The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women make up 58 percent of the U.S. professional workforce, but only 25 percent of the computing workforce.
The Boys & Girls Clubs are out to change that.
In March, Tech Girls Rocked the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. For the first time ever, the Clubs partnered with CA Technologies to offer more than 100 tween and teen girls a full-day workshop developed to encourage the kids to discover and cultivate an interest in information technology (IT) and ultimately, in tech-related educational opportunities and careers.
The event, which took place at the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch in Scottsdale, included career exploration panels, interactive discussions on key IT trends and topics, and plenty of technology-focused challenges to provide a hands-on experience for all. CA Technologies employees volunteered their time staffing the workshops as well as working with kids one on one throughout the day.
“We hope workshops like this at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale help young women who normally wouldn’t venture into a career in IT get excited and encouraged to explore the field,” says Lisa Brighton, community relations analyst for CA Technologies. “With this most recent event, we’ve reached 800 girls total nationwide.”
Before coming to Scottsdale, workshops began in 2012 with events in Boston; Chicago; New York; Plano, Texas; and San Francisco. As part of its commitment, CA Technologies will host additional Tech Girls Rock workshops through July 2013 in additional cities, with the goal to reach more 1,000 young women. This initiative evolved from a long-standing partnership between CA Technologies and Boys & Girls Clubs of America and incorporates two core philanthropic focus areas for CA Technologies: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and the Advancement of Women in IT.
“All of our Clubs are always looking for innovative and inspiring learning opportunities for our members,” said Lauren Stratton, branch director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch. “Tech Girls Rock provides a fun, interactive way to empower girls to explore a potential future in technology. The exposure to IT professionals, who can offer their perspective on the role of technology, and guidance for those considering a career in the field, is an invaluable learning opportunity for these young women.”
In addition to Tech Girls Rock, the greater-Scottsdale Clubs have ensured a long-time focus on providing tech-related opportunities to both male and female members through several other programs, including, but not limited to:
- Skill Tech I and II
- Web Design
- Movie Making
- Design Tech
- ImageMakers National Photography Exhibit
- Music Making
The Clubs also offer monthly field trips to the Scottsdale Microsoft store to enhance technology skills of Club members with the latest software.