The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives – at home, at work, and within the Girls in Tech community. As we navigate these unchartered waters, some of you might be feeling anxious – maybe even afraid. I want you to know that you are not alone. We’ve come together during uncertain times before, and we will this time. Girls in Tech is here to help you not only survive moments like this, but also thrive in the moments after.
Urged by a constantly changing reality, our story has evolved with new ways to empower you to take control of your life and your professional career, connect with our community, and thrive, just as you are. It’s a reflection of my own story.
Girls in Tech Back Then
As you know, Girls in Tech started in 2007. And while things were a lot different back then, it also marked a time when we as a global community faced unforeseen challenges. Here in the US, that year brought on the housing crisis. But it was also the start of the global financial crisis known as the Great Recession.
Industries were also a lot different in 2007. Back then, we had a very narrow definition of the tech industry. It was one in which Tech was very much a field for coders and computer scientists. And everyone else had to stay in their lane.
Yet, for Girls in Tech 2007 was also a time of possibilities. This was the year that Apple released the very first iPhone. It was from that place of possibility that Girls in Tech was founded. And it is from this place of possibility that we have evolved.
But this evolution isn’t about us. It’s about you, and how we can best nurture and support your growth in light of our changing reality.
Introducing the Evolution of Girls in Tech
We’ve seen so much change over the past 13 years. Today, smartphones are no longer a novelty, the number of female leaders around the world has increased and in the years following that recession, economies have strengthened and global markets have grown.
Tech has also changed. Today, every industry is a tech industry. And it includes everyone with every skill set. Every person is needed in tech. People from all kinds of professional backgrounds work in tech, as industries themselves are getting on board in this new age of technology and the Internet of Things. Companies like Nike and Target invest more and have more people working in tech than some of the Big Five.
With this shifting definition of tech, the time has come for us to embrace this change and evolve as an organization. In thirteen years, we’ve grown our membership to 60K members with 54 chapters worldwide. But we don’t measure success just by the numbers. For us, growth really means an evolved story that embraces true diversity. Because tech is everywhere. It includes everyone with every skill set. Every person is needed in tech.
But the deepest change we feel is within ourselves. Take me for instance. When Girls in Tech started, I was 29 years old. I was single and I felt like the world was my oyster. Things are different for me now. I’ve had more experiences; I’ve learned some lessons; I’ve gained some perspective. At the age of 42 and newly married, I have a different outlook on life. I am completely different from the person I was in 2007. I’ve evolved so much in the last 13 years, and I know we all feel that way to some extent…
There’s no denying that we are facing unprecedented challenges – as individuals, as an organization, and as a global community. I understand that we are all anxious about the uncertainty of what’s to come.
Together we can weather this storm, and come out even stronger than ever. We’ve faced challenges before, and we can certainly do it again. We are here for you, and I’m excited about the new possibilities that the future brings for all of us.