This week's Digital Savant column is a look at local groups that promote, train and help connect with others women in technology fields. Some of these groups have existed locally for a long time but it seems that within the last year or two there's been a big surge in their numbers and many new chapters of national or international groups launching here. The column is in Tuesday's American-Statesman print edition and you can find it on MyStatesman.com.
Here's an excerpt from the story:
“You get asked as a woman, ‘Are you a marketer?’” said Cecy Correa, the co-chapter leader for Girl Develop It ATX. “(Women in tech) think they’re having a business conversation with someone and the other person gets the wrong idea and invites them for drinks. ‘Oh, you’re not interested in what I have to say, you just want to take me on a date.’”
Jessica Lowry, CEO of Key to the Street and organizer of regular skill-building events She Hacks ATX and She Designs ATX, says even women starting businesses face some slow-to-change obstacles. “According to Forbes, 13 percent of all the venture capital money went to women-led startups. That’s a huge disparity,” Lowry said. “Typically in business you’re looking for someone who reminds you of yourself or someone you know who’s already been successful. The model is usually a white man.”
Based on the growth of women-in-tech groups it appears there’s a sea change happening. Whether it’s being spurred by changing attitudes in the tech community or simply more women entering a growing tech-job market and wanting to make connections is up for debate. Groups keep forming and their ranks keep increasing, says Correa. “It seems like the market could be oversaturated with these groups, but really we can’t keep up with the demand for women to go and learn.”
You can read the full column here. One thing not mentioned in the story that happened recently: Google announced it will be paying to train women and minorities in coding.
Here's a list I put together in my reporting of some of Austin's women-in-technology groups. There are likely more that are missing from the list. If there are any to add, please let me know in the comments and I'll include in this post.