ChickTech: About Us

ChickTech is a national organization serving tens of thousands of girls and women every year through tech programs and events.

ChickTech was founded in 2012 to engage women and girls of all ages in the technology industry while working to create a better technology culture for all. ChickTech has made a direct impact on tens of thousands of participants, including girls, women, and men. Our programs include summer camps, ChickTech: High School, Meetup groups for adults in tech, and ACT-W Conferences. And wherever possible, we partner with other organizations to expand our impact.

ChickTech Career Event.

Portland 2015 High School Kickoff. Photo by Wojtek Rajski.

Portland 2015 High School Kickoff. Photo by Wojtek Rajski.

ACT-W Conference.

High School Kickoff Event.

Austin 2016 High School Kickoff.

Our Vision and Mission

We envision a safe, inclusive, and innovative technology future that includes equal pay, participation, and treatment of women. We are dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers.

We facilitate hands-on technology-centric events and programs to empower, support, and increase the confidence of women and girls. Through our events, we build community, empower participants to see themselves as leaders, and provide networking and mentoring opportunities in the rapidly growing high tech industry.

The ChickTech Difference

ChickTech works on both the pipeline (K-12) and retention side of the “women in tech” issue. This means that volunteers aren’t just giving their time and energy to our K-12 program but are also getting what they need to stay in the tech industry.

Our high school program, one of our signature programs, is targeted towards girls who don’t think of themselves as technical but who have the aptitude to do well in it. The high school program is also a yearlong series of opportunities, so they build a sense of community and belonging while gaining many informal mentors throughout the year.

We find the girls who aren’t opting into other programs and we change their idea of who they can be and who a technologist is–most of our attendees have never coded or created a tech project before…but 2/3 of them go on to other tech opportunities after they’re part of ChickTech!

All genders are welcome to volunteer for all of our programs and attend all events for adults (our K-12 programs are a girl-only environment).

All people, regardless of how technical they are, are viewed as valuable members of the tech community. (This means that if you’re in marketing, HR, legal, management, etc, we want you to be part of our community as both volunteers and attendees).

We are an open organization, which means we make as few top-down decisions as we can! All people, whether paid or not, are viewed as community members who should have a say in how our community runs.

Interested in learning more about our culture? We created a community-led ChickTech manifestoCheck it out and see if this is the community you’ve been looking for!

Why Chick?

Sometimes we get the question “Why did you choose to use the word ‘chick’? Like many in this generation, we are reclaiming the word “chick”. As women, we have the right to call ourselves by whatever label we want–whether that’s “girls”, “women”, “female”,…or “chick”. We’ve seen many instances of people taking back words that are used when women are demonstrating more traditionally masculine words, which we love and support. However, we’ve found that when women choose to reclaim and use a word (or color) that is more feminine, this continues to be viewed negatively by our society.

At ChickTech, we believe that as a woman, you can be whoever you want to be…including a feminine woman…and still be technical. We feel that when women and girls do not have the power to call themselves what they want, they are being disempowered and forced to fit stereotypes of who can be taken seriously and who can’t.

We will continue to take back the word “chick” by empowering and supporting powerful, confident, and creative women and girls!

Why Pink?

Another question that we are often asked is around the color pink. We are often told that girls don’t have to like pink, which we absolutely agree on! However, we feel it’s also okay when girls *do* like pink. In our society, things that are feminine are often been viewed as “less than”–whether that’s girls and women who enjoy wearing makeup and dressing up, or Barbies and playing with dolls, or choosing a “helping” profession such as nursing.

The color pink, along with the brown also in our logo, were chosen by women in the technology field as the set of colors that made them most happy. We believe that no-one has the right to tell these women, and the women who enjoy our colors, that they are not allowed to like a particular color that makes them happy…or that by liking one particular color, they are “less than”.

ChickTech stands up for all women’s right to choose who they will be, what they like, and how they represent themselves. And although we are sure not everyone who joins ChickTech will like pink, we hope that they agree with that statement!

PSU 2016 High School Kickoff. Photo by Wojtek Rajski.