2. Help a sister out

After reading Jennifer Manry’s and Mike Wisler’s article, “How male allies can support women in technology,” I thought back on my male peers have supported me in school and getting my foot through the door in the industry.

Two years ago, a small group of girls and I founded an organization called herScript. The organizations mission is to build exceptional women in Computer Science through the development of technical and professional skills. When the organization started, it was just a small group of girls meeting once every week to practice our own technical skills. Over the years the organization has grown to be much more than that. We got our first male members just one year after its initial start. Since then, they have helped us and we have helped them earn industry internships and jobs. Together we have organized multiple outreach events in our community including hackathons and coding workshops all to increase the awareness of Computer Science education, specifically targeting young girls. We strive to cultivate a community where Computer Science is something that young women pursue, not something they shy away from. We work to instill the idea of working in the tech industry in young girls minds. We want to ignite a movement in our community that supports its females to pursue a career in Computer Science.

Not only have our male members helped us raise awareness in supporting the females in the industry in our community, but they have also helped the current female members to be recognized by many industry companies such as Salesforce, Amazon, BlackRock, Liberty Mutual, NBC, and Bank of America by helping us prepare for interviews with these companies or helping us attend the Grace Hopper Celebration.

I was lucky enough to have been able to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing when it was hosted in Houston. I didn’t have the money or resources to pay for my travel expenses and ticket to the celebration and neither did most of my female peers. Although some of them had worked hard to earn scholarships to attend the celebration, a few of us were still struggling to fundraise enough money to pay for our travel and ticket to the celebration. Luckily, my male peers and instructors cared about our inclusion in the tech industry and helped us fundraise and even donated money for all of me and my female peers to attend the celebration.  As a result, a lot of us were able to land internships for the following summer in real industry jobs as Software Engineers. I can’t thank my male peers and allies enough for their support and part in helping us get to the celebration and into the industry.

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3 thoughts on “2. Help a sister out

  1. Clarissa,

    I agree with you that the roles of males as Allies is critical. As you have pointed out in your personal experience, they have helped your journey into the industry. I read in an article that a male ally can be deemed to be one if they are appointed as one by a female. I think it’s safe that in our case, we have identified many male allys coming from people from our academic leadership roles, industry leaders, and the non-profit world. herScript hosted a negotiation forum, where a Salesforce Vice President of Engineering, Craig Jennings drove down to CSUMB to show his support. In his speech regarding gender equality, I loved his perspective that women need to teach them how to act. Since the industry is broken in terms of gender equality (though has made, and is making much progress), he mentioned that men need to understand how men can help.

    I think there is a huge opportunity for growth for male allyship in computer science. I would also argue that as women, we can serve as ally to our peer’s success. As men, they have a historical advantage in the workforce, but when that no longer becomes true, I believe that we need to be in this together. I think we need to put gender aside, and put our innovator caps on, and solve real world problems.

    I’m excited to be in the journey with you and look forward to your contributions in the field and hope that you would also reciprocate the help that you have received to others around you.

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  2. Hello Clarissa, I loved reading your blog post. This blog was structured a little differently compared to other since it was more of a reaction and relationship with the article than you read rather than it being about the article. I’m so happy that you shared your story of being apart of a herScript, I honestly didn’t know that there was something like that at our school. I could see your story inspiring others who may be in the same boat as you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello, when reading this blog post I found it inspiring and had no idea the positive impact that this group has on women in the computer science industry. This is a great example of people getting together to help one another in accomplishing a commend goal. I cant wait to see all of the people and their high power position that you all helped each other obtain threw hard work and dedication.

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