Building pathways to technology for women in Iowa and Virginia
The Careers for Women in Technology digital events in Iowa and Virginia, sponsored by Microsoft, brought together a group of women for an evening of inspiration and encouragement. The online forum also outlined the steps and education necessary to enter the tech world, and specifically illuminated the availability of short-term training and certifications that can quickly land women in technical roles.
During both events, participants heard from a panel of inspirational women who shared their enriching experiences working in tech. With women making up only 26 percent of the technology industry, Microsoft and KRC Research have revealed that women who have role models and who know other women in the tech industry are more likely to enter an IT field. One event attendee in Des Moines expressed it best by saying, “The encouragement, motivational speaking from everyday women. You all have me convinced that I’m capable!”
For the Iowa event, the panelists included Martina Schubert, LenderClose; Kat Roney, Microsoft; Becky Hendricks, Mediacom; Pepsy Wirth, Xbox; and one Des Moines Area Community College student, Melanie McQuade. And in Virginia, Leslie Kipling, US Army Future Command; Kia Preston, Southside Virginia Community College; Kristin Puleo, Microsoft; Kat Roney, Microsoft; and Latarsha Walton, Department of State Foreign Affairs shared their journeys and insights for prospective students and job seekers. These motivating women are helping to demystify roles in tech and illuminate the path forward.
The Careers for Women in Technology events are resonating with the women who attend. While many are aware of opportunities, they aren’t sure how to take the next step in terms of education. By partnering with local community colleges and utilizing resources, the attendees learn often the path forward is right in their own backyard. Des Moines Area Community College and Southside Virginia Community College both offer short-term technology training programs for entry-level jobs.
With so many experiencing unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Careers for Women in Technology event coupled with local IT training programs provide an optimal solution to encourage and inspire women to join the digital economy and move from not knowing the path to paving a successful career journey.
““The encouragement, motivational speaking from everyday women. You all have me convinced that I'm capable!””