The most amazing thing happened last week.
An 11-year-old girl tagged along to what she thought would be a boring tech event, and came out of it talking nonstop about math and how amazing it was.
The girl was my daughter, Bella. Math is a subject she’s struggled with. She has worked very hard at it, but it doesn’t come easily. She recently shared with me that someone told her she ultimately wouldn’t even use most of the math she is learning. So when I asked her if she wanted to go to a local tech event with me, I had no idea what to expect.
What happened at Co-Merge downtown Wednesday night was a parent’s greatest wish come true. Geek Girl brought together some of San Diego’s top women in startups to spread the message of the strength of women in technology. Women from local startups to investors told how they got into technology and shared how other women can succeed in technology.
The panel of women included moderator Shawn Bridgeman of Embarke, Liz Hedstrom co-founder and creator of WeddingHappy, Marnie Zoglman senior software operations manager at Qualcomm, Juliet Oberding, co-founder of Predictably Well and Allison Long Pettine, president of Crescent Ridge Partners Ventures – a great mix of executives, software developers and investors talking about how they got to where they’re at.
San Diego is becoming a great place for tech and startups and women are a big part of it.
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Thanks for the mention, Blair. Encouraging girls to study STEM subjects and choose them for their careers is necessary for tapping all the talent we need to innovate in our economy. On the other end of the pipeline, some tech companies are already really good at promoting and supporting women in tech, and many more have the potential to contribute positively to that. Women face some nuanced problems in tech culture, but also some very obvious ones, and we (the tech and business community) need to work to fix the glaring issues in order to pave the way for solving the whole pipeline problem.
@Shawn Elizabeth Bridgeman - I agree Shawn. Please keep up the positive contributions you are doing in San Diego.
Great article Blair. What business person wouldn't jump at "a nearly untapped potential when it comes to creating new tech businesses?"
But of course you understand it's about so much more. It is encouraging to see female entrepreneurs, engineers and managers make such important strides toward realizing their full potential and it all starts with little girls like yours.
@Gaby Dow Thanks Gaby, I hope she grows up like you.
I was very happy to see your piece on getting girls interested in technology.
My name is Ange Mason and I am the Education Outreach Manager at the San
Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD. Each year since 2006, we have been offering
StudentTECH workshops for boys and girls and we currently reach over 300 students each summer.
However, only a small portion of girls sign up, perhaps 20%.
This year, we have a new program that we are calling GirlTECH San Diego (girltechsandiego.org).
We encourage girls to attend all of our workshops (and we have an app development workshop!) but
we have two specific to girls (boys are also welcome). They are:
Summer Institute for High School Students: AnimationCreation: Bring Out Your Creative Side and Create Your Own Animation with Professional Video Production Tools, Grades 9-12, June 23-July 3, 2014 (two weeks)
Summer Institute for Middle School Students: Have a Blast with Ocean Science! Using Modern Technology to Understand the Ocean and Marine Life, Grades 6-8, July 21-25, 2014 (one weeks)
I hope that you will find this information interesting and would consider spreading the word.
" An 11-year-old girl tagged along to what she thought would be a boring tech event, and came out of it talking nonstop about math and how amazing it was."
Yep. We parents live for that stuff.
Amazing the power of third person influence on our Kids.
Nice piece Blair
@Mark Giffin So true. Thank Mark.