself and my partner Joshua Shao… (and hopefully will inspire you too!) As students at both The New School and RISD we’ve collaborated on this project to bring you our curated list of creative computers, software stars, and overall rockstar ‘wo-grammers’ to sift through, explore, and inspire anyone wanting to be in this field.
Women of Tech
Women of Tech is an online repository that sorts professionals by industry, and users can select ones they are interested in to see the a category's contents. By clicking on an individual, users can access relevant links, their personal website (if applicable), and their social media presence.
Users have the option of helping submit individuals that we missed, and can serve as a way for users to interact with the platform.
The ABOUT Section allows for users to see more information regarding our curatorial process, and our individual information so users can get a better understanding of who is organizing and managing the repository.
Responsiveness is demonstrated through a collapsible menu and slides out to conserve space on mobile and tablet versions of the website.
Each component is titled with the individuals name, industry, and current occupation. If users wish to learn more about the individual, they can click on the name and links will appear to guide the user towards other relevant content.
If you’re intimidated by the taunting headlines of women in the tech industry, curious about tech and wondering where you could fit, or want to learn about others interested in the same things as you, users would be able to visit this site. There we would share links to their work and inspire the possibilities of what a tech career for women can and will look like.