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.