A Letter to Women in Tech: World Records, Girls in STEM, and the IBM Cloud Garage

By Stephanie Trunzo

Dear women in tech (both current and future),

I am a woman working in technology.

I work for IBM, a technology company led by another woman, Ginni Rometty. I lead the IBM Cloud Garage, a network of purpose-built spaces with cross-discipline experts innovating with the spirit of a start-up at the scale of the enterprise.

However, Ginni and I are not common examples of the technology talent landscape. Women in technology are woefully underrepresented. Only 26% (!) of the computing workforce is represented by women, according to a 2017 study by Women and Information Technology.

Why is this a problem? Technology is everywhere. We cannot go a moment in our lives without having technology impact or influence our lives. Having such a ubiquitous and instrumental industry responsible for a significantly uneven gender balance presents biases and ramifications that affect our everyday lives.

How can we expect technology to represent all of us when the people who build it do not?

Root cause analysis: Why aren’t there many women in tech?

Like most of life’s important questions (e.g., “what is the meaning of life?” or “what’s for dinner?”), there is not a simple answer.

Setting aside so many complex factors, let’s focus on at least one thing we do know—girls become interested in careers in technology at age 11 but start losing interest at age 15. If we can help mitigate this loss of interest at this early stage of girls’ lives, we can, at a minimum, increase the chance that more girls will elect to study STEM and computer-related fields in college. With only 37% of STEM college graduates in 2016 being female, I’d say there is a lot of room for improvement! Okay so stick with me here . . .

Ignite the change and help us set some world records

The IBM Cloud Garage is partnering with TechGirlz, an organization with a mission to inspire middle school girls to explore tech, to make herstory.

On March 30, 2019, from 12pm–3pm, TechGirlz’s popular Make a Website Using HTML/CSS workshops will be held throughout the U.S. (see if there is a location near you!). These workshops will teach HTML and CSS basics through the creation of websites, powered by IBM Cloud. The girls will focus their website content on influential women figures (super meta!). With these workshops being run concurrently, we will be setting two world records:

  1. Most girls coding at the same time in one location

  2. Most girls coding at the same time in multiple locations

The Raleigh workshop will be held in the future home of the IBM Cloud Garage. We at the Cloud Garage are ecstatic that these bright young ladies will be some of the first people to experience our new space in Raleigh—right before our own Cloud Garage designers, architects, and developers make this their new home.

Are you in? Register today!

World records, girls in STEM, and the IBM Cloud Garage—what more could you want? We invite you to be part of this event!

If you know of a girl who wants to help set this record coding with us on March 30th, register her todayBe sure to also RSVP on our Facebook page. Space is limited so register early!

With this event, we hope that we can make history with these record-breaking coding workshops as well as start history by inspiring the next generation of girl coders.

Ever a Girl Geek at Heart,

Stephanie Trunzo

#geekgirl

#womenintech

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