Philadelphia Bursts with Resources and Support for Women in Tech (Part 1)

By Sarah Cordivano on March 31st, 2014

Philly Tech Week and the Women in Tech Summit are right around the corner.  This seems like the perfect time to highlight the many fantastic and unique opportunities in Philadelphia for women to become involved in the tech industry or learn new technical skills.  Philadelphia rivals New York and San Francisco for offering excellent resources for women in tech despite having a much smaller industry.  These organizations and projects help to support women in the community.

Azavea is proud to contribute to the women and technology movement in Philadelphia by volunteering a meeting space for future Girl Develop It classes. Here are some way groups in Philadelphia support women in tech.

Learn

These resources contribute fantastic opportunities for learning new skills:

Girl Develop It Philadelphia is one of 25 Girl Develop It groups worldwide that provide affordable and accessible programs for women who want to learn software development and other technical skills.  Philadelphia’s group hosts regular classes on a variety of tech topics as well as other social and networking events.  Second only to New York and San Francisco in total membership, Philadelphia’s group has the third highest number of events held and continues to host more!  An interview with the one of the organizers, Yasmine Mustafa, can be found in Part 2 of this blog post!

PyStar is a workshop to teach women and their friends the basics of Python.  The PyStar crew has also partnered with Girl Develop It Philly and PhillyPUG to host events.  Additionally, they have project nights for helping students through tutorials and new projects. Check their Twitter for info.  And don’t forget to check out the wealth of fantastic content they have online developed by the Boston Python Workshop!

 

Teach and Nurture

These groups offer opportunities to give back to younger women in the tech community.

  TechGirlz is a non-profit dedicated to introducing adolescent girls to the world of technology through events, classes, projects, mentorships, role models and online resources.  Their full list of upcoming events and workshops, most targeted towards middle school girls, can be found here.  One TechGirlz mentor was recently named runner-up in a national young women in tech competition.

Rails Girls Philadelphia promotes the education of the rails coding language for girls and women.   The group’s aim is to “give tools and a community for women to understand technology and to build their ideas.” They have a Summer of Code program where students are provided a stipend to work on open source projects and expand their skills.

Network

These groups provide an opportunity for networking and community building for women in tech.

Philadelphia’s Women In Tech Summit, now in its third year, is an annual event that brings together women in the technology industry.  The theme for 2014’s event is “Lead from Any Chair.”   The summit features guest speakers, workshops and discussions.

 

 

Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia‘ (GGD PHL) organizes social events and networking opportunities hosted by area tech firms.  The group’s primary goal is “to bring women from various technical fields together for socializing, networking and learning. It also sees itself as providing a place to encourage women who may be considering technical interests.”

Grow & Collaborate

These events promote collaboration among members of the community.

LadyHacks, Philadelphia’s first hackathon for women, was held in March of 2013.  This event “welcomed women of all experience levels from all technical and creative disciplines to participate in a collaborative, web-based project in an inclusive, safe space.” Sixty-five women attended the event and worked on seven exciting projects.

 

SheTechPhilly is a community website that provides resources and event listings for women who are interested in technology in the Philadelphia area.  SheTechPhilly also features a blog highlighting events for women in tech as well as sharing knowledge and advice.