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Tech-Girl Monthly: October 2014

It's TechTober!

Governor McAuliffe declared this month TechTober at the Women Etc Conference. Why the focus on Technology in Virginia? Here are a few reasons the governor cited:
  • Specialized, skilled and technical jobs comprise over 45% of Virginia’s labor market.
  • Virginia needs to build a better awareness of technical career pathways because there are over 29,000 unfilled jobs in IT when Virginia only graduated 3,268 students in IT in 2013-2014. That number is expected to grow to 70,000 in just a few years.
  • More Virginia students, especially females and minorities, need to learn about the possibilities in technology fields.
  • Virginia needs a stronger public-private partnership to build a robust technical workforce pipeline and TechTober kicks off a statewide mentor pledge. You can fulfill that pledge through working with Tech-Girls!

Get Involved

Are you ready to become a mentor or sponsor a Tech-Girls workshop? Can you help us get the word out or cater an event? However you would like to get involved, we need you! 

Spotlight: Women @ Women Etc

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting the women in tech keynote speakers from the Women Etc Conference!
Jeanette Horan, CIO at IBM, enjoyed studying math in high school and college because of the logic and analytics involved. She shared career advice that balances building your reputation and becoming a subject matter expert with finding opportunities to take risks, try something new and broaden your skills.

Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, studied electrical engineering and spoke about being part of a very underrepresented group in tech. She started Black Girls Code because there were not opportunities for her daughter to engage in a meaningful way with technology. She views technology as a great tool for social change, economic justice and helping move our nation and world forward. We both agree that our programs are more than teaching girls to code. They are about teaching girls that they can become anything they want to be!

Rebecca Jacoby, CIO and Senior Vice President at Cisco, didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up. She started studying to become a dentist, then switched to economics, but happened to take a FORTRAN class that hooked her on tech. She talked about the importance of showing your whole self, if you want people to connect with and respect you and reminded us that nobody gets anything done all by themselves. She believes the number of projected jobs in IT is grossly underrepresented because we are at a turning point, we are entering the age of “connected things” aka the internet of everything. She still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up!

Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits, studied engineering in college and hated it. She found it boring, dry and irrelevant, but she realized that technology and electronics were touching everyone, every day. The motivation for starting littleBits was to help move us from being consumers of technology hardware to creators of it because Ayah believes we are the ones who need to be empowered to make our lives better with tech.

Miral Kotb, founder of Iluminate, studied computer science in college, but found she was living two separate lives - one as a software engineer and one as a dancer. She brought her passions together by inventing the world’s first wearable wireless lighting system - Iluminate. She cites determination as the single most important quality that helped her bring this project to fruition.

Day of the Girl - October 11

In 2012, the UN declared October 11 International Day of the Girl to recognize the importance of empowering and investing in girls "to break the cycle of discrimination and violence" around the world. This is also the date Tech-Girls was launched to empower girls to imagine and achieve their future dreams in our tech-savvy world. You can find Day of the Girl events and activities to engage in around the world. In Charlottesville, we’ll be enjoying the first Girls’ Geek Day of the year!

Activities & Events

Live & Local

  • October 4 - Charlottesville Mini Maker Faire. Be sure to mark your calendar for this fun, interactive event featuring regional makers.
  • October 9 - CBIC Tech Tour. Visit your future!
  • October 11 - Girls' Geek Day. Crozet Elementary (9am to noon). This event is open to all ages, but if you are a 3rd grader or younger, please plan on bringing one of your parents too. Registration required.
  • Ongoing - Tech-Girls before & after school programs for middle school girls are in high gear. We are collaborating with GEMS at Jouett & Henley. We've also got programs at Sutherland and Computers4Kids. Contact us for more info.
  • Ongoing - Tinkersmiths Makerspace hosts a wide range of workshops that are open to a variety of ages and experience levels. Check out their latest meetups.
Virtual & Global
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
  • September 1 - February 15 - ProjectCSGIRLS, the nation’s biggest computer science competition for middle school girls. Build something with tech that can help solve an imminent social problem.
  • September 15 - November 4 - NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. Are you a young woman in high school interested in computing? Want to tap into a powerful network that can help make your dreams come true? Selena Feng, a high school junior is changing her community through GREAT, a program supported through her NCWIT Award.
  • Upcoming - Technovation Challenge. A global technology entrepreneurship program for young women everywhere ages 10 to 23. Start recruiting your team of up to 5 girls now! Pre-registration available.
MAKERS 6-Part Series Launches On Tuesday, Sep 30.
Check out what these girls are making with code!
Share your "Hello World!" coding moment.
2014 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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