The percentage of women in tech positions in the US is a mere 26%, whereas the numbers are exceptionally higher in the rest of the world. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is that young females tend to lose interest in technology between the ages of 11 and 14-years-old. That’s why TechGirlz created free, fun, and interactive workshops led by industry professionals, community leaders, and students to inspire middle school girls who fall into this critical age range.
In partnership with Cognizant, these free, interactive sessions, or “TechShops,” have been held in Toronto, Canada, and in several cities across the US, including Bridgewater, Mesa, and Chicago.
- TechGirlz is a nonprofit program of Creating IT Futures, a nonprofit of CompTIA. Their vision is to create a world where girls have a lifelong passion and confidence in their use of technology throughout their careers
- 82% of girls changed their mind positively about pursuing a tech career after a “TechShop”
- 15,000 girls across the globe have attended their free, hands-on workshops
- TechGirlz curricula have been taught across 20 countries
Cognizant Softvision’s TechShop
In May 2020, Cognizant Softvision held a virtual TechShop. The Austin studio team, led by UX Director Philip Wilhelm, delivered an entertaining presentation on digital design. The presentation, “Think like a Digital Designer: Unplugged,” was hosted by Philip and included talks by UX Designers Pooja Sawant and Kyle Rico. Over the course of two hours, 10 curious girls joined a Zoom call and learned that technology is more than just coding.
For the young participants, the contact with design experts was an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look into life as a digital designer. “I liked how they combined what actually happened in digital designing, which was what they taught us. Also, I liked how we could actually experience the digital designing work,” remarked one of the girls.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of TechGirlz virtual workshop and help to coordinate the event,” said Office Administrator, Lina Russell. “Phil, Pooja, and Kyle did a great job sharing their knowledge about digital design with the kids. The girls in the course were very creative, eager to learn, and just adorable! Overall it was a great experience! “
For the Cognizant Softvision design team that hosted the event, it was a very rewarding experience to volunteer to help middle school girls learn more about how professional digital designers do their jobs. It was enlightening to have a Design workshop directly with students and hear how they envisioned a future digital world.
“It was great to see young girls demonstrating their creativity using technology. I feel it is important for women in tech to inspire and empower young girls. This could help in breaking down any barriers and will allow girls to grow up and choose careers of their choice and use technology to better the world,” concluded Pooja Sawant.
Interested in volunteering for similar events?