CompTIA Board President and Clever Ducks Co-Founder Amy Kardel shared this deck at Women of the Channel in New York to highlight how we can all play a part in increasing the number of women in tech. #WOTC16
It is a pleasure to be here speaking to you as chairwoman of CompTIA. My expertise in tech comes twenty-five years running my own MSP business, Clever Ducks, which is located in San Luis Obispo, California. My employees sell and support products from vendors like you to small and medium sized companies in our beautiful area on the Central Coast of California where there are more cows than surfs a and most people surf.
So, no surprise, I am used to being in a rooms where I am one of just a few women, but that is certainly not the case today!
We know that women are underrepresented in the tech workforce. And because I am an entrepreneur I always see a challenge as an opportunity. And this is the challenge: to increase women in our workforce.
There are 1 million open careers to fill in our industry right now. Let’s fill them with women.
As the trade association for the technology industry, CompTIA does a lot of research. And so we at CompTIA took a close look at this issue with qualitative and quantitative research of more than 400 girls and boys nationwide about their perceptions of IT careers.
The results are summarized in an ebook available at www.comptia.org/maketechherstory
One of the big takeaways is this…
27% of middle school girls
And even less at 18% of high girls have even CONSIDERED a career in tech
That is half the number of boys who do.
The numbers are embarrassing and discouraging. Worse, they go DOWN as the girls get closer to graduation and college.
In focus groups we asked why this is the case and we learned:
When outsiders think of our industry, they think of gadgets, gamers, coders, and the stereotypical nerds.
So when girls think about tech, they think about guys in hoodies that make billions or nerds in basements and get turned off.
We don’t focus enough on telling our stories, women’s stories, stories of our success which lead to the idea of hashtag MakeTechHerStory.
What if we could flood the web with stories of successful women in tech?
Girls only consider careers they have heard about, seen on TV or experienced in their small circles. So what if we gave them personal stories about why we are passionate about our careers, our ideas, our drive to create, our desire to make something good happen?
That is what the hashtag MakeTechHerStory is all about.
Each of you here has a fabulous story to share. CompTIA created the hashtag MakeTechHerStory platform so that you have a place to share your story.
Here’s something I do. I go out of my way to collect people, stay in touch and share my story, both in person and long distance and with social media.
Looking back over my career, I am most proud when someone considers me a role model or mentor. This is Prashanti, she started as an intern while studying computer engineering Cal Poly SLO college. We’ve been friends for 15 years. I even got invited to her wedding in India. Now she has two kids and is a leader in global supply chain at Broadcom. She calls me her role model.
It is exciting and personally gratifying.
I am most grateful in turn for women in IT who support me and whom I support, through groups such as this and CompTIA’s Advancing Women in IT community. [Hold Up Card and there are cards with resource ideas on your table]
What CompTIA discovered through research is this:
To make change we need a people movement. It is going to be up to us, the women in IT. We need to tell our story. THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET It is a long term campaign, based on long term relationships
They, -- the girls, the millennials, women looking for a second career act, do not know what a career in tech looks like,
BUT WE DO, every woman in this room has a story to share.
CompTIA invites each of you can share your story. Be a role model. Serve as a mentor. Help someone else understand why you are excited about your career in IT.
We invite you to join our campaign, #MakeTechHerStory that literally shows the world just what we’re capable of.
In fact, we’d like you to get started right now. You’ve noticed the bandanas on the table.
I’m going to give you a couple of minutes to tie it on, strike the pose, and post it with the hashtag MakeTechHerStory.
Don’t worry it’s been specially designed to not mess up your hair, so don’t worry about that. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.
This is a hashtag and campaign of the moment but this needs to be the start of something bigger. We, the leaders in this room, know better than anyone how to use technology as a megaphone to change the world.
Pose, post and share your story. Then do more: get the tools at our website:
And we have a little surprise for you all, we’ll be scanning the tweets tonight and contact one of you who uses the hashtags #MTHS and WOTC16 by DM to get you a $100 Macy’s e-gift card
[take pictures] We have five minutes in the program now to have some fun with this.
And look for the Rosie photo booth and pick up a mug. [Hold up mug]