Changing the Paradigm: Female Trailblazers in Tech
MakerSquare understands that a diverse workforce functions more effectively than a homogenous one. Though the participation by women in STEM related fields is on the rise, degree conferment in computer science for women has been on a steady decline since peaking in the 1980’s.
The barriers for entry into the tech field for women are numerous, but fortunately, we can all learn from others’ experiences. This panel will focus on the various ways in which women can (and should) work to overcome those barriers. We’ll discuss how factors like social encouragement, self perception, academic exposure and career perceptions play a role in female participation in tech careers.
Our panelists at this event include:
- Karen Lewis, Black Locus: Karen is a software engineer at BlackLocus who took a non-traditional path into her field. While working in the hospitality industry as a reservations coordinator, she wondered if her ability and enjoyment in solving puzzles and building a computer would translate to a career where she thought she would excel. She had the opportunity to study CS fundamentals on her own while living in Japan during 2013-2014, and after completing MakerSquare, an intense, immersive software engineering program, began her career
- Mokshika Sharma, Tastegraphy: Mokshika Sharma is the CEO and co-founder of Tastegraphy. She graduated from the University of Texas in 2012 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, she joined the IBM’s WebSphere Systems Management team as a software developer for a year and then she transitioned to the newly created User Interface team. She left IBM earlier this year with a passion for food and the data that can come out of it.
- Tricia McTigrit, Mutual Mobile: Tricia is a Web Engineer at Mutual Mobile. She also serves as a Co-Director for Women Who Code Austin, a global non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. In addition to organizing meet-ups for the chapter’s 1,350 members, she mentors girls in coding programs at local schools and organizations including: The Ann Richards School, Manor New Tech HS, and GenAustin. She recently co-organized and ran The Austin Diversity Hackathon whose purpose was to support and encourage a more vibrant and diverse tech scene in Austin.
Moderating this discussion will be:
Danielle Wilson Burnett, GameSalad: Danielle Wilson Burnett is the principal learning architect at GameSalad, Inc., where she creates projects, resources and training materials to help educators teach game development and programming fundamentals using GameSalad Creator. Danielle was a 2011 Teach for America corps member who taught business, multimedia and computer science courses for three years to 7th-12th graders at Cross County New Tech High School in Cherry Valley, Arkansas. She has presented throughout Arkansas and the Mid-South on both project-based learning and integrating technology in the classroom at conferences including the New Tech Annual Conference, Arkansas Curriculum Conference, and Teach for America Delta Leadership Summit. Danielle co-wrote and piloted a new STEM program of study, “Developing Mobile Applications”, for the Arkansas Department of Career Education and has trained teachers using GameSalad as an introduction to mobile app development. She is passionate about providing meaningful resources to educators and making computer science interesting, exciting and accessible to students.
See you on December 15th!
-The MakerSquare Team