Organizations For Women Getting Ahead in Technology

1. For Educators & Professionals

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference is an annual consortium that includes female students, large company recruiters, and educators. Run by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, the conference is the world’s largest gathering of technical women in computing. Last year’s conference, “Creating Technology for Social Good,” attracted approximately 1,600 women.

The celebration includes a day of programming for the Computer Science Teacher’s Association, which supports problem solving and computing education for middle school and high school teachers. 

2. Weekenders: Boston’s Geek Girl Camp

Geek Girl Camp’s success in hosting regional data design workshops points to the emergence of programming education that’s popping up separate from universities. Communities are creating these opportunities to increase the diversity of working programmers. The organization teaches courses about blogging and social media but says its day-long summer bootcamps draw the most interest.

3. High School Students: Iridescent

Iridescent Learning is a Los Angeles-based mentorship organization that teaches mobile app development to teenagers in preparation for a business plan competition. The program started after product manager Anuranjita Tewary heard from several area teachers that computer science was missing from their high school curriculum.

She and programming expert Dr. Margaret Butler recruited 45 female high school students without programming experience for entrepreneurship and programming instruction by local business people.

Iridescent now teaches about databases, location services, and object-oriented programming. Students work in teams to build apps that can create study flashcards or track what’s in your refrigerator. It’s important to demonstrate the social components of the work, Butler explained, by having girls work together towards a goal just as they would in a lab or startup. The program will have reached more than 400 girls by the end of the year.

Along with three “Technovation Express” workshops around the country this summer, goals for the program include having some students return as teaching assistants when they graduate from high school and trying to build an internship program in which area tech companies will pay program participants more than other summer employers might.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

5 Responses to Organizations For Women Getting Ahead in Technology

  1. I am wanting to find out more about branding

  2. Elias, a great list. One I did not see there that is a good addition, but unfortunately does not have a presence in DC (yet) is Astia.

    • Elias Shams says:

      Doesn’t matter if they are not in DC, but we have ton of women in DC who want to know about it. Will you be able to shoot me one paragraph about it with supporting links and video (if possible) and send it to me? I will then add it to our article. thx

  3. omen in Technology International is a great group ( with chapters all over the US and elsewhere. Strong online presence and loads of offerings and events. Looks like the DC chapter could use a figurehead too.
    Sandy Jones-Kaminski
    WITI member and fan!

  4. I’d suggest checking out Astia CEO, Sharon Vosmek’s blog. She has some videos and other great links in there.

    Directly from her blog:
    “Astia is a global, not for profit organization build on a community of experts. Astia propels women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth.”

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