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12 STEM Resources For Young Women
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 6:42:42 PM
Re: Great Information
@JamieM272: Thank you for sharing that additional info. I was pleased to note that you are looking for volunteers right here in SF for your October event.

Attention IW community! if you want to get involved in a STEM resource for young women, here's what Chicktech needs for its October event:

Are you in the Bay Area? Would you like to help us expand to San Francisco? Our kickoff event is scheduled for Oct 11-12, 2014 at SFSU. We are looking for partners, sponsors, and volunteers who would like to be part of the team that brings ChickTech to your area!

Please Keep us posted, Jamie on how things progress with this event and others.
JaimieM272
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JaimieM272,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 7:37:30 PM
Re: Great Information
@Susan, Thanks for asking here is a link to my blog about my experience and also the Chicktech web address. Please check it out and if ever there is an opportunity to provide more awareness please reach out to me. I love the innovation ChickTech brings to the table, they continue to encourage high school students to think and challenge themselves. We don't always have to do things the way we have done them, great ideas are how we have gotten this far. 

www.chicktech.org

www.edgelink.com/edgelink-charity/edgelink-supports-chicktech-midsummer-picnic/
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 7:21:03 PM
Re: Great Information
@Jaimie: Fantastic, We have a Baker's Dozen with your group added to the list. How long has ChickTech been operating? Can you tell us more about your experiences working with high school girls who are interested in STEM?

Also--any advice for parents in helping daughters develop their STEM interests?
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 11:54:41 AM
Re: Great Information
ChickTech -- love it, Jaimie. Focus on making the tech pursuit cool.
JaimieM272
IW Pick
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JaimieM272,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/11/2014 | 4:28:44 PM
Great Information
Susan, this is a great article with some good information that I hope parents will use to engage their children in new activities. In Portland I am part of a group called ChickTech, they have an amazing program to help high school girls explore their capabilities. What I really love about ChickTech is their focus isn't on the compensation or gender gap but more about the child and what they might accomplish if given an opportunity. 

Thanks again for sharing, 

Jaimie 
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Moderator
8/11/2014 | 3:25:22 PM
Re: 12 STEM Resources for Young Women
These are wonderful programs for girls. I am actively involved in the Girl Scouts STEM Programs and believe these programs give girls an exposure to experiences they would have never had a chance to try.   
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
8/11/2014 | 8:47:46 AM
Re: Black Girls Code
Hi, Kimberly

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply to my questions. I appreciate it. My questions may seem silly, but in fact, they can go deeper in discussion if we go to the roots and history of why there is a need still today for a group focused on girls of color. 

"Whereas women currently hold about 30% of jobs in technology, people of color only hold about 2-3% (this is not a representation of the number of women of color but includes men)."

The percentage is really shocking. I would have assumed it was higher. There is so much need today for solving issues of gender and race not only in the workplace, but also in society as a whole. Diversity is what should be more common today after all what history has taught us. Hoewever, it seems everything has changed so little in such a long time. 

I do understand your mission, your goal, and your wish to help these young girls become great professionals in computer science and technology in the future. I just wish there wouldn't be a need for a specific group dedicated to girls of color because other groups are not helping as they should. That is my main point, and what I was trying to argue. It's not about doing homework, but about my thinking.

I have checked the Website, and watched several videos you have there, too. There is no doubt your work is great and impressive, and you have done so such a short time that BGC has existed.

I believe my main problem is trying to figure out if being in a dedicated, homogeneous group will not contribute to the girls, or boys growing up in a kind of thinking that encourages discrimination. Yet, I see your points, and obviously, you know more than how it really is to fight this fight than what I can know, or even imagine. 

Kimberly, I don't want you to misunderstand me. In fact, I support you, see your work, and appreacite what you do. I just wish things were different in the 21st century for these girls.

-Susan
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
8/9/2014 | 5:09:33 PM
The problem is sexist employers
Proponents can advocate all they want to get more females into the STEM industry, but that's not the problem.  The problem is that employers don't want to hire anyone who is **not** male or under age 25. 
KimberlyB592
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KimberlyB592,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2014 | 3:50:53 PM
Re: Black Girls Code
Hi Susan,

This is Kimberly the founder and executive director of Black Girls CODE. A friend and colleague alerted me to this discussion and although I don't normally reply to such threads I feel that it is important to address your concerns. You've been rightly directed to read our mission and vision for BGC by other posters as it clearly points out "why" we focus on this critical demographic on girls of color. We are the MOST underrepresented in the tech industry. Whereas women currently hold about 30% of jobs in technology, people of color only hold about 2-3% (this is not a representation of the number of women of color but includes men). However if you did a bit more homework you would see that girls of ALL colors attend our workshops across the US and even in Africa. We welcome all girls with a very clear focus on outreach and recruitment of girls of color for the reasons stated above. Do a little more research.

 

Now this being said as you noted in one of your posts, if we welcome all girls why can't they all learn together? I'm making an assumption here that you mean in an organization that does not have a specific focus on girls of color? Or at the least does not call itself as such? Well the reason is that simply these organizations are not reaching this target demographic. Even when they have a mission focus for reaching underrepresented communities they have failed at being adequately able to tap into this market. We have reached almost 3000 students to date in a little less than three years. That's incredible for a young organization such as ours and speaks volumes to the unmet and real need in communities of color.

But again why did I personally found an organization such as Black Girls CODE? It is because as a woman of color who is a trained engineer with 30+ years in corporate america with a young budding tech daughter I am acutely aware that your concerns and challenges as a woman in technology and industry are not always the same as mine. The intersection of both race and gender have had an indelible impact on my journey as a woman of color and many of the interventions intended for a larger audience did very little to address my personal story and those for girls like my daughter. Our program is not meant to exclude but to empower with the belief that a rising tide lifts all ships. There are programs for girls overall, there are co-ed programs, there are programs that target black/latino males. They all serve a purpose which is eradicating the divide and opening opportunities for ALL youth. But programs such as BGC also serve a purpose to reach the specific less "technical" needs to foster self-esteem and acceptance for girls of color in a society in which they are often overlooked and forgotten. This is why we exist.

It is my expectation that these girls (and they do) will leave our program empowered and go back into the broader community with both skills and talents which will allow them to use technology for all and bridge the divide. This is what "we" do.

I hope that helps you understand our mission and focus better. And I'd welcome you to reach out to me specifically for further discussion.


Regards,

Kimberly Bryant

Founder, Black Girls CODE
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
8/9/2014 | 4:17:28 AM
Re: Black Girls Code
SusanN, 

"The female friends I have who also happen to be women of color do attest that they feel even doubly challenged in the white male dominated workplace. I can't claim that is a universal feeling, that's  been my experience based on the people I know."

Today the IT workplace is white male dominated. How is it going to be like in 20 years' time when these seven-year-old girls join the workforce? To get there with some kind of change the work needs to be done today. I truly don't believe the right way of doing it is putting those little girls in a box so early in their life. Those are the women of the future, and future IT women.

It's Okay if there is no agreement with what I think. I just don't like to put people in boxes because I hate it if people do that to me. Boxing and labeling people is not my thing. That's not the way of creating diversity. Well, this is just from my point of view and my thinking.  

-SusanF 
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