Author: Katie SanFilippo 

ChickTech’s actions to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak

A message from Katie SanFilippo – ChickTech Interim CEO

Dear ChickTech Community,

The outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has caused many of us in the technology space to experience  large and sudden changes to our everyday lives. These changes can feel scary and uncertain. Some people are losing their income, students are losing support from a safe school environment, and an overwhelming majority are losing connections to their communities and are worrying about the health and safety of loved ones.

No matter how we may personally be affected by COVID-19 at this time, now is the time to come together as a community. It’s a time for us to reflect and evaluate how we can safely continue to interact with the people and world around us. Because no individual experience is the same, we can use this as an opportunity to practice empathy and broaden our methods of communication and connection to better meet the basic or emotional needs of all.

I’ve been reflecting on what we, as a ChickTech community, can do during this difficult time. 

Although the situation is changing daily, I am committed to providing a safe place for female-identifying, transgender, nonbinary individuals and allies to connect during these trying times.

Supporting Adults in Tech

Last month, we launched an “open beta” version of ACT-W+, which allows technical womxn and allies to learn, grow, and connect online. To better support our community we’ll be announcing free access to upcoming ACT-W+ webinars, virtual coffee chats, discussion groups, and more through our blog, newsletter, and social media. 

Supporting Youth in Tech

High School students across the country are also affected through social distancing and restrictions to their learning based on school closures and access to educational and emotional support resources they may or may not have at home. We’re committed to bringing our high school programs across our 15 chapters together online as an opportunity to meet, talk, and connect students to each other and adult mentors so they can see the hope and possibilities their future holds even during a tough period. Let’s provide our students, new, past, or future ChickTech participants, to these virtual gatherings and show how the community cares for and values them.

Our home and work environments are becoming more intertwined through more remote work and kids out of school with possible quarantines or restrictions in travel. Let’s use this as an opportunity to see people for their whole selves, not only the piece that we bring to the “office.” This may mean kids yelling in the background of a call, it may mean having a tough conversation around how we’re feeling or coping with a new stress, it may mean reaching for the phone and making a call that could have been communicated via email or Slack. Let’s connect in ways that we can. Let’s be a support and reach out. Let’s share if we are struggling and need the extra support. Let’s use this time to understand that we are all human and experiencing something new and difficult together, even if we’re not physically next to each other.

What do you commit to doing to ensure your emotional and physical health and wellbeing, and that of others? Comment on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) or message me your thoughts on how we can ensure that all people are supported no matter what their personal life experience may be. 

During these uncertain times, we hope you’ll continue to help us shape the future of technology by supporting ChickTech, engaging with each other, and staying up to date on what we’re doing to navigate this global issue.

Thank you for continued support, and know that we stand with you.

Katie SanFilippo

Interim CEO