I joined Women Who Code as a member in 2013 and was new to programming and engineering. I had however led fundraising, organizational strategy and marketing for over a decade with award-winning nonprofits. Despite raising 20M+ for education initiatives and Alameda County’s first center for girls, leading some of the biggest food and wine events in the Bay Area, or setting up high profile partnerships the Warriors, Oprah, Bill Nye, etc., I found myself professionally irrelevant within the tech industry.
I wasn’t “tech-shiny” and this was a problem when exploring a career change, especially as a single mother within the Bay Area. I don’t have to tease out the “why’ for anyone that’s local.
I was reticent when attending my first Women Who Code (WWCode) event, which was a panel of female execs discussing leadership. I quickly realized I was not only relevant enough for the WWCode community, who were incredibly accomplished and diverse, but embraced. Women at every step of their careers were being supported and oftentimes, giving back to their communities in turn. One woman was bridging the ESL/Edu support gap, developing a learning app with Siri technology. I heard stories about re-entry, job changes, promotions, next steps, new apps, advanced skillsets and of course, greater confidence within the tech space, all due to this powerful community of 50,000 women strong.
Since that first event, I’ve not only attended tech conferences and events, but have begun coding. I can’t wax poetic on API’s and I’m not always on slack, but I know I’m relevant and I have a community that backs me. That’s the power of Women Who Code.
In September, I officially joined the Women Who Code executive team because I believe that women everywhere need what WWCode has to offer: a generous supportive community, with technical resources and training, offered on a global scale for free. For women near one of our 60 networks in 20+ countries, the barrier to access is negligible if non-existent.
If you’re like me and have been supported by WWCode in any way, I hope you will consider making a meaningful gift this season to support more women in technology. WWCode is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and 96% of all funding goes directly back to programming. Read: any gift, large or small goes a long way. Make a gift today.
Why give? Well, according to Harvard Business School research, giving is directly correlated to an increased sense of happiness. Also, all donations to WWCode are 100% tax deductible. That’s happiness-infused tax deductions for your end of year and to that, I say: yes please! Check out CreditCards.com's credit card rewards donation guide.
#GivingTuesday is coming up as well so, please encourage your networks to share, donate, and #teal themselves, accordingly. Let them know why you’re invested and a partner in this critical work.
So, thank you for your commitment to advancing more women in tech. You’re a part of my story and the 50,000 other members out there around the world who belong to Women Who Code. Together, we're a movement and it's catching...