Despite outnumbering men in the U.S. labor force, women still make up only about 30 percent of employees at most major U.S. tech companies. Adriana Gascoigne ’00 noticed the problem firsthand in 2007 when she realized all her co-workers at a video-sharing startup were male. So she organized a San Francisco networking event for women in the industry. “I didn’t even know if 10 women in tech existed,” she said. Two hundred attended, and the response spurred her to start Girls in Tech, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the number of women entering the industry around the world. Now every new Girls in Tech chapter gets a curriculum for suggested events and trainings. Some areas are more receptive than others: Girls in Tech faced resistance in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia just because of its name, she said, but more than 500 people including prominent politicians attended a launch event this fall for the Melbourne, Australia, chapter. Gascoigne quit her job two years ago to run Girls in Tech full time, and said she’s seen progress in the industry. “We still have a long way to go, but it has gotten better.”
About The Author
Cody Kitaura is a staff writer for UC Davis Magazine.