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Safe Space: Online Groups Lift Up Women in Tech


CEO Tarika Barrett with Girls Who Code program participants

"We will keep fueling a gender gap if we don't address these challenges [of representation]," says Tarika Barrett (standing), CEO of Girls Who Code.

Credit: Girls Who Code

It's no secret that STEM fields have a gender diversity problem. Closing this gender gap will require more than just education and training.

"You can't be what you can't see," says Tarika Barrett, chief executive of the non-profit organization Girls Who Code. The group is one of several that aim to help women from under-represented communities to tap into the social capital necessary for workplace success in computer science.

Among other services, these groups provide a space for women, trans men, and non-binary people to vent and share their workplace struggles. Several of these communities have developed robust online communities on collaboration platforms such as Slack, through which they aim to engage and support their members.

"Having a dedicated space in which people can ask questions, get feedback, and have the freedom to be more vulnerable than they might be otherwise, is a really healthy, important thing," says Caitlin Hudon, founder of ALL the Ladies in Tech.

From Nature
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