Girls in Tech KC

GIT_10.28.15The Girls in Tech KC movement addresses an increasing demand for a qualified and diverse workforce to fill tech jobs in the Kansas City region. Although women hold 57 percent of all professional occupations nationally, they represent only 26 percent of professional computing occupations and only 6 percent of Chief Information Officer positions, according to 2014 data analyzed by the National Center for Women in Technology.

The Girls in Tech KC initiative, sponsored by the Skillbuilders Fund, Women’s Foundation and Cerner with support from a host of in-kind partners, follows a research-based approach that includes:

 

Early hands-on exposure to computer science through six Hour of Code events in December 2015 and four girls-only app camps to be scheduled for summer 2016.

Connecting female students with female mentors.

A #GirlsinTechKC social media campaign to raise awareness, help girls interested in tech connect with each other and learn more about the types of work available by connecting with women already in the field.

Here’s how you can get involved:

Mentoring

Research by the National Center for Women & Information Technology shows that having positive female role models is a primary motivator for girls exploring careers in the field. If you are a woman working in computer science or related fields, consider sharing your experiences with a local student. As part of the Million Women Mentors movement, KC STEM Alliance aims to sign up 7,000 women mentors across Missouri and Kansas over the next year. Sign up here.

Encouraging Career Exploration

Surveys by KC STEM Alliance show girls typically acknowledge that the biggest influence on their decision to explore STEM careers comes from a teacher, family member or mentor. If you’re a teacher or parent, get familiar with career opportunities in the tech field so you can share them! Here are a few places to start:

National Center for Women & Information Technology: https://www.ncwit.org
Research on girls and STEM careers from the Girl Scouts: http://ht.ly/Vr48e
FabFems: http://www.fabfems.org/
DotDiva: http://www.dotdiva.org/

Help Girls Get Hands-On

Kansas City has multiple avenues for introducing girls to tech. Options include:

NOTE: If your organization has hands-on opportunities to add to this list, email us at kcstem@kcstem.org.

Spread the Word

Use #GirlsinTechKC to talk about opportunities on social media.

Here are a few things you can share to get the conversation started:

One student’s journey:

Meet more local girls and women working in STEM.