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Kim Wilkens

technology activist

69

6

Tech-Girls: Growing Tech Talent

Technology is changing everything! 
The way we work, govern, communicate and educate. Research shows that girls want to make a positive difference in the world, YET girls are 5 times less likely to consider a career in technology than boys.

Has it always been this way?
In the 1940s, six young women were responsible for programming the world's first all-electronic computer, the ENIAC. The Army unveiled their work in 1946 to great fanfare, but they never introduced the ENIAC women. Their accomplishments remained hidden until 1985.

By that time, women like me represented 37% of the computer science graduates. I was excited to be paving the way for more women. But, it makes me sad and frustrated to know that today less than 20% of computer science graduates are women.

What in the world is going on?
I started doing some research and found that by age 13 girls determine a positive or negative attitude towards subjects like computer science. If you close your eyes and imagine a computer scientist, what image pops into your head? If it was a white & nerdy guy working long hours in isolation, then you understand one of the many stereotypes that girls face when deciding what kind of career they want to pursue.

Why Tech-Girls?
I started Tech-Girls so I could work with girls, to help empower them to imagine and achieve their future dreams in our tech-savvy world. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years: 

• I learned that girls really enjoy creating technology; 
• I learned that adults like you and me can make a big difference in what they think about their future; 
• Most importantly, I learned that girls really can change the world – your world if you will let them.

Tech-Girls imagine possibilities, discover their potential and create the solutions of the future!

Business Model - Phase I
Create project-based computer science content - video tutorials, step-by-step instructional guidebook and student handouts. Package content for online consumption. Market materials through social media and in person through conferences & intro workshops.

As a freelancer:

  • I bring a unique educational experience to the community;
  • I cultivate connections in order to expand opportunities to hold classes, workshops and events;
  • I need to learn to attach the appropriate value to the work I do.

As an entrepreneur:

  • I inspire others with the vision;
  • I need to ask for help, so I can empower others.

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