In the average computer science classroom, women students are likely to find themselves outnumbered: women make up only 18% of the total population of computing and technology degree holders. Because it can be difficult to find opportunities to connect with other women in computer science in the classroom, we asked College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) students and faculty to recommend associations for women in computing.
This list, while not exhaustive, provides a starting point for women students to find social support, educational resources, and opportunities to build their professional network on Drexel’s campus and in the greater computing community.
- Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE) Drexel’s chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon is a sorority dedicated to engineers and technical science majors, promoting sisterhood, and the advancement of women in technical fields. AOE promotes scholarship and academic achievement as well as integrity, character, and self-confidence.
- Association for Computing Machinery's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W) The ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field. The organization’s Student Chapters (including Drexel WiCS) keep its members informed about the educational and career opportunities available to them.
- BlackcomputeHER BlackComputeHER is dedicated to supporting computing education for Black women in computer science and the technology field. Their aim is to generate knowledge and disseminate information that creates a spirit of urgency around the lack of sustainable diversity. The organization hosts an annual conference and fellows who take part in a cohort-based leadership development program.
- Black Girls CODE Black Girls CODE focuses on providing technology education for young girls of color with community outreach programs and workshops for girls between 7 and 17 years old. The organization accepts volunteers from all regions of the US.
- Black Women Talk Tech Black Women Talk Tech is a collective of Black women tech founders with chapters in 10 different locations. The group has developed a robust online community, podcast, and an annual conference, Roadmap to Billions, designed for Black women founders with scalable businesses.
- ChickTech ChickTech was founded to engage women and girls of all ages in the technology industry while working to create a better technology culture for all. ChickTech’s programs include summer camps, events for high school students, Meetup groups for adults in tech, and ACT-W Conferences. Drexel CCI has partnered with ChickTech to host weekend workshops for high school students.
- National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NC100BW) The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., is a non-profit volunteer organization for African American women. Its members address common issues in their communities, families and personal lives, promoting gender and racial equity. The Pennsylvania chapter of NC100BW regularly partners with CCI to host tech workshops for young women.
- Drexel Society of Women Engineers (SWE) The Drexel chapter of SWE has been in existence for over 60 years. This student organization strives to prepare members to be well-rounded, technically proficient engineering leaders of an innovative world. Drexel SWE hosts a dynamic calendar of events for members and also participates in local outreach and volunteering.
- Drexel Women in Computer Science (WiCS) Drexel WiCS is tailored to support women-identifying people in computing fields and students interested in technology. WiCS connects its members with each other and the greater computing world through mentorship programs, social gatherings, guest speakers, workshops, and national and regional conferences. The ultimate goal is to empower women in technology fields to succeed and thrive in the Drexel community and beyond. Drexel WiCS is an official member of the Association for Computing Machinery's Council on Women (ACM-W).
- Girls Who Code Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science by equipping young women with the necessary computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached over 300 million girls with its online resources, after school clubs, summer immersion programs, and college loops.
- Google Women Techmakers Scholars Program Through the Women Techmakers Scholars Program (formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program), Google is furthering Dr. Anita Borg’s vision of creating gender equality in the tech industry by encouraging women to excel as active participants and leaders in the field.
- Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing was founded in 1994 by Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney to honor the legacy of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a notable tech pioneer and one of the first women to receive a doctorate degree in mathematics. Each year, CCI students and faculty attend the conference, which is the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. In 2020, the conference will take place virtually from September 29 through October 2.
- HUE Tech Summit The HUE Tech Summit launched in 2018 during Philly Tech Week. HUE is an annual conference for students, career women, and companies seeking tech talent. Their mantra “no more hidden figures” is about celebrating the women who “work hard behind the scenes, make major contributions in their field, or break barriers in the tech industry.” In 2020, the event will take place virtually from September 21-25.
- Lesbians Who Tech & Allies Lesbians Who Tech & Allies is a community for LGBTQ women, non-binary and trans individuals, and the people who support them. The organization, which hosts over 50,000 members, promotes the visibility, leadership, and education of their community. They offer the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship to help queer and non-binary techies kickstart their careers in technology. Their virtual conference, the Debug 2020 Summit, will take place from November 16-20.
- The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) NCWIT, which was founded in 2004, is a non-profit community of 1,400 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase girls’ and women’s meaningful participation in computing. CCI is a member of NCWIT’s Pacesetter Program; read more about our membership on the Women in Tech Initiative page.
- Rewriting the Code Rewriting the Code offers free membership to students and early career women. Their global online community supports and empowers women through with career resources, personal and professional development webinars, tech learning opportunities, and in-person events in select cities. Rewriting the Code also offers an exclusive Fellowship program open to undergraduate women majoring in a discipline that will lead to a career in tech.
- TechGirlz Founded by Drexel alumna Tracey Welson-Rossman, TechGirlz is a non-profit program that inspires middle school girls to explore the possibilities of technology to empower their future careers. TechGirlz is accomplishing its mission through the creation of free, fun, interactive “TechShopz” led by industry professionals, community leaders, and students. CCI students can sign up for virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities.
- Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) WiCyS is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring. The organization offers mentoring, learning, networking and career development to women at all stages of their cybersecurity careers. It also hosts an annual conference with college partners.
Recent alumna Antigone Bellanich (BS Information Systems ’20), who contributed to this list, also offered a bonus piece of advice for incoming CCI students looking to connect around specific technology topics.
“In addition to these women in tech groups, I highly recommend and encourage students to also seek out clubs and groups that support tech topics they are interested in. I've benefited greatly from both. DragonLink is a fantastic place for students to find tech related clubs they would like to join. Meetup is also a great place to connect with other students and professionals outside of Drexel in the Philly area. Many of the organizations that run through Meetup are currently hosting online events, and it’s a great way to build your network and seek out new opportunities,” Bellanich said.