• Back to school with STEM scholarships

    The ChickTech: High School program finds, engages, and supports girls who do not identify themselves as technically oriented. We provide a year-long series of free opportunities for a cohort of 100 high school girls in each chapter. This year ChickTech partnered with Vision Service Plan (VSP) to provide college scholarships for ChickTech: High School alumni pursuing careers in technology. Applications came in from highly-qualified participants who will be attending top schools such as UC Berkeley, Rochester Institute of Technology, Smith College, University of Michigan, Purdue University, and University of Washington. We wish our alumni recipients the best of luck as they settle into the 2017 fall semester. Each recipient is awarded $1,000 to be used toward their education. Here’s some plan to use the money and their ChickTech skills to advance their STEM success: “I would love to explore the ways in which computer science can be applied to improve the human health and assist those in need. This award will greatly help me and my family pay for tuition, allowing me to fully concentrate on my studies and enable me to become closer to my goals of becoming a programmer that leaves an impact in the world. ” –

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  • ChickTech Welcomes New Chapters Across the Country

    By: Janice Levenhagen, CEO at ChickTech   It’s 2017, yet women still face significant barriers when entering the technology sector. In fact, the ISACA conducted a survey on women in technology-based careers to discover why they are still underrepresented in the workplace. The results show there’s a lot of work that needs to be done: equal pay, for starters, and the confidence that employers are committed to fostering growth, development, and success within their roles. ChickTech is helping address these challenges by providing a supportive community for young girls and women to develop skills and advance their education and careers in technology. Our organization has been growing at a rapid pace, as there’s a significant need to address these disparities in education and the workplace. In fact, ChickTech recently opened new chapters in Michigan, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Orange County, bringing our total chapter count to 18!   Meet our daring duo from Michigan   Southeast Michigan is the first ChickTech chapter started by STEM teachers. Directors Amy Farkas and Karen Dave are both STEM and computer science enthusiasts and are excited to help develop the high school program while also increasing girls’ access to tech in Detroit and surrounding

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  • Maryam Mirzakhani: A mathematic legend who will not be forgotten

    By Mikala Vidal Last month, we lost STEM legend way too soon. Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman to win a Fields Medal, died of breast cancer at only 40 years old. It was a devastating loss, and we hope that Maryam’s legacy will continue to inspire girls worldwide, and encourage them to pursue STEM careers. The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to a select few mathematicians under the age of 40. It is considered the equivalent of the “Nobel Prize” for mathematicians, and one of the highest honors that can be received. Maryam won the award in 2014 for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces. Jordan Ellenberg explained her research to a popular audience at the time of the win as follows: “[Her] work expertly blends dynamics with geometry. Among other things, she studies billiards. But now, in a move very characteristic of modern mathematics, it gets kind of meta: She considers not just one billiard table, but the universe of all possible billiard tables. And the kind of dynamics she studies doesn’t directly concern the motion of the billiards on the table, but instead a transformation

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  • ChickTech and AT&T: Turning rural girls into STEM superheroes

    It’s undeniable that 2017 has evolved into the year of powerful women. DC Comics gave us the female-centric superhero movie we’ve all been craving with Wonder Woman, which quickly became the highest-grossing live-action movie directed by a woman. But while Wonder Woman’s presence onscreen is breaking records, females are still woefully underrepresented in the workplace – particularly in STEM fields. In fact, the National Center for Women & Information Technology recently reported that only 26% of computing occupations are held by women. This low volume of female representation in tech careers doesn’t stem from lack of interest, but from not knowing at a young age that these opportunities exist for women in the first place. While there has been a national effort to make STEM education more accessible to girls in schools, they’re often concentrated in urban areas where tech jobs are centered. These programs don’t often reach girls in rural communities, which is why we’ve teamed up with AT&T Oregon to bring our ChickTech workshops to central Oregon Schools. Thanks to generous contributions totaling $40,000, we are able to develop and sustain a rural pilot program that tests new approaches for bringing STEM-based programs to rural areas. Our initial

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  • I’m a Barbie girl, in a B2B tech PR world

    By: Lauren Cranston of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Spring sprung, Oregon upset Kansas in the Midwest Regional NCAA basketball final, the Irish (and Irish-at-heart) celebrated St. Patrick’s Day across the globe, and – last but certainly not least – 31 days were dedicated to powerful women everywhere during Women’s History Month. It was a jam-packed March, but that’s not all: a certain American icon celebrated her 58th birthday on March 9 – Barbie®. Back when Barbie Millicent Roberts from Wisconsin was first invented, Ruth Handler (also co-founder of Mattel) designed her with one career in mind— a teenage fashion model. Barbie’s intention soon shifted to giving girls the idea that they could be whoever they wanted to be when they grew up. However, Barbie has become a symbol in recent years for what’s wrong with “girls’ toys.” Dolls vs. LEGOs How many times have you heard that girls should play with “more intelligent” toys like LEGO® over Barbie (or other) dolls? While the expectation is that playing with LEGOs better prepares girls for more scientific or technology focused careers, it also teaches them is that they should be ashamed for enjoying stereotypically feminine things (check out this article on valuing rather than

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  • Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to celebrate International Women’s Day

    by Beena Ammanath The very first International Women’s Day was on March 8, 1909 in New York. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the strike organized by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers union in 1908 for women to get equal pay as men. Since then, March 8 has been marked as International Women’s Day. Women’s Day was never meant to make women feel special or to celebrate women just because of their gender. Its goal was always to raise awareness about the atrocities some women go through just because of their gender. Over time, this day has also expanded to include a celebration of women’s achievements across the globe. Most importantly, it’s a reminder and a call for action to promote equality between genders.  Every year, the day is marked around the world with celebrations, performances, inspirational talks, networking events, conferences, marches and pledges. Women are half the human race, yet globally many women still lack basic rights and equality. I have met women who don’t have a voice, who are denied basic education, whose aspirations are considered irrelevant in different parts of the world. Studies show that globally, significant work is needed to improve women’s

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  • Impostor Syndrome: The Quiet Confidence Killer

    By Janice Levenhagen Imagine you just landed the job of a lifetime. You’re sitting at your desk, surrounded by brilliant peers who are at the top of their game. Slowly, you start to question why you’re there. You’re obviously not as talented as the people around you – they make the job look so easy. Nor did you get here on your merits – you just got lucky in your previous job and only look good on paper. No, somehow you conned your way into this position and it’s only a matter of time before everyone sees you for what you are: a fraud. None of this is true, of course, but chances are the feeling is all-too-familiar. There’s even a name for it: impostor syndrome. It’s the feeling that you’re undeserving of the success you’ve achieved in life. This creeping self-doubt is a confidence killer, and can often hold women back from reaching their full professional potential. This translates into taking fewer risks, and not asking for promotions and pay raises when deserved. I succumbed to impostor syndrome early in my career. There wasn’t much female representation among computer engineers when I started out, and the guys I worked

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  • Knocking down the glass walls of technology in 2017

    By Janice Levenhagen-Seeley We’ve come a long way, but there is more work to do Much has been said about the glass ceiling – an invisible, unbreakable barrier that often prevents women and minorities from moving up the corporate ladder. Within the technology industry, it’s more than just a ceiling. Glass walls are being built, keeping certain people in and others out. It’s an architecture flaw that doesn’t bode well for an industry that consistently struggles to recruit and retain women into high-tech careers. Only 18 percent of computer science majors are women, and 56 percent of women in computer science jobs leave the industry by mid-career. Not only is the lack of women in tech careers bad for equality and fairness, it’s bad for business. Without the diverse perspectives of people from different backgrounds, innovation sputters and creativity drags. Businesses with greater racial and gender equality were found to have higher revenue, more customers, greater market share, and greater profits than those with less equality. A clear business-case can be made for the urgent need to get more women interested in technology career, and that’s where ChickTech comes i Increasing the ranks January 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of

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  • ChickTech’s Selfie Challenge

    #chicktechselfies Join ChickTech in creating positive media! Inspired by the film MissRepresentation, we challenge you to take selfies that show women in a positive, empowering way. Let’s change the way women are portrayed in media by creating our *own* media! You have until 5:30pm on Sunday August 24th to show us your best. Post on twitter and use hashtags #chicktechselfies and #missrep or tag us @ChickTechOrg. Don’t do the twitter, but want your picture on the twitter machine? Email selfies to [email protected] If you want to show your support but don’t want to share your selfie with the world, tell us and we will honor your contribution without posting your photo.

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  • Women in Tech Series – Jennifer Ng Ain Kin

    Hey all! This is our first Women in Tech participant. Jennifer Ng Ain Kin is a Project Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Abbott Point of Care. Through our contact, I learned that Jennifer is a mother of two and has lots to say about her career. Thanks Jennifer for being the first one to participate in this really awesome series! Jennifer Ng Ain Kin Six Word Memoir: Always Be Myself. Now. Then. Later. How has being a women influenced/affected your career? “I have never been subjected to any pointed discrimination during my 20+ year career but I still have some difficult situations which I think would have been smoother if I was a man. E.g. Peers stereotyping me as a submissive Asian woman at sight and then not able to reconcile with me: very articulate, very well-informed and will not cower when facing obstacles.” Do you have any stories or particularly memorable experiences? “Many many … I love making connections. Making others successful is what I enjoy doing. Not for myself. I know that I am limited by my current knowledge and skills but I figured a while back that I can be the catalyst to many so I try

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