Women in Tech Meetup Group challenges the status quo by building up the tech community around women in Upstate New York
The days when technology was a field reserved for men are definitely gone. As the need for diversity in this industry has been growing through the last decades, promising in-field initiatives gradually make it possible for women to access the resources and the support they need to succeed in Tech. The new Meetup Group « Women in Tech » launched a few weeks ago by Elisa Miller-Out is one of them.
Elisa Miller-Out is the co-founder & CEO of Singlebrook Technology, a custom web development firm based in Ithaca, NY. She was happy to answer a few questions about her new group!
What is the Women in Tech group?
The Women in Tech group was launched with the goal of building up the community and eco-system around women in Tech in the Central New York region. The first step for Elisa is to get to know this environment, that means, identify who the people interested in the group are, and understand what kind of support system they’re looking for.
Next step is programming : presentations, workshops, guest speakers…
What’s the purpose of the group?
The target is to try to, “Build and support a more diverse eco-system, more balanced” in which women’s voices are heard, said Elisa.
Numerous studies have shown that more diverse teams, including women, create better and more creative products, and perform better financially. As an example, the last Mc Kinsey study, Diversity Matters, showed that, “Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”
Elisa Miller-Out has been in the technology field for 10 years, and she personally experienced the fact that the number of women in this industry is low. Elisa noticed that there is a growing awareness around the issue. This topic is more and more tackled by the media and initiatives to favor Women in Tech all around the country are emerging. Just today, the launch of a Summer coding campus for girls aged 13-18 was announced by model Karlie Kloss.
Elisa has an even broader vision encompassing society as a whole. According to her, the idea is, “To build a more just and equitable society, a more diverse one, at this time when technology is transforming our world and society. It is critical that there are multiple voices at the table,” she says.
What type of activities will take place during those meetings?
“Currently, we’re gathering together and identifying what the needs are, what areas the members of the group are interested in.”
The next step is programming in order to serve the community the best way: workshops, guest speakers, training development, partnerships with similar groups in Syracuse (Women in Coding) and Rochester (Girl Develop It), a mother-daughter coding workshop will also be scheduled.
A key related area is women in entrepreneurship. Rev is the local incubator in Ithaca and their program ‘Passenger to Pilot’ is dedicated to women in entrepreneurship. It is a fantastic program and resource for women in the area. Another group based in Corning, NY, is called The Society of Women Engineers. The new Startfast Code school is also a very interesting program and offers 50% discount to women who sign up for their code bootcamp.
Who’s joined the group so far?
At the moment, 45 people are part of the group, after just one formal meetup. The net was cast wide for now, as Tech is envisioned in a much larger sense. Members are people interested in hardware, software, engineering, social media, marketing, UI, coding, programming, angel investing and venture capital.
The idea is to find out who’s there and then run some smaller groups, focused on particular areas.
When do meetings take place?
Every other month, a networking event will be hosted and then workshops will take place in between.
The next meeting is scheduled on Friday May 6th at 5 pm at Hand + Foot. It’s called Cocktails and code.
Anyone is welcome to join.
The group is primarily for women, but men & transgender folks are welcome to join if they want to support, get involved and shape the future of technology in Upstate New York!