So there’s a problem. Not enough women in the tech industry, and definitely not enough women in tech in Utah. And we know things need to change. We need to acknowledge that we have a problem. We need to let women know that they are needed and necessary in the industry. We need to recognize and overcome the stereotypes women face when entering the tech industry. And we need to stop making women feel like being a mother and a valuable part of the tech industry are mutually exclusive.
The good news is, there are already groups and individuals in Utah working to implement these changes, get more women into technology, and unite the women pioneers that are already part of the industry.
For this series, we are highlighting two groups specifically, Girl Develop It and Women Tech Council, but we want to commend all the men and women alike across the state who are taking strides to include more women in the Utah tech scene.
Kim Jones, founder of Women Tech Council, was on the board of UTC and noticed a huge void. She realized that Utah needed a tech-centric organization that would encourage women in the community to get involved. Jones says, “There weren’t many networking events that women seemed to be drawn to and the UTC board was comprised of over 90% men.” So in 2007, Jones contacted Cydni Tetro and Sara Jones to start a Women Technology Council. Co-founder Sara Jones says, “We wanted to create more opportunity for women in technology, bring the business community together around this purpose, and support women in their careers.” Kim Jones says, “Cyd, Sara and I carefully crafted our key objectives and then we met with fellow tech colleagues both male and female to ensure we were providing an organization that would be a resource to corporations, a networking force for women in tech and a mentor for STEM education.” Today the board has over 3,000 members nationally and internationally. Kim Jones says, “We have about nine men on our advisory board and our events are sold out on a consistent basis.” Sara Jones adds, “We love that we can be part of bringing women and men together to generate more opportunities for everyone.”
By Meg Walter, Beehive Start ups