In the tech industry, it isn’t too surprising to walk into a room and be completely surrounded by men. After working in San Francisco this summer, heart of a booming tech hub, I can personally attest to the fact that, on a team of 20 people, there was only one other female. However, companies like Bella Minds are changing this paradigm one woman at a time.
Programs to help women in tech have popped up in urban areas all over the U.S., but what about women outside of urban areas? That’s where Bella Minds come to the rescue. Their core mission is to create personal and professional opportunities for mid-career, rural women in technology, fighting both sexism and ageism. Bella Minds has created an educational environment that gives all women, not just those in urban environments, the resources to succeed.
Bella Minds was founded by Jennifer Shaw, a former Senior Data Analyst at comScore and the founder of NYTechWomen. NYTechWomen is a 3,000-member group that started as a Meetup group to help people find friends as they navigate their next step as a technologist. The group now facilitates many events centered around raising awareness of the community of smart, strong women in technology in the NYC area.
The goal of Bella Minds is to build a platform for women to leverage the power of technology no matter where they are. This goal came from a realization that there were many women outside of urban areas who had the potential to become technologists, but lacked the resources to ease that transition. To address this problem, Bella Minds educates women and also facilitates connections within the tech industry.
After an initial boot camp week of hands-on workshops with trained educators, participants engage in an 8-week online video series. During this time, mentors work to foster a community of support where participants help each other as they address challenges. This mix of online networking, mentorship and learning, with the end-goal of bringing more women into the tech industry, is a great example of Tech for Change, and one that addresses an industry-wide problem.
If you’re a woman in a rural area who is trying to break into the tech industry, or know someone who is, check out Bella Minds!
Singlebrook’s Tech for Change (T4C) campaign spotlights entrepreneurs and organizations that are using technology in unique ways to scale their ideas and create a massive impact. We are also creating our own high impact T4C projects. Check them out at: singlebrook.com/t4c. Share your stories of T4C or other inspirational resources and tips on Twitter (@Singlebrook) using #Tech4Change and on the T4C Facebook group, or contact us to be spotlighted in an upcoming feature interview or blog article!