Tech clubs for women are starting to emerge on college campuses. Most notably, at UC Berkeley, FEMTech is a tech club for women of all majors at the university.
Andrea Lombard was a media major who had a strong interest in technology; however, she frequently felt unwelcome and isolated in maker spaces and computer labs. She found that this was common among many women on campus; therefore, Lombard launched FEMTech.
FEMTech has many programs such as speaker events, web-development workshops, tutoring services, and a robot building team. It is helping to make necessary STEM skills available to women of all majors at Berkeley. In addition to this, FEMTech creates leadership opportunities for its members of all different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. One of the primary goals of FEMTech is to encourage women to not be shy in technology.
“If we want more diversity and more women in this game, they are going to have to take more leadership roles. They might be geniuses and know how to code, but if they can’t look you directly in the eye and communicate, then it’s going to be really hard for them to run a team or a company, and start that process of more women running things.”
— Andrea Lombard
Clubs like FEMTech are integral to breaking barriers and advancing our society. We need form meaningful relationships, organizations, etc. that uplift and encourage women to pursue their STEM passions. It is time to achieve gender equality in the sciences.
“When women don’t see other women in STEM fields, they assume that it would be difficult. FEMTech brings visibility to female leaders in STEM, who are really the key to offering both inspiration and networking opportunities for students. Andrea [Lombard] has built an incredible network across the Bay Area, and it has the potential to become a national movement.”
— Whitney Hischier, faculty director of the Center for Executive Education at the Haas School of Business