The first step to closing the ever-widening technology gender gap is getting more young girls excited about technology. This is the goal of the State Department-led TechGirls international exchange program, which connects young girls from the Middle East and North Africa with tech mentors in the US. The three-week program aims to connect and support the next generation of women in tech by providing them with a foundation of skills, experience, and networks that can lead to future career opportunities in technology back in their home communities.
It is no secret that our team is passionate about ensuring global inclusion & understanding of tech applications, so you can imagine that we are incredibly excited to be a part of this years’ TechGirls program. On July 11, we will be hosting two budding female technologists, one from Jordan and the other from Palestine. These young women will get a behind-the-scenes look at our DC nerd attic, shadowing different members of the TechChange team.
This will include spending time with our in-house coding ninja Michael, learning the basics of Raspberry Pi and the “Internet of Things.” At another station, they will meet with our learning experience designer Catherine to get an inside perspective on the life cycle of a TechChange course, from design to reality. Our animation team will lead them through the basics of creating compelling and educational graphics – perhaps even letting them design their own.
Announced in 2011, the TechGirls programs was built on the heels of the first-ever TechWomen mentoring program, which pairs emerging female leaders with top American women in the technology sector. This year’s TechGirls cohort is comprised of 27 girls from eight Middle Eastern countries and the Palestinian Territories, who will gain hands-on skills development in fields such as programming, robotics, mobile app building, web design and video graphics.