Girl power. Womankind. The future is female. Girls in STEM. Women in tech.
There are countless slogans and tag lines to inspire women to take action. Calls to join the fight for gender equality, pay parity, and representation. After all, the benefits of a diverse workforce are well-researched and proven. Yet while the overall workforce in the US is nearly a 50/50 split of men and women, in the tech industry specifically, only 24 percent of technical roles are held by women.
So how does our all-women learning environment contribute to a more diverse workforce? Why are we focused on women instead of the industry at large? What can we be doing to #ChangeTheRatio?
We were founded in 2012 with a single purpose — to give women of diverse backgrounds the power and skills to build a long and successful career in the tech industry.
Specifically, our driving mission is to change the ratio in engineering and technology by providing the industry with strong, smart, and talented women. As such:
Community is our code
We believe in the power of women supporting other women. Our learning environment is built on principles of inclusivity, supportiveness, and encouragement.
The goal of instructors, advisors, mentors, staff, and career development teams at Hackbright is to empower our students and alumnae with the resources and skills to thrive in tech. While our teams are not all-female, we have built a support system of passionate individuals who are working to change the ratio in tech. Recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion is core to our values, and key to solving the gender imbalance in tech.
Imposter Syndrome is real
Learning software engineering in an all-women environment creates a community that’s more supportive and conducive to asking questions and getting the attention needed to make the most of the curriculum and program. Studies have shown that in many work and education settings, when women speak up, they are ignored, while men are rewarded for their assertiveness. The immersive learning experience is already intense. Our all-female environment removes that aspect of imbalance in the classroom so our students can get the support they need to succeed.
Being the only woman in a classroom of men also has the ability to worsen the effect of Imposter Syndrome, a condition to which many software engineers, regardless of gender, are especially vulnerable. The all-women’s environment provides a support system and space where students and alumnae can share challenges that male peers may not understand or simply do not relate to.
While students will likely join teams of mostly men after graduation, their Hackbright peers are available as a supportive network of women on similarly male-dominated teams.
Setting the stage for success
Our empowering environment allows students to master the skills and knowledge they need to begin a new career in tech. Our instructors, peers, advisors, mentors, career coaches and alumnae uphold a culture and environment where women are empowered to realize their full potential. It’s not about competition for attention, it’s about collaboration.
With so few females represented in the tech industry – specifically in leadership and technical roles – it’s essential to build a network of professional women. By joining an all-women’s school like Hackbright, our students and alumnae gain an invaluable community of peers, mentors, and leaders. The Hackbright network means a lifetime of support from, and for, women in tech.
We firmly believe that when you combine a community of like-minded ambitious women and a network of strong support, the possibilities are endless.
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