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This Women in Technology series was supported by the PS Solutions Foundation which was founded in 2012 with a mission to help share resources, and opportunities and expose more girls to the endless career opportunities in the technology industry,

From doing our own personal research and talking with students at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, NC participating in the District C program, we have found there many different stages and barriers as girls develop in their schooling. Girls in middle school may not know they enjoy building computers because it may not be offered in schools. High school girls may be unaware of the different career opportunities under the “tech umbrella”. Many overlook that Graphic Design, UX, Customer Services, Project Management, Product Development, Business Development, Sales, and Marketing are all opportunities outside of being a developer. In this next stage, after high school,  now want to set themselves up for success and begin to look at how much money they can make. Our mission is to eliminate these barriers so young girls feel confident in starting a career in the tech industry. 

Let’s take a look at some of these stats: 

  • Did you know that only 24% of computing jobs are held by women? *
  • Females make up 19% of STEM graduates *
  • According to Deloitte, women will make up 33% of tech companies by the end of this year. *
  • 39% of women in tech say gender inequality is the main barrier to promotions. *

What are the main barriers for girls to get started in tech? 

  1. No representation in tech roles. 
  2. Unaware of all the roles under the tech umbrella. Ex: Other careers besides a developer.
  3. History of gender inequality & wage gaps. 

Over the last couple of months, we have highlighted our Women in Technology Series where we had the chance to sit down with 11 different women in the technology industry and hear them share their stories, experiences, and advice for girls who are interested in getting started in the technology industry. There seemed to be a few patterns. Many of these women were exposed to technology in some way at an early age. Some of them had no idea they would end up in the role that is currently in. But, all of these women are proud to have a role in the tech industry. Everyone’s background is different. Everyone’s style of learning is different. And, everyone’s passions are different. The main takeaway from every single interview was to try as much as you can to figure out what you love. Then, see how you can enter the tech industry with that passion. Technology is not going anywhere and nowadays, there isn’t much that doesn’t touch technology in some form! When it comes down to it, if you love what you do, the rest comes naturally! 

Featured Women:

Karen Delon, Manager, Technology Innovations Business Intelligence,  Allegheny Health Network 

Sara Auld, CEO of Health Possible and Upper

Nikki Doverspike, Technical Project Manager, Guidewire Software

Miranda Merilli, System Administrator, GNC 

Nancy Bessette, Business Quality Assurance Analyst, PS Solutions

Danielle Eriksson, Director of Product Management, Aptiure 

Jeria Quesenberry, Teaching Faculty of Information Systems, Carnegie Mellon University

Shani Bannerjee, Software Developer, Zoobean

Stephanie Hippo, Engineering Manager, Google

Kandy Beatty, Implementation Consultant, Kensium

Rashida Hodge, VP of Azure Data and AI Customer Sucess, Microsft 

Key Points of Advice from the Women in Tech interviews:

  • Try out as many different opportunities as you can while growing up. –Rashida Hodge
  • Make connections, and build relationships now! – Miranda Merilli
  • Even if you have to go alone, GO! –Steph Hippo
  • Wear your deodorant, stand tall, and ask questions! –Karen Delon
  • There is more to tech than just being a developer! – Kandy Beatty
  • Parents, encourage your kids to learn how to use technology and what they can create rather than just scrolling on social media. -Nikki Doverspike
  • Understand the value of a dollar for yourself before getting into ANY industry. – Shani Bannerjee
  • Take advantage of the free resources out there. 
  • Technology brings people together and can change lives. Give people hope through your inventions and creations. –Sara Auld
  • The Tech Industry is an industry that brings together all different types of people. Find common ground to collaborate across the different types: Business, technology, and non-technology. –Jeria Quesenberry
  • Attend Women in Tech conferences, and reach out to people on Linkedin whom you may want to learn from. -Nancy  Bessette
  • As long as you love what you do, you’ll be good at it! –Danielle Eriksson

More Women at the Table = Business Success

Women having a seat at the table could take your product/business to the next level. In our interview with Shani Bannerjee, she explained how important it was for these tech companies to have all representatives at the table when making decisions. If you don’t have genders, races, etc. represented is your product really inclusive?

Businesses that have more diverse teams are performing better and are becoming more innovative at a faster rate. With more awareness and exposure comes more diversity which ultimately means a bigger talent pool with fresh ideas for employers. Why wouldn’t you want to help support this mission?!

If you would like to watch the full interviews in this series please visit our YouTube channel and check out the Women in Tech Series playlist, here

Thank you to all the women that took time out of their busy schedules to meet with us. We have shared this series with our partners at Isaac Beach Early College, Sea-Tech High School in Wilmington, NC along with Bishop Guilfolyd in Altoona, PA! 

As we celebrate our 10 Years of the PS Solutions Foundation, we have seen tremendous growth over the decade. There have been more women in leadership roles at tech firms and more opportunities for younger women to be exposed to tech earlier. 

This Women in Technology series was supported by the PS Solutions Foundation which was founded in 2012 with a mission to help share resources, and opportunities and expose more girls to the endless career opportunities in the technology industry, To learn more about the free resources and how you can get involved with our Foundation, please visit www.pssolutions.net/foundation

Research Credits:

Women in Tech Stats

Deloitte

 Women in Technology Statistics | Tech Industry Challenges for the Workplace

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