If you’re a woman and you’re working (or want to work) somewhere within the wild and wonderful world of tech, you probably already know that being a woman in tech has its challenges. Thankfully, you can also take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in navigating the experience.
If you are (or will/want to be) a woman in tech, here are 15 collectives, podcasts, and other resources that we hope will help you connect with other women who are working in and transforming the face of tech. Explore any or all of these resources and find which ones work best for you. We should note that this is not a sponsored post and we haven’t been paid to promote any of these resources. If you know of other great resources that we’ve missed here, please feel free to reach out to Emerson (the writer) through LinkedIn—they’ll be thrilled to add to this list!
If you are not a woman in tech, but would like to learn more and be a better ally, the first section of this article is for you. You might find some of the resources in the rest of the article helpful (and it’s great to at least be aware of them), but please be conscious and respectful of the fact that some of these are intended to be a safe and supportive space exclusively for women in tech.
Here’s what’s we’ll cover:
- How to be an ally to women in tech if you’re not a woman in tech
- 15 Excellent resources for women in tech
- Final thoughts
How to be an ally to women in tech if you’re not a woman in tech
If you’re a woman in tech, feel free to read this section if you’d like—or just jump to the list of resources that starts in the next section.
If you’re not a woman in tech, but you want to learn and be a better ally, we want to offer a very broad overview of the problem—and explain why resources like the ones in this article are important and necessary for women in tech. We’ll also give you a few tips for how to be a better ally. They’re simple, but worth stating clearly. Let’s get started.
The gender gap in tech is no secret. Women in tech often face challenges that are, unfortunately, not unique as they seek to break into and make an impact in a space traditionally dominated by men. This is largely due to socially and systemically enforced gender roles/norms that foster unconscious (and sometimes or often, very conscious) bias.
Really, it’s easy to see that women are absolutely invaluable to the industry. Some of the people making the biggest (and most meaningful) waves in tech are women, and largely women of color. And when women are involved in designing products and experiences, the results are innovative and meet the needs of a broader spectrum of humanity—check out these examples of design by and for women!
So why can’t we just close the gender gap already?
In a sense, the solution is simple: Companies need to create safe and equitable workplaces where women are trained, hired, well-paid, and promoted to leadership roles. But that’s the just start.
The problem is systemic and social in nature, so it’s not something that just a few people can fix in a short period of time. Policies have to change. Hiring, salary negotiation, and promotion practices have to change. Work environments need to change. In other words, this is work for everyone to do—from those in leadership (diversity, equity, and inclusion have to start at the top) to those in the most junior roles.
Pretty massive change, right? And it’s compounded when you consider the intersectionality of gender and race, as a prime example, and the inequalities that are only heightened by circumstances such as a global pandemic.
If that’s a little overwhelming, it should be. If we could say, “don’t be overwhelmed, here’s a simple solution,” we would. But simply put: The reality is overwhelming, as is the prospect of changing it. And yet, it has to change, and that change has to start somewhere. So here’s a quick list of ways that you can create change and be a better ally to women in tech:
- Do the work of unlearning your own unconscious bias. Everything else you do to be an ally to women in tech has to start here.
- Make room for women in tech in your social media accounts—Black Women in Tech to Follow on Twitter is a great place to start.
- Pay attention to what books, podcasts, and other learning/thoughtwork materials that populate your professional development time. Make a point to learn from women in tech! But their books, listen to their podcasts, and in general just make room for their insights. Yuan Wang’s list of design books by women and people of color is a great place to start—especially if you work in leadership/management, social media, UX or UI design, service design, voice design, communication, research, marketing, or content strategy.
- If you are not a woman in tech, advocate for them in hiring processes, promotion decisions, and in your daily work. Ask yourself what’s in your power to influence and work to make space for their voices and insights in meetings, processes, and decision-making.
- Have a look at the resource list in the next section of this article. Most are intended as safe(r) spaces for women in tech to cultivate community, but most also have educational resources, newsletters you can subscribe to, and donation opportunities. These are excellent ways to learn and contribute.
15 Excellent resources for women in tech
Now to the women in tech reading this: Let’s dig into some very practical resources that you can tap into to connect with, learn from, and share your knowledge and experience with the broader community of women in tech.
Not every resource will be exactly what you need or what you’re looking for. Not every space will feel like the right fit for you. But we include a brief description with each one to help you get a sense of whether it’s worth pursing. Have a look, try some of them out, and enjoy becoming an even more integral part of a strong and supportive community.
1. Ada’s List
Ada’s List is a global community of women (cisgender, trans, intersex) who work in the digital world. The goal of Ada’s list is ultimately to connect people and to create a better, more inclusive industry.
Join Ada’s List if you’d like a safe place to connect with other “Ada’s”—women who “work in and around technology”—share your experiences and skills, ask questions, and get advice, mentorship, and support (and more), all through the Mobilize platform. It’s free to join, and comes with access to an exclusive job board.
Ascend is an online community, connecting you with other women in tech, job opportunities and expert-curated (and created) content—articles, videos, news, and webinars related to business, technology trends, diversity and inclusion, career development, and more.
Ascend has a free membership option that offers limited access to these features, but very much worth exploring. If you’re able, you can access their premium membership for $11.95 per month (USD) or $119.50 annually. They even offer corporate memberships—so if you’re in leadership and/or able to influence this level of commitment, check it out! Their membership options page is beautifully transparent about which perks are included in each membership tier.
If you’re ready to refresh your Twitter feed and connect with some amazing Black women in tech, check out this curated list of Twitter accounts to follow. This is the 2020 list of honorees, but you’ll find that they’re still active and sharing excellent ideas across the platform.
Many of these women are also founders of their own companies. We encourage you to check out these businesses and support them if you have the means!
4. Girl Geek
Girl Geek, co-founded by Angie Chang and Sukrutha Bhadouria, is an outstanding place to go for events (including virtual options, of course), articles, videos, and a podcast that we highly recommend listening to. The content spans from news to conversations (Girl Geek dinners, which is part of the organization’s origin story) to career transitions, mentorship, imposter syndrome, and inclusive design!
This is a great place to go if you’re not looking for any kind of membership, but want to explore ideas and learn from the conversations of other women in tech.
This is a great space to join if you’d like access to a global community, resources (including scholarships), hackathons focused on improving online safety for women, and early access to Google events—everything from Google summits to local meetups. It’s a good place to explore if you’re interested in cultivating your leadership skills.
Lesbians Who Tech + Allies is a collective of over 70,000 women, nonbinary people, and allies who work “in and around tech.” Founded in 2012 by Leanne Pittsford, this collective works to promote visibility and inclusion of women, queer people, and people with other underrepresented backgrounds. From a job board to events, scholarships to sponsorship opportunities, this organization offers a lot! Sign up to their email list to get in on the goodness.
Whether your podcast/listening time is a long commute or while you brew your morning coffee, add the Modern Figures podcast to your list! Hosted by Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen, this podcast sets the spotlight on Black women in computing. Topics range anywhere from robotics and augmented reality, to gender diversity in various sectors, to advice on overcoming a variety of personal challenges in the field. And even better, the podcast is conversational in nature and designed to be both relevant for people who work in the field as well as understandable for people new to or outside of the field. We can’t recommend this podcast highly enough!
People of Color in Tech is primarily a job board—it’s fair to call it an outstanding job board, with corporate partnerships with the likes of Atlassian, Netflix, Hubspot, and more. You can post a job, browse job postings, create a talent profile, and manage job postings and/or applications from your personal dashboard. They’ve also got a wide range of articles related to tech news and trends, diversity, learning to code, career growth, entrepreneurship, and much more. While their focus is not specifically on women of color in tech, they do have articles and a newsletter that frequently feature women of color in tech—and their podcast Techish is definitely worth checking out!
9. Tech Ladies
Tech Ladies is a community of some 100,000 women in tech. Founded in 2015 by Allison Esposito Medina, who left her job at Google to run the collective full time, Tech Ladies has been featured by Forbes, Teen Vogue, and other major publications. They’ve got a general (free) membership you can apply for that will get you access to the network and their weekly email newsletter with job postings, event invites, and more. They also have a paid membership option that offers some additional perks—such as weekly goal setting, monthly challenges, and discounts on conferences, coding classes, and coaching.
Angelica Ross founded Trans Tech Social Enterprises in 2012. This is a co-working and co-learning space (in person and virtual) focused on equipping trans (and gender non-conforming) people in tech with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in the industry—as well as work opportunities!
Where representation and community all women in tech is critical to consider and where, not every community is designed for trans women in tech. Which is why TransTech Social Enterprises is high on our list of recommendations—for community and education (if you’re a trans or gender non-conforming person), or for finding tech talent and donating to support their mission.
11. Women in AI
You may have heard of think tanks, but Women in AI is an international “do-tank” focused on increasing participation and representation for women working in artificial intelligence (AI), as well as to contribute to making AI more gender-inclusive.
They offer education programs for women in tech, a blog featuring the voices of and challenge facing women in AI, as well as research and research collaborations to move things forward in the field. If that wasn’t enough, the organization is supported by the European Commision (part of the EU’s Horizon research and innovation program) and has corporate partnerships with the likes of IMB, AWS, Microsoft, and more.
Here’s another for your podcast queue. The Women in Tech Show, hosted by Espree Devora, features the voices of women across the tech industry and seeks to provide “actionable empowerment” for women in tech. The makers of this podcast also host, with similar goals of representation and empowerment, the Women in Tech VIP—a private Facebook group with some 7,000 members.
Whether you’re new or seasoned in the tech world, if you want to connect virtually with other women in tech, the Women in Technology Slack group is an excellent resource. You can become a member if you work in tech “identify as a woman in any way that’s meaningful to you.”
This community will give you access to several channels, most of which you can opt into yourself, so you’re only joining the conversations that interest you most. The only catch? It’s invite only, so you have to be added/invited by someone who’s already in the group. Look at this as another great reason to talk to the women in tech you already know and to reach out to others.
Endorsed by Forbes and ranked in Medium’s top ten podcasts, Women in Tech with Ariana is a vibrant and engaging addition to your list. Featuring women in tech across the globe, this podcast explores tech news and practical insights and resources to help women in tech to navigate the industry successfully.
We’re also a fan of Women in Tech with Ariana on Instagram!
The Women in Tech Network is a massive and global network of women in tech that offers a job board, mentorship program, events, a global awards program, and a blog that covers a wide range of topics including hiring and empowering, professional growth, trends, events, and more.
The network offers three membership options that make varying levels of participation and benefits accessible to just about any woman in tech.
No matter who you are or where you work in (or around) tech, we encourage you to celebrate Women’s History Month by taking concrete action. Learn something new. Try advocating for yourself or someone else in a new way. This list should give you some ideas.
If you’re a woman in tech, we hope that this list gives you a starting point or a longer list of resources to guide and enrich your daily work and your career path. If we missed a resource that you’ve found useful, let the writer know! We’re happy to keep this list updated.
For those who are not women in tech: keep listening, learning, and advocating in every way that you’re able! Change happens as we all work together to make it happen.
And finally, if you want to read more about gender diversity in tech, check out these articles: