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Tech-Girl Monthly: November 2015

Technology Activist

“We have to refuse to settle for the last decade’s good news—if recruiters are boasting about a 20% female workforce, we need to adjust our expectations, and loudly.” - Tracey Greene
I often refer to myself as a technology activist. I think many people wonder why technology would need an activist because it’s everywhere already. That’s true, but of course, there are several problems in tech like the gender gap and lack of diversity as well as an educational system that is struggling to prepare students for the jobs of the future. As a technology activist, I advocate for changes to address these problems.

November is election month and so it’s a great opportunity to talk about advocacy. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, advocacy is â€œthe act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.” At the grassroots level, Tech-Girls works to overcome stereotypes and offer more opportunities for girls to get hands on with tech. Through advocacy, we can work at the regional, state and national level to address the systemic issues that perpetuate the gender gap in tech.

Tracey Greene, Executive Director of CBIC and Cassandra Stish, CBIC Board Member, recently led a discussion with Charlottesville Women in Tech about the crucial importance of policy to the survival and growth of our local and statewide tech community. Be sure to read Tracey’s summary - CBIC Leads Tech Policy Discussion with Women in Tech for more information about advocacy in tech happening locally and tips for voicing your opinion at all levels.

Spotlight: Elaine Cheng

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Elaine, the Chief Information Officer of CFA Institute. She leads a team of 60 technology professions, delivering solutions that help educate and train ethical investment management professionals. Elaine is also on the board of the Charlottesville Women in Tech as the Sponsorship Chair.
What drives your interest in technology?
The fact that technology is always changing makes it fascinating. As a technology professional you never get bored.

Why is it important to get more girls and women interested in technology?
Girls and women have such amazing talent. We will really be less of a profession without their views and ideas.  

What most excites you about the future of technology?
Infinite possibilities. Technology will some day cure cancer, take us to Mars, and perhaps extend life forever.   

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don't be afraid. Trying something new does not make you look foolish.

Read more.

Get Involved!

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

Activities & Events

Live & Local

  • November 14 - Girls' Geek Day. Baker-Butler 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.
  • November 15 - Girls on the Run Fall 5K at 2pm. This event will be held at the St. Anne's-Belfield Learning Village campus. Registration required.
  • November 13-15 - Startup Weekend EDU. This event is an awesome opportunity for people of all ages to share their ideas for addressing a problem in education and expanding their entrepreneurial experience. Last year’s event featured several teams led by middle & high school students and a middle school student’s team was awarded 1st place. The Tech-Girls team placed 2nd in 2013! Registration required.
  • December 9 - Make It @ the Library at 4:30pm. Kickstart your creativity in this Pop-up MakerSpace that meets on the second Wednesday of the month. December features Paper Projects. Grades 6-12. Registration recommended. Call 434.979.7151 x4 to sign up.
  • Ongoing - Charlottesville Women in Tech Meetup. If you are a mom of a Tech-Girl & want to connect with other female techies, please consider joining us at a monthly meetup. More info.
  • Ongoing - Girl Develop It Central VA. What better way to inspire your daughter, grand-daughter or niece to learn to code than to learn yourself. Girl Develop It Central VA offers beginner classes in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg for adults.
  • Ongoing - Playing Aces Chess is a group of teachers, parents, and interested community leaders who recognize the importance of developing critical and creative thinking skills in every student using chess. They hold chess events throughout the region. 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

  • September 15 (applications open) - ProjectCSGirls is a computer science competition for middle school girls. Create something with tech that can help solve an imminent social problem. More info.
  • November 16-19 - Global Education Conference. This free, virtual conference can get you connected to the world! More info.
  • November 30 (deadline) - Girls Code 4 Climate @EDU Contest. Using the Vidcode platform, code a short video (30 seconds max) on climate issues. Open to students, 10-19 years old. More info.
  • December 7-13 - Hour of Code. Join millions around the world during the Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code. They offer many great resources for teaching & learning computer science that can be accessed at any time. More info.
  • February 16 (deadline) - EngineerGirl Essay Contest. The theme this year is responsible engineering. Contest is open to elementary, middle & high school students.
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
‘Sputnik’ moment for women in tech
CodeGirl premiere on YouTube Nov 1-5
Girls Code 4 Climate @EDU Contest
2015 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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