Landing a job in tech can be a thrill — but it can also feel intimidating, like you’re asking to join an exclusive club or sit at the cool kids’ table. If you identify as a woman or a non-binary person, this experience is heightened, because you may not see people like you represented in the industry very often. Fortunately, there are organizations around the world working hard to address gender disparities in tech.
Even better, there are lots of ways to get involved, whether you’re new to tech and looking for mentorship or you’re more established in your career and want to pay it forward. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve rounded up a few awesome organizations helping girls, women, and non-binary folks break into tech, foster relationships and community, and ultimately build successful careers.
Who they’re for: Women hoping to rise the ranks in their careers and increase their financial literacy
What they do: Ladies Get Paid is a network of 100,000+ women where people join to take online courses, attend events, and connect with peers and mentors — all in service of growing “your career and your bank account.” As founder Claire Wasserman puts it in an interview with the Get Together podcast, “It just blows me away how amazing these women are. But I think the success of all of this is that they feed each other.”
How you can get involved: You can either get a free membership, which includes access to the community platform, or pay for a membership that will give you access to their video library, virtual events, and coaching with Wasserman.
Who they’re for: Girls and non-binary students in elementary and middle school all the way through college
What they do: Girls Who Code offers a range of courses, from after-school and summer clubs to college programs, that teach participants core computer science and programming skills. They also provide workshops where students can build websites and applications that help address issues in their communities, like climate change and cyberbullying. Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code in 2012 to help nurture the next generation of leaders:
“Young girls are change agents,” she tells “The Daily Show.” “When they have technology, they’re looking at their community, they’re looking at the world, and they’re saying, ‘How can I use technology to make it better?'”
How you can get involved: Want to sign up for a Girls Who Code program? Click here to find the right one for you. Or, if you’d prefer to help support Girls Who Code, you can start an after-school club, form a corporate partnership, fundraise, and/or campaign. (The organization also has a great Instagram, full of coding memes and profiles of interesting women in tech.)
Who they’re for: Youth and adults of marginalized genders, including non-binary, gender nonconforming, and female-identifying, with an emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+ people, and those from low-income communities
What they do: ChickTech provides learning opportunities and technical education in 15 countries around the world.
Their high school and college programs offer skill-building workshops and help connect participants to professional networks with formal and informal mentorships. Plus, their signature adult program, Advancing the Careers of Technical Women (ACT-W), helps professionals develop their technical and leadership skills with career coaching and national conferences.
Janice Levenhagen-Seely, founder and former CEO of ChickTeck, explains how she formed the organization to help welcome girls and women into the tech industry:
“I started ChickTech to give girls and women the support and sense of belonging that I didn’t have when I was a Computer Engineer. We focus on high school girls because so many of them are still not encouraged to be engineers and programmers, and they rarely even know what a career in tech would look like.”
How you can get involved: If you’re a high school student looking to break into tech (or want to nominate someone who is), click here to register for their virtual high school program. Or if you’re further along in your career and want to use your expertise to mentor students, reach out to your local ChickTech community and inquire about leading a workshop. You can also speak at one of their ACT-W events or even become a member of ACT-W+.
Who they’re for: Girls and women of all ages, from kindergarteners to established professionals, “at the intersections of race/ethnicity, class, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other historically marginalized identities”
What they do: NCWIT’s AspireIT program provides technical education and scholarships for girls in elementary, middle, and high school. Their Aspirations in Computing (AiC) program rewards women who showcase strong leadership and entrepreneurial skills with scholarships, internships, and other professional opportunities.
NCWIT also helps illustrate the impact and successes of women from marginalized groups with their Color of Our Future programs, which include their Modern Figures and TECHNOLOchicas podcasts that feature notable professionals in STEM.
As Dr. Telle Whitney, Co-Founder of NCWIT, put it:
“For young people, there’s often this voice inside of them saying, ‘Oh no, I’m not good enough; I can’t do this; this isn’t me; they’re going to find me out.’ The most important advice is to go for it. Listen to that voice and say, ‘OK, but I’m going to go for it anyway.'”
How you can get involved: Check out NCWIT’s programs to find the right one for you. You can also participate or sign up to be a guest speaker in one of NCWIT’s workshops, volunteer to review award applications virtually, and take part in the organization’s annual celebrations.
Who they’re for: Women in business and technology
What they do: WITI is a network of over 3 million professionals who seek to create a more inclusive and innovative workplace. They offer networking events, professional coaching, career fairs, courses, and webinars that teach participants how to advance in their careers.
“As women, we need to be more proactive to help male (and female) leaders of companies understand the business value for incorporating women at every level of the organization,” Carolyn Leighton, founder of WITI, tells The Huffington Post.
How you can get involved: Explore WITI’s upcoming virtual events and register for whichever one catches your eye. You can also become a member of the WITI community to lead webinars and classes, present at events, and even take on a mentor to contribute first-hand to their professional development.
Who they’re for: Women and gender-expansive adults, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+ people, and those from low-income communities
“We aim to reduce the economic barriers to a career in software development by making education and career preparation as accessible as possible,” explains Elise Worthy, co-founder of ADA. “Because many of our students are switching careers and already carrying student loan debt, it would be untenable to expect them to assume an even greater financial burden while taking a year off from earning a full-time salary to pursue a whole new career.”
How you can get involved: ADA asks that aspiring students complete their preparatory curriculum before applying to their program. You can also volunteer with ADA to help promote the growth of new technologists as a private tutor, teaching assistant, industry mentor, mock interviewer, or admissions volunteer.
Who they’re for: People who identify as women who “champion innovation in their work”
What they do: Women in Innovation is a network of over 4000 professionals in cities including New York, San Francisco, and London. Their workshops cover everything from leadership and entrepreneurship to professional growth and development. And they also host less structured, more intimate dinners where women in executive roles discuss the intricacies of their fields.
“Our goal is to close the gender gap in business and thought leadership in the innovation industry,” Alfia Ilicheva, Co-Founder of WIN, explains in an interview with Forbes. “We recognize that women add fundamentally different and unique and a very powerful contribution to creating new ideas, new products, new services.”How you can get involved: Join the WIN Hub — for free! You can also sign up for their mailing list or even become a partner to host or sponsor an event.