Heather Cabot stopped by the Bookstr offices to chat about her new book “Geek Girl Rising: The Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech,” all about the female entrepreneurs, investors, and activists paving the way for women in technology.
Cabot and her writing partner Samantha Walravens have written “Geek Girl Rising” in order to tell the stories of some of the female entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, technologists, and educators making waves in the tech industry. They aim to show how these women got to where they are, and to make the idea of working in tech more accessible to those for whom it may seem impossible, unlikely, or unappealing.
Image Courtesy of Start Up Nation
It’s no secret that Silicon Valley is has a reputation as a boy’s club and it can be difficult for women to get a foot in the door in order to gain investors and funding, due to the fact that most of the decision making is done by men who are more inclined to invest in start ups and projects run by people with whom they are familiar and can relate.
“It’s a nuanced problem,” Cabot explained, noting that because there is no “magic bullet” to solve the issue straight out, the book aims to explore and assess each of the various problems that have led to less than 20 percent of tech workers in America being female. There needs to be more women at decision making levels which means more women need to be hired; there needs to be more female entrepreneurs with acquired companies who can in turn invest in more female-run start ups.
In addition to this, Cabot spoke about the need to deal with stereotyping surrounding the ‘type of people’ who work in tech, noting that time and again during their research for the book, she and Walravens encountered the idea that tech jobs and coding are for “guys who live in their parents basements.” This drove them to curate stories of relatable women succeeding in tech in order to inspire and interest people.
Image Courtesy of ABC News
Facebook Live watchers were able to ask Cabot questions, with many asking for advice on how to start out in the industry. Here are some of the organizations she recommends:
1. Karlie Kloss’s coding programme ‘Kode with Klossy.’
2. Skillcrush, an online coding school which aims to demystify the world of tech.
3. Aspirations in Computing, a Facebook page with 10,000 young women between ages 14 and 19, used for sharing information on internships and opportunities.
4. Grace Hopper Conference, a celebration of women in computing which has a career fair with panels and networking opportunities, discussed in chapter 6 of the book.
5. NCWIT, the largest resource for women in technology, and recommended checking on campus for computer science groups and courses available in your university
More information is available at the Geek Girl Rising website.
Featured Image Courtesy of Facebook Live