ChickTech’s first workshops were held in Portland, where we provided free, hands-on tech workshops and community building for high school girls. Today, our work has expanded to serve hundreds of girls and non-binary high school students in the Portland metro area each year and more recently has included offering free and low-cost skill building workshops for adults of all genders (with a focus on the needs of women and non-binary adults), and the expansion of our multigenerational, supportive ACT-W (Advancing the Careers of Technical Women) community. Whenever possible, we partner with other local organizations and companies to increase our impact and support the tech industry.
ChickTech: High School is our signature program, which helps hundreds of girls in the Portland metro area every year discover an interest in STEM skills and industries. ChickTech “cohorts” — most of whom have no previous experience in technology or have never really considered taking the technology path — are nominated by their teachers and invited to participate in a kickoff event and monthly workshops and mentorship opportunities.
All our workshops are hands-on and project-based so that participants come out of each with a sense of accomplishment and a burst of confidence. They remain engaged and learn through follow-up workshops throughout the year. Offerings have included:
- Website development/design
- 3D printing
- College and alternative education support
- Videography and audio editing skills
- Soft circuits and wearable tech
Our program provides a fun, positive learning experience designed to build participants’ confidence in their technical abilities, give them positive role models, create connections with other young women and non-binary youth from the Portland metro area, and create a positive association with technology creation.
Advancing the Careers of Technical Women (ACT-W) provides programming for people of all genders, ages, and types of careers. With a focus on the needs of women and non-binary people, ACT-W events help support technologists currently working in the industry, give students confidence if they are thinking about going into tech, and help us all tap into a unique network of intelligent, amazing people who believe in the ChickTech mission. The program includes a wide range of offerings: from ACT-W+, our online membership platform, to conferences, hands-on workshops, and networking events.
Since 2012, ChickTech: Portland has held over 80 events for adults in technology, including casual meet-up and networking opportunities, conferences, community discussions, and technology workshops. Past events have included:
- Imposter Syndrome Workshop
- Personal Branding: You and Your Organization
- ChickTech: College Social Hour
- 3D Printing Class Series
- Agile Scrum Workshop
- STEM Educators Happy Hour
- Different on the Inside: Neurodiversity at Work
Our adult events are open to people of all genders, backgrounds, and skillsets. We encourage people who are new to tech (or are thinking about learning new tech skills or entering a tech career) to join us, too!