Kansas City Women in Technology’s vision is to grow the number of women in technology careers in Kansas City. Our mission statement highlights how we will do this:
1. Educational workshops & speakers for young girls
To grow our numbers, we have to get girls interested in technology careers early. Even in 2013, a world so focused on technology still fails at showcasing these careers. Girls often have no concept of jobs with computers that are available because they’re simply not talked about. KCWiT is working to provide workshops and camps for girls to introduce them to creating through technology, and give them the self-confidence to pursue career ideas traditional targeted towards boys. KCWiT is involved with Kansas City school districts, assisting in tailoring curriculum to match desired skills currently needed in the industry.
“The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S.
The United States Department of Labor estimates that by 2018 there will be
more than 1.4 million total new computing-related job openings when
considering growth and replacement needs. Technology job opportunities
are predicted to grow at a faster rate than all other jobs in the professional
sector, or up to 22 percent over the next decade.”
– Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review.
2. Mentoring for high school & college girls considering technology career paths
The ratios of women vs. men in technology courses is still vastly unbalanced, and there are few mentors available for girls needing support in these areas like computer science, robotics, or web development.
“Despite the increasing number of computing jobs, interest in these majors and
careers has steadily declined over the past decade. Fewer students also are
enrolling in computer science and graduating with computer science degrees.
If current trends continue, by 2018 the industry will only be able to fill half of
its available jobs with candidates holding computer science bachelor’s degrees
from U.S. universities.”
– NCWIT, By the Numbers 2009.
3. Networking events & volunteer opportunities for current professionals.
Though many women may start in technology, the dropout rate for professionals is staggering. Growing the number of women in technology includes the need to retain women currently in it. Networking events aim to meet all the needs of the members, be it growing certain skills, building relationships, re-inspiring techie-love through mentoring, or just giving the reassurance that “I’m not the only one”.
“According to a study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, 74 percent of women in
technology report “loving their work,” yet these women leave their careers at a
staggering rate: 56 percent of technical women leave at the “mid-level” point
just when the loss of their talent is most costly to companies. This is more than
double the quit rate for men. It is also higher than the quit rate for women in
science and engineering.”
– Hewlett et al, The Athena Factor.
The board behind Kansas City Women in Technology is comprised of women currently ‘in the trenches’, giving them a fresh perspective on providing tools for women still trying to make their mark on the industry, and creating opportunities for established members to mentor and help shape the next generation of women in tech.