Innovator of the Week
Founder of Future Tech Women
In A Nutshell . . . Tell Us About Your Startup Resource.
Future Tech Women (FTW) exists today to serve women and girls in New Hampshire with the mission to empower the next generation of women technologists. This mission is carried out through the mentoring of college and high school students, participating in programs that spark a technical interest in young girls, and through monthly hangouts – a meeting place for industry professionals who are passionate about changing the ratio of women in technology.
What niche are you filling?
Currently only approximately 25% of technology professionals are women. In college, I was the only women in almost all of my computer class and it was a very lonely feeling. In 2013, after talking to a student who was going through all the same things I had gone through I decided there needed to be a community that can be relied on to help with tough situations that being a minority in your field can have you encounter. FTW has grown to a group that welcomes anyone of any age with an interest in technology. Our hangouts promote a welcoming, relaxed environment where members discuss their successes and challenges with others who have been in similar situations. We also discuss personal development and work on mentorships. Hangouts provide members a chance to practice and get feedback on upcoming talks or events they are participating in, as well as ask for volunteers or advice for events they may be running.
Who or what was your best resource in helping your program get off the ground?
My best resource for starting FTW was my existing network. I asked around for help of all kinds and I was thankful that so maybe people were willing to help. Talking to people who were running successful organizations and non-profits gave me some much needed insight and advice to where FTW could go. One thing I learned while starting FTW was to never be afraid to ask to help and always be willing to listen to what other people have experienced and learn from them.
What does the future look like?
In a perfect world, the future would be that this organization does not need to exist because the STEM workforce would be 50% female and 50% male but until that becomes a reality, FTW will continue to expand. FTW will be looking to get more members and get involved in more school and youth groups to help promote and inspire young women and men to look into careers in technology. I never thought FTW would have expanded the way it has in the couple years since I started the organization therefore I can’t wait to see how FTW will grow in the future.
How can people get involved? People can get involved by following us on social media and joining our mailing list. We share opportunities to get involved on these resources. We have two monthly hangouts; one on the fourth Tuesday of the month, at Dyn in Manchester, and one on the third Wednesday of the month, at various locations in Portsmouth that anyone is welcome to attend. Facebook events are created for each event.