Quinn O’Callaghan, a voice for the Philadelphia Citizen, writes about TechGirlz Ceo/Founder, Tracey Welson-Rossman’s reasoning behind starting the nonprofit and the hopes that the organization will “shape the technology industry into a more equitable place for everyone.” The article touches on how TechGirlz is spreading their mission through free tech classes to middle school girls in Philly (and beyond!). The full article was originally published on Philadelphia Citizen’s website on September 14, 2017.
Tracey Welson-Rossman is about as hardcore a modern business and tech veteran as you can find in Philly. She opened a branch of, and ultimately took over transportation company, KangaKab, which she sold in 2000; was the director of sales and marketing at Skylight Systems, a server software company; and is now chief marketing officer of Chariot Solutions, a software developer in Philadelphia. She is also a founding member of startup advocacy group Philly Startup Leaders and the Women in Tech Summit.
But Welson-Rossman’s most lasting impact on the local tech scene is likely to be felt decades from now. As the founder of TechGirlz, a Philly-based nonprofit that provides middles school girls with extracurricular STEM classes, Welson-Rossman is hoping to launch an army of young female tech professionals into the world—and reshape the technology industry in the process.
“I have an interesting perch, because I’m not just working in a software solutions company, but also we’re really active in the software development community and the open source community,” Welson-Rossman says. “And around me, there were a lot of people who really thought there should be more women, and didn’t understand why there wasn’t. We were looking for a solution.”
At Chariot Solutions, Welson-Rossman saw firsthand how difficult it can be for women in tech, specifically from a recruiting standpoint, where very few female candidates were coming through.
“It’s hard to find candidates if they’re not studying what you need them to study when you’re looking to hire them,” says Welson-Rossman. “It took me a while to get off my—well I don’t want to say butt—but to try and do something about it.”
So Welson-Rossman began to talk with colleagues about starting a coding workshop just for girls, and they took to the idea pretty quickly. She says that the general consensus was that there was something wrong with the number of female candidates that her colleagues were interviewing, and that a change needed to be made.