Member Spotlight: Girls in Tech
What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
Moving the Girls in Tech headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee in 2022 opened doors to exciting new partnerships, events, and programs outside of Silicon Valley; forging a new look and feel for the tech industry of the future. Tech is everywhere, and we are excited that we can offer our resources more directly to the future women tech leaders of Tennessee.
What has been the most valuable aspect of your Chamber membership?
As an organization that aims to support and educate, we’ve always placed a huge amount of focus on building professional communities wherever we can be present, both physically and virtually. A Chamber membership for the Girls in Tech team is exciting because it means joining a comprehensive network of Middle Tennessee’s most prominent and esteemed business professionals. These local connections will enable us to build more and more local partnerships and leverage the fast economic growth occurring around the Nashville area.
Who are the Girls In Tech and what should we know about you?
Founded in 2007 in San Francisco, Girls in Tech are on a mission to close the gender gap in tech. Tech companies may promote diversity on paper; however, the statistics paint a different story. Women hold a mere 26.7% of tech employment jobs across the US, and the pay gap for women is reported to be 23%. We combat these systemic inequities by distributing educational programs, career support, and resources that help all women excel in the tech industry.
Through Girls in Tech, our members are connected to a diverse global community of incredible women to expand their professional support network. We are passionate about inclusivity because we know that tech today requires people of all skills and backgrounds. We want women all over the world to know: whether you’re a data analyst, a creative, a strategist, or a coder, you are needed.
What is unique about your business that makes you stand out?
I started Girls in Tech in 2007 because I was the only woman working at a start-up tech company. I became very aware of the impacts that a lack of diversity in the room could have on decision-making and project results. Frequently, this would impact how I was treated and how my work was received, and it got to a point where I needed to take matters into my own hands. My initial aim was to create a local networking community for women in the tech industry. At my first small event in San Francisco, over 200 women attended, and it was clear how much this was needed.
Today, Girls in Tech has grown globally. With 110,000 members in over 29 countries across 35 chapters, our programs and events are tailored to meet the needs of local communities. We’re determined to level the playing field in the technology industry worldwide and to inspire thousands of women to realize their potential and act on it.
What's your biggest goal for your company this year?
Girls in Tech offers a variety of educational programming for our members. Our UX Lunch and Learn Series, for example, teaches participants the basics of User Experience (UX) skills and knowledge. It’s a surefire way for any woman in tech to level-up in her abilities and confidence at work while learning in a safe space with like-minded individuals. This year, we hope to expand on offerings like this one by providing more educational, skill-building, and career-enhancing programming for women in Nashville and around the world.
How do you stay involved in the community?
Our biggest in-person community event is our annual Girls in Tech Conference in Nashville, which is coming up on September 21st. The conference attracts women from all industries, backgrounds, and career stages who are hungry to learn and meet others. It is a day of valuable networking, key industry speakers, and skill-building. Altogether, this event aims to elevate the female tech workforce and set the tone for the future of the industry.
Holding the conference in Nashville was strategic in two ways. First, we hoped to tap into the resources offered by the booming entrepreneurship across multiple industries here. Second, the geographic location of Tennessee was an opportunity to expand the overall diversity of our membership and access more women across the Midwest pursuing tech careers. We have found so much support from the community here and intend to plan more in-person events in Nashville in the coming years.
Some keynote speakers include:
- Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer, Verizon
- Fiona Tan, Chief Technology Officer, Wayfair
- Casey Santos, Chief Information Officer, Asurion
- Dr. Cybele Raver, Provost and Vice Chancellor, Vanderbilt University
Click Here to learn more about this event and register.