All Thayer News

How else are women pulling one another into the tech world?

Aug 07, 2015   |   by Susan Svrluga   |   The Washington Post

“I was frustrated when I went to tech events,” Shannon Turner wrote recently for Women in Tech. “I’d be one of the only women in the room and felt outnumbered and intimidated. Worse, most of the men would talk down to me and not take me seriously.

“In talking to the few other women at these events, I realized I wasn’t alone …”

So she began offering free coding classes to women. In about a year, what started with four women around a kitchen table has grown to nearly a thousand participants in the nonprofit Hear Me Code.

There are all sorts of women out there like Turner, echoing the concerns that Isis Wenger raised about stereotypes in the tech industry. Wenger, a 22-year-old platform engineer, lit up the Internet early this week when she posted a photo of herself with the hashtag #Ilooklikeanengineer. That sparked almost 64 million conversations on Twitter and Instagram by the end of Wednesday, according to Pixlee.

[#Ilooklikeanengineer wants to challenge assumptions about who works in tech]

The weird imbalance in the number of women in certain math, science, technology and engineering fields is well documented; the nonprofit Girls Who Code, for example, cites that nearly three-quarters of middle-school girls are interested in those subjects but less than half of 1 percent choose computer science as a college major.

On social media, on college campuses and around the tables at tech start-ups, people have been talking about how best to combat those stereotypes.

Now Wenger is building a Web site to keep the momentum, and another one already popped up, with photos of rocket scientists, sorority sisters posing in white dresses, pink wigs and all sorts of stereotype-crushing pics.

Colleges including Cal Tech and MIT quickly encouraged graduates and faculty to join in Wenger’s #Ilooklikeanengineer wave. The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth noted, with pride, that nearly half of its students are women.

Link to source:

For contacts and other media information visit our Media Resources page.