Written by Courtney Pugh of 1&1.
Whether we see it in our television shows, hear it on the radio or read it in a book, there is a perpetual stereotype portraying individuals in the technology field as bona fide nerds. Everything from Steve Urkle’s jeans to Screech’s weirdness is cast onto the entire field of IT professionals. Although this may be an exaggeration in terms of social cues, wardrobe choices and many other factors, there is a real-life reflection in these characters: IT geniuses are predominantly portrayed as male characters.
TechGirlz is a non-profit organization set to eliminate the stereotype of a male-dominated IT industry and entice girls to throw their hat in the ring. The organization creates a platform introducing girls to technology at an early age, opening their eyes to career options in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries.
TechGirlz Program Director, Karen Stellabotte explains, “We help middle school girls understand what technology is and how they can use it for their future careers. We do this by creating and hosting TechShopz, or workshops, taught by IT professionals that showcase all types of technology.”
This past Saturday (12/6), 1&1 Internet was honored to work with TechGirlz to host the organization’s 50th TechShop. Sixteen girls from throughout the Philadelphia region dedicated their Saturday afternoon to learn about Web hosting and Web design from 1&1’s Christine Skiffington, Courtney Pugh, and Allison Doan. More than listening, the girls also created their own business website.