From December 5, 2018
This year has seen some good news for women in tech, from the the founding of AllRaise, to California requiring women on boards and the Google walkout that resulted in a variety of tech giants striking forced arbitration clauses from their employee contracts.
But the stories that give me the most hope are the ones I hear every day from everyday women in tech. It’s the individual women hidden in the masses that are exhibiting grit and optimism to rise above daily conflict and chart successful careers. It is these voices that are just beginning to be heard and that are invoking new approaches to increasing diversity in tech. There is something very powerful about sharing your story and being seen and in hearing another’s story and knowing you’re not alone.
But in a year when the topic of ‘women in tech’ was on the tip of everyone’s tongue, we saw far too little progress or big news stories of substance. That’s why it’s more critical than ever that we support women in tech and give them a platform to be seen and heard for their experience. This will recruit more women and retain the talent we have. With the future depending on inclusive design in AI, blockchain and machine learning technologies, we have no time to waste.
Just two weeks ago — thanks to our generous partner Comcast NBCUniversal — we premiered Episode #2 at the Saturday Night Live studio inside 30 Rock. We celebrated the stories of women who aren’t letting obstacles stop them and whose communities are rallying around them to accelerate progress. Thank you to Claire Wasserman, Yasmine Mustafa, Noopur Davis, Debbie Fiorella, nithya.ruff, Nicole Sanchez, Abby Cheesman, Elena Valentine and Alaina Percival for being a part of this important episode.
When I started writing the script for Episode #2 in June, I was reading the latest data on women in tech and was feeling defeated. I was interviewing women who were telling me they were growing tired of writing, reading, talking and building initiatives around women in tech, it wasn’t making a difference. This scared me, because I know this is a long game and we must stay focused and determined.
But it lead us to start exploring progress and movements. What do they look like? How do we know when we’re making a difference, and what helps accelerate progress? We found the answers and they’re shared in Episode #2: Progress & the Power of Community. Please get in touch with us to schedule your 2019 screenings of The Chasing Grace Project.
We’re beginning production now on Episode #3 and are seeking sponsors to support women in tech and their stories. Comcast NBCUniversal, eBay, Intel, Red Hat and many others have already prioritized this. Please join us. You can email me directly at email@example.com.