TechGirlz founder/CEO, Tracey Welson-Rossman, is a contributor for Code Like a Girl– an offshoot of Medium that focuses on “breaking down society’s perceptions of women in technology.” In this article, Tracey explains the importance of continual mentorships for young women in tech and how TechGirlz is working to give middle school girls access to college campuses, such as Drexel, thanks to the organizations new partnership with the university. The full article was originally published June 12, 2018 on Code Like a Girl.
The number of high school girls thinking about careers in technology has been steadily declining. If you have read my past articles, there are many reasons for this: lack of tech classes at the high school level, scarcity of role models, few courses of interest to the girls…the list goes on and on.
Over the past 7 years, TechGirlz has been working to change and break this cycle. We’ve worked hard to lay the foundation for a Path to a tech career that starts even earlier in middle school. By showing girls that technology can be fun and interesting, we can show them tech can be a part of their future career choice. We also hope to help parents understand the opportunities available in the industry, whether in a specific role like a software engineer or using technology as an innovation tool.
Even with our programs in place, we find there are still potholes in place that can slow down or divert girls on the Path to a career in tech. High school can be a challenging environment to deliver the support and tools these girls are looking for. So we began to ask why not work at the college level to extend the Path downward and help pull (versus push) more of these along.
We know that colleges recruit star athletes from a very early age. And that many actively recruit star students beginning in high school. Why not work with colleges and universities to help them specialize in recruiting star technologists?