Women Techies United at SXSW
At this year's SXSW, 10 "women-in-tech" organizations teamed up to sponsor a single booth. "Women Techies United" turned out to be quite an attraction! Nearly every woman who walked by (and a lot of men too) stopped to see what we were all about.
The 10 organizations that participated provide a wide spectrum of tools to raise awareness about women in technology, from research, resources, and events to professional development, networking, and mailing lists. If you're not already familiar with these groups and their work, take a moment to check them out:
Conversations on the topic of women in tech - both spontaneous and at the panels - addressed the entire pipeline, from teaching K-12 students how to create technology ("Duh...It's Like Tech for Girls") to finding out "What Guys Are Doing to Get More Girls in Tech". Not all of the discussions led to suggestions for active solutions, but at least the discussions are taking place. And many are involved.
It was refreshing to see this kind of collaboration by the different women-in-tech organizations (thanks to Kaliya Hamlin for organizing.) The "Women Techies United" booth is one of several collaborative initiatives among us like-minded organizations, including Astia's "We Own IT" summit and the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance, which already has produced terrific projects and which will focus on collaboration during its upcoming annual meeting.
More of these collaborations will benefit everyone: the organizations, their constituents (entrepreneurs, girls, women in professional IT careers) and the environment in which these constituents train and build successful companies and careers.
Paraphrasing Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia, "We are all a part of a movement. No one is going to move the needle alone. We need to work with each other to get big results."
Baat Enosh is a computer scientist and Program Manager of the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance.