Event aims to increase participation and graduation of women in IT and related fields
On March 8, Kirkwood Community College, in collaboration with Pearson’s, hosted a Women in Technology event.
This event consisted of a panel in which they disproved stereotypes about women in IT, collaborated on how women in IT could make a change in their community and networked with local businesses via a panel discussion to learn about the IT job market from recent Kirkwood alumni.
The event was co-founded by Samantha Huch and Brenda Steinke, with the goal of dispelling the message that women are not meant for the IT field and to give IT students on campus an opportunity to network with professionals in the field. Sixty-six people attended, with 26 in person and 40 via Zoom.
According to Hench, the goal of the event was to dispel misconceptions about women in tech.
“The goal of this event was to kind of squash the message that women are not meant for the IT field in general. Also just to get a group of individuals from the industry to talk with students,” said Hench.
“It was just more than we expected because they were asking questions like ‘What do I need to get into the IT field?’ ‘Should I just start taking classes?’,” she added.
Industry partners gave students advice on how to get started in the field such as getting a degree and earning certifications to put themselves ahead of other candidates and to find what they like about IT.
For students who missed the Women in Tech event, there will be future events such as a meet and greet, lunches with industry partners and mock interviews with industry partners. Students who have suggestions for future events can fill out a survey online at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDM6FCr5bruw0xDQ3X2ovuZ5nCCC9OGr2k__BHWNDB1a0LqQ/viewform.