Blog - From the Bench

A Tri-State Resource Guide for Women in Tech (And Their Employers)

By Allison Junquera On March 25, 2019 · In

A Tri-State Resource Guide for Women in Tech (And Their Employers)

Despite comprising 47% of the U.S. labor force, women are largely underrepresented in the tech industry. Women currently hold only 25% of IT jobs, make up 7% of all partners at venture firms, and occupy 11% of executive positions at Silicon Valley companies. Combine these statistics with a turnover rate of nearly twice that of their male counterparts, and it’s easy to understand the scope of both the issues and opportunities for women in tech.

Simply put, excelling as a woman in tech remains an uphill battle, but one that shouldn’t be fought alone. Whether you’re in IT management, a technology professional, or pursuing a STEM degree, the tri-state area has a variety of opportunities and resources for women to connect with peers and grow as IT professionals. Here’s a look at some of the tri-state organizations available to you, your peers, and your employees.

Join an Organization or Networking Group

The New York, Connecticut, and northern New Jersey areas have many chapters of larger organizations and networking groups that serve to connect women in the IT industry. Dip your toe into the water with the Fairfield-Westchester branch of Ellevate, a global network of professional women who seek to elevate each other and their careers. Ellevate actively works to close the gender gap and partners with corporations who are committed to gender diversity and providing resources for women to support each other.

Women in Tech International is the world’s leading trade association dedicated to empowering women in business and technology, with chapters in Fairfield County, CT, New Jersey, and New York City. WITI offers programs and partnerships designed to provide connections, resources, opportunities, and a supportive environment to women in tech throughout the US and across the globe.

Here are a few more local groups dedicated to the unique challenges that women in IT face every day:

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Start your own Meetup! They’re simple to create and can attract a large audience of members and attendees relatively quickly. Consider combining forces with a few of your internal or external peers to develop a “Women in Tech” meetup in your area. While not geared exclusively to women, the recently launched Stamford BIT: Business Intelligence Technologies grew to over 110 members within the first 45 days of its launch. If you build it, they will come!

Women in Tech Conferences

National and regional conferences provide a larger forum to share knowledge and promote discussion on the growth and issues facing women in tech. They’re a bigger time and monetary commitment, however, they pay off with great opportunities to expand your knowledge base, learn new skills, and network with industry peers and entrepreneurs. In 2019, New York City will host many women’s conferences, including:

Further afield, next month’s Women in Tech Summit in Philadelphia will offer over 25 sessions ranging from Navigating Organizational Change to DevOps, to Python. In October, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists will convene in Orlando for the Grace Hopper Celebration, a three-day conference of key-note speakers, sessions, and awards ceremonies, all about and for women in tech. The event is sponsored by and the Association of Computing Machinery, two of the largest organizations devoted to both women in tech and promoting computing as a science and a profession.

Grow Your Talent Pipeline

Women in tech and their employers can pay it forward by becoming involved in organizations dedicated to closing the gender gap and encouraging STEM education and career opportunities for female students.

Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY) is devoted to closing the gender gap by encouraging more women to pursue STEM education. They partner with academia, the government, and nonprofits to execute initiatives throughout the New York metropolitan area. The group hosts events, participates in community outreach, and connects young women with internships at universities like Cornell and the City University of New York.

Girls Who Code was founded with the single mission to end the gender gap in technology and build the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. The organization currently has over 90,000 members across all 50 states and expects to receive gender parity in computer sciences by 2027. They actively seek volunteers and partner companies to help fuel their ambitious mission.

The Future of Women in Tech

Now more than ever, women and their employers need to work together to share knowledge, eliminate discriminatory working and hiring conditions, and support education of future generations. By connecting and supporting local women in tech, you’re going beyond furthering your career – you’re assisting in these efforts and making the tech industry a better, more inclusive place for all.

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