Women were responsible for some of the earliest IT industry discoveries and inventions.
One example less popularly known is the ENIAC girls. During World War II, six women together were responsible for programming the first all-electronic, programmable computer (ENIAC) built in the U. S. for the Army.
But fast forward to today, U.S. Department of Labor research shows that men continue to dominate the industry. Even though that may be true, if you are a woman, it shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing or continuing a career in IT. Women can empower each other through professional organizations, continued education, mentorships and more. If you want to join the ranks of those who are leading in the industry today, whether it’s as a coder, systems engineer, network administrator, CIO or anything else IT – check out this guide of organizations for inspiration, support and learning opportunities.
- Primary audience: Women already in technology careers who want to combat the gender gap.
- Mission and programs: A global community for women in tech, Ada’s List is committed to changing the tech industry to make it better and more inclusive for women. It seeks to change the underrepresentation of women in tech, empower women who work in tech, and improve the tech industry overall. They run an email list for their community, offer workshops and an annual conference, and provide a platform for members to disrupt the status quo.
- Primary audience: Women of all educational and career levels who work in technical fields.
- Mission and programs: org works to shatter the perceptions of, provide opportunities for, and advocate solutions for women who work in technology. They are also focused on driving accountability for companies who employ women in technology. AnitaB.org offers a variety of programs to help women in tech learn and grow.
Black Girls Code
- Primary audience: While this group’s focus is on young black girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), women already in STEM fields can join as volunteers to help educate and inspire the next generation.
- Mission and programs: Black Girls Code is focused on increasing the number of women of color who work in computer science and technology fields by empowering girls between the ages of 7 to 17. The organization introduces young black girls to coding through workshops, “hackathons,” and other events.
Girl Develop It
- Primary audience: Women of all education and career levels interested in learning web and software development.
- Mission and programs: Through local chapters across the U.S., Girl Develop It provides affordable and “judgment-free” opportunities to women who want to learn web and software development. Their classes and meetups help women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology career goals.
Girls Who Code
- Primary audience: Their computer science programs are designed for girls in grades 6 to 12, and they are always looking for adult volunteers to help run them. You don’t need to have ANY experience in coding or computer science to volunteer and learn along with the girls.
- Mission and programs: Through summer and after-school programs and clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire and educate young women interested in computer programming and engineering. They are on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like across the nation.
- Primary audience: Like the name suggests, this organization is focused on moms who want a career in coding.
- Mission and programs: MotherCoders offers technology training programs for mothers who want to either start, further, or re-enter careers in coding. MotherCoders’ 9-week courses come with a supportive community that includes child care, making it easier for mothers to pursue their tech career goals while raising children.
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
- Primary audience: Any woman interested in or already working in the IT field can access the resources, tools, and programs provided by NCWIT.
- Mission and programs: The only national non-profit focused on women’s participation in computing, NCWIT helps over 1,100 organizations recruit, retain, and advance women of all levels of education and career status. They provide support, resources, evidence, and action to further the participation of women in the field of computing.
- Primary audience: Focused on supporting women from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East who wish to pursue STEM careers, women from the United States can become mentors to support these future global women leaders in IT.
- Mission and programs: TechWomen provides mentorship and exchange programs between emerging women leaders in STEM from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East and their professional counterparts in the United States. Their goal is to nurture and coach the next generation of female global tech leaders.
Women in Technology (WIT)
- Primary audience: Women at all levels who work in the technology industry, whether you’re just starting out or already established.
- Mission and programs: A professional association located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for women in the technology industry, WIT is dedicated to supporting and advancing women in technology. Through leadership development, education, mentorship, job fairs and more, WIT supports women in technology at all levels of their careers.
Women Who Code
- Primary audience: From beginners to advanced coders and leaders, Women Who Code is for any woman wishing to excel in a technology career.
- Mission and programs: Women Who Code seeks a world where women are proportionally represented in all areas and all levels of tech – from software engineers to executives and board members. They offer workshops and resources for women to enhance their professional skills and provide a community for women in tech to find networking and mentorship opportunities. They also work to educate companies to promote, retain, and hire women.
If you want to start or further your career in technology, you may also be interested in Capella University’s Information Technology Degrees & Certificates.