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Jennifer Shaw spoke at the Women Techmakers Summit about two organizations she founded, New York Tech Women and Bella Minds. Jennifer was taught tech skills by her mother as a teenager and then went to school for business. When she was looking to enter the tech field a few years ago, the environment was not very welcoming and even the women weren’t treating each other very well. New York Tech Women was established to help women feel welcome in technology and work together.

With the initial success of New York Tech Women she was receiving emails every day from companies trying to hire their first female technologist. She was frustrated by the tokenism.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have enough women in technology, the problem is that we don’t have enough people in technology. We’re missing about 250,000 people to fill technology jobs in the US.  ~Jennifer Shaw

Jennifer focuses on mid-career women instead of students. Bella Minds takes city-centric education resources and pairs them with small cities. By placing technologists in small cities to teach hands-on courses, they bring mid-career women technology skills. The curriculum includes 36 hours of workshops with experts and then eight weeks of online video sessions “where participants help each other confront the challenges inherent in learning and taking risks.” By jumpstarting women already in the workforce she is quickly triaging our need for more technology skills.

Want to Teach?

Bella Minds is accepting applications for their first 15 teaching fellows.