Despite national conversations about a lack of women in tech, women remain largely underrepresented in STEM roles, according to a study by the National Science Foundation. And the pipeline doesn’t suggest a near-term correction, as only 19% of computer science degrees were awarded to women in 2016, down from 27% in 1997. Women also typically make less than their male counterparts in science, engineering, mathematics, and computer science occupations — with an average median salary of $66,000 per year, versus $90,000 for men.
Such issues have played a large role in the rise of organizations focused on empowering and supporting women in tech roles. Today’s networking and advocacy landscape finds a growing array of programs and organizations for girls, women, and anyone who identifies as a woman — and plenty are also open to male allies. Here are 19 key organizations dedicated to uplifting women in tech, pushing inclusivity in the workplace and closing the diversity gap.
19 organizations for women in tech
- Ada Developers Academy
- Ada’s List
- org / Anita Borg Institute
- Black Girls Code
- Change Catalyst
- Girl Develop It
- Girls in Tech
- Girls Who Code
- League of Women Coders
- National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
- Project Include
- Women in America
- Women in STEM
- Women in Technology International (WITI)
- Women Who Code
Ada Developers Academy
Ada Developers Academy is a nonprofit, cost-free coding school for women and gender expansive adults that also prioritizes BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and low-income people. The training program offers a collaborative learning environment as well as individualized support through mentors, tutors, mental health support, and affinity groups. Participants also take part in a paid “applied learning internship” that teaches students how to write code and the skills to become a software developer.
Ada’s List is an email-based group that is open to anyone who identifies as a woman and works in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. It’s a space where women can feel open to talk about professional topics, share job opportunities, share conferences and events, connect with other talented women, or find a mentor. While the majority of the group exists online, you can attend an annual conference in London to meet with other Ada’s List members in person.
AnitaB.org / Anita Borg Institute
The Anita Borg Institute (AnitaB.org) is a nonprofit organization for women in tech that was founded in 1997 by computer scientists Anita Borg and Telle Whitney. The organization seeks to support women in technology and to “connect, inspire, and guide women in computing.” AnitaB.org also includes Systers, which was founded in 1987 by Anita Borg as the first online community for women in tech. Systers is still functioning today and is now the “largest email community of women in technical computing” with more than 8,500 members worldwide.
Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in part because she felt culturally isolated in her electrical engineering and computer programming courses in college. While women are underrepresented in STEM fields, that’s even more true for women of color working in the industry. Black Girls Code is an organization that aims to support young and pre-teen girls of color to help give them the resources they need to succeed in STEM fields.
Change Catalyst is an organization focused on diversity in tech for women and minorities — it was developed in a direct response to Silicon Valley tech industry diversity numbers released in 2014. Change Catalyst “builds inclusive tech ecosystems through strategic advising, startup programs and resources, and a series of events around the globe,” according to the organization’s website.
Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It offers web and software development courses at affordable rates in a “judgement-free zone.” The nonprofit organization offers hands-on programs that teach women and non-binary professional skills for software development and supports a diverse network of women in STEM. Girl Develop It has charters in 60 cities across the country, but if you can’t find one in your area you can submit a request for a new chapter where you live.
Girls in Tech
Girls in Tech is a nonprofit organization that aims to stop gender inequality in the tech industry by empowering women through coding courses, bootcamps, and hackathons for girls and women of all ages and professions. The mission is to “support women with the access and community they need to succeed in tech.” The organization started in San Francisco in 2007 and has since grown to include over 62,000 members in 33 countries. Events and programs vary by chapter and are designed to suit the specific needs of each community.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in tech and redefining what it means to be a programmer. It includes after-school clubs, summer courses and programs, and career advice and networking support for college students. According to data from Girls Who Code, 66% of girls aged six to 12 are interested in computing programs, but that drops to 32% for girls aged 13 to 17 and down to just 4% for college freshmen. The organization focuses in keeping girls and young women engaged in STEM fields as they grow by giving them support and a community.
League of Women Coders
Formerly Ladies Who Code, the League of Women Coders is a “grassroots collective” for coders, hackers, and anyone interesting in learning more about programming. The group meets monthly to work on projects, catch up, ask questions, and share ideas about the industry. The next two meetups are planned for New York City and Washington, DC. Meetings are open to anyone who identifies as a woman and typically include refreshments, food, and the occasional speaker.
MotherCoders is focused on creating economic opportunity for women with college degrees and work experience who are ready to get back into the workforce after time off. They offer a nine-week technology training program with on-site childcare to help women gain the skills and expertise to get into the tech industry. They focus on training women on the latest skills and removing the guess work when it comes to figuring out what skills are the most in-demand in the industry.
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a community of “change leaders focused on advancing innovation by correcting underrepresentation in computing.” They offer several programs both for professionals as well as for kids, teens, and young adults. The organization, which was chartered by the National Science Foundation in 2004 and was one of the first organizations to focus on women’s participation in computing fields, also offers support to companies that want to strengthen DEI in their organizations through hiring, awareness, inclusion, and systemic change. They also provide research and stats on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry for women and BIPOC technologists.
Project Include believes that corporate diversity and inclusion strategies should include the following three values: inclusion, comprehensiveness, and accountability. The nonprofit organization argues that inclusion is “easier in the long-term and intrinsically more equitable,” especially for underrepresented groups. Project Include offers extensive diversity and inclusion recommendations for companies as well as case studies to help companies understand and navigate several diversity topics.
Switch, formerly known as Women 2.0, is a for-profit media and tech company that creates and delivers content, programming, products, and services designed to bring awareness to issues surrounding inequality and inclusion in the tech industry. Switch provides programs for founders who are trying to grow startups and provides networking opportunities and resources on capital, hiring, workplace culture, and more. The goal is to create a more diverse and inclusive environment, especially when it comes to startups.
TechLadies is an organization that focuses on connecting members with jobs and opportunities in tech through an online network, a free job board, and events and resources to help members learn new skills to grow their careers. Members get access to a private online community, weekly webinars and a library of on-demand webinars, goal-setting challenges to stay motivated, and member-only online events.
TechWomen is an initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs — the global organization brings together women in STEM fields from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East with those working in Silicon Valley and San Francisco to build a stronger network in the industry. To join the organization, you’ll need at least two years of professional experience working in a STEM field with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. It works as a mentorship and exchange program, bringing women over from other countries to the US to “engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies” in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Women in America
Women in America (WIA) is an organization that offers professional development and mentorship opportunities for women who have their eye on executive and C-suite roles, board positions, and any other “prominent leadership roles.” WIA offers mentorship groups, pop-up events, an alumnae association, and events that feature networking opportunities and presentations and panels to teach members new skillsets.
Women in STEM
Women in STEM is an organization that matches female university students and professionals with high school girls to encourage them to stay engaged in STEM. The aim is to increase representation in STEM fields through one-to-one mentoring partnerships. Mentors offer mentees college and career advice to help young girls understand the path to college and a career in STEM. Women in STEM also organizes guest speakers, discussion panels, and other programs for elementary, middle and high school aged girls to get them excited about the field.
Women in Technology International (WITI)
Women in Technology International (WITI) was founded in 1989 as the International Network of Women in Technology and was later rebranded in 2001. WITI is a global organization that connects over two million women in STEM with membership in the US, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Australia, and Mexico. WITI organizes events, meetups, career coaching, speaker events, and more across the US and around the world. The organization is dedicated to empowering innovation and building a future of inclusivity in the workplace.
Women Who Code
Women Who Code focuses on empowering women in tech and redefining the industry so that women are equally represented at leaders, executives, founders, VCs, board members, and software engineers. The focus is on empowering women with the coding and programming skills they need to advance in their careers, educating companies on how to promote, retain and hire women and establishing a global community of mentorship and support for women engineers.