If you have ever been to one of the dozen weekly technology events around Philadelphia, you likely have quickly noticed that the room is often largely filled with men.
“I’ve been in tech for 15 years and I’ve never been in a room full of women,” says Techgirlz co-founder Anita Garimella.
To help bridge the gap, a handful of local women have created Techgirlz, a new organization that hopes to solve the gender gap in Philadelphia’s technology community. According to Techgirlz, most girls begin to dial back the pursuit of subjects like math and science in middle school. Technology jobs are often viewed as only involving computers or programming, something the group says turns off many young women.
“Technology isn’t just about coding,” says fellow co-founder Tracey Welson-Rossman. ”It’s media, it’s setting up a business and it’s impacting every part of our lives. You need technology in any field you’re going into.”
Techgirlz has recruited some of the area’s top women in tech, including 123linkit founder Yasmine Mustafa and Sibyl Lindsay, VP of Sales and Marketing at Xipwire to discuss tech with roughly 30 students at the University City Science Center on September 25th for Techgirlz Unite, the group’s first event.
Techgirlz hopes the event can inspire and educate young women about the technology jobs that have creative components that typically appeal to young women.
“When there’s a lack of women, you have no model,” says Welson-Rossman. “You just can’t project yourself in a carrier unless you see someone like yourself in that career.”
After judging the success of Techgirlz Unite, the group says it will begin planning other events to reach out to the city’s middle school students.
“This program will have many metamorphosis,” says Garimella. ”We’re in this for the long haul.”
TECHNICALLY PHILLY is a news site that covers technology in the region. The site covers startups, investment, government policy, Comcast, social media and all that is Philadelphia tech. Read more at technicallyphilly.com.