Mentoring Mission - Women Who Code
Mentoring Women into STEM
This weekend was full of meetups and happenings. First, I worked on my FreeCodeCamp.com course. I've made it to my first project, which is a tribute page. It's just HTML5 and CSS at the moment, but it's been a challenge even if it's mostly because of list orders and various formatting issues. I like it. It keeps me thinking about what I'm doing. It keeps me working with code and trying new things, even if it's copying from someone else and then modifying it to fit my own needs.
The second thing that happened was another awesome meetup for Women Who Code. Holly Gibson is a co-founder of the local Austin chapter and they have 1800 members with 15 different meetups happening every month. It's a huge group that is doing awesome things for women in the Tech industry. Today was a meet-and-greet with the founders of MentorTex. (www.mentortex.com)
Alan Chapa and Dave Jobe are passionate about working with women to develop mentorships for leadership skills and paths into the tech industry. They are currently on the hunt for a Female Senior Architect to build out their 1.0 vision of the platform they are hoping will bring women together to elevate them in an industry where female leadership is very much lacking.
I don't think the platform will be exclusively for women. However, Dave gave a very passionate plea to get women involved in his fledgling startup. He's committed to achieving a staff ratio of 75 percent women. I was impressed with that alone. It's a huge commitment. I have no doubt he will achieve it.
This initiative needs your help! If you are in Austin, or you know someone in Austin that could or would be a mentor, especially women, contact them via their website, or contact me. They are looking for clients, especially women in the Austin area, that are interested in STEM. While software development is a fairly easy focus, STEM includes other areas as well, so if you have a background in any field under the STEM umbrella, get in touch with Dave and Alan. If you think your company would be interested in being a sponsor and/or interested in working with this initiative, definitely get in touch with these gentlemen.
In the last few months, mentors have been a huge influence for me. I have done things for my career that I never thought I had enough experience or knowledge to do. My mentors are currently all women who have successful careers and definitely understand the challenges I've been working through in my own career. There is a huge difference in my confidence and attitude because of my mentors. This is why I think this program is very important, especially for younger women, minority women, and women that are changing careers. Mentorships can be the difference between having a career and having a meaningful career.
If you have a local Women Who Code group, join. Regardless of whether you code or not. As long as you are interested in code and want to learn, get involved. They have access to scholarships and the members range from beginners to senior developers. For me, it's been one of the most welcoming groups I have had the pleasure to be involved with.
If you are local to Austin, check out MentorTex. Give the web address to women you know. And feel free to contact me for more information. Some of you that know me, know I have...opinions. And Dave was more than happy to get me involved in helping with this imitative. I feel strong enough about the importance of STEM and mentorships that I am going to try very hard to help him. If you are interested in working with Dave and Alan on the website, please contact them. Volunteer and part-time positions are available. Preference will be given to women for many of these roles.
If you are a woman reading this blog, and you don't have a mentor, or would like one, contact me. I'll see what I can do to point you in a direction. Like someone did for me.
At this time I would like to thank my mentors: Marii Thompson, Lisa Crispin, Abby Bangser, Maaret Pyhäjärvi, and Holly Gibson. Without these wonderful women, I don't think I would be where I am today.