Sisters-N-Tech; a women’s club for computer science and gender equity

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Sisters-N-Tech; a women’s club for computer science and gender equity

South juniors Claire Jensen and Kate Rounds work in a session of Sisters-N-Technology. “I didn’t really know a bunch about coding before this. I knew that it was important and I knew that a lot of positions look for things that you can could, especially in technological positions. So I just think its a really valuable skill,” said junior Matisse Bolstron.

South juniors Claire Jensen and Kate Rounds work in a session of Sisters-N-Technology. “I didn’t really know a bunch about coding before this. I knew that it was important and I knew that a lot of positions look for things that you can could, especially in technological positions. So I just think its a really valuable skill,” said junior Matisse Bolstron.

Henry Holcomb

South juniors Claire Jensen and Kate Rounds work in a session of Sisters-N-Technology. “I didn’t really know a bunch about coding before this. I knew that it was important and I knew that a lot of positions look for things that you can could, especially in technological positions. So I just think its a really valuable skill,” said junior Matisse Bolstron.

Henry Holcomb

Henry Holcomb

South juniors Claire Jensen and Kate Rounds work in a session of Sisters-N-Technology. “I didn’t really know a bunch about coding before this. I knew that it was important and I knew that a lot of positions look for things that you can could, especially in technological positions. So I just think its a really valuable skill,” said junior Matisse Bolstron.

Charlie Chinander-McFaul, Staff Writer

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Sisters-N-Technology is an after school club based around encouraging and cultivating young women’s interest and skill in computer science. Sisters-N-Technology provides the materials, time, and guidance for members to gain or advance their skills for a future in technology.

“Sisters-N-Technology is a club for girls or young women who are interested in exploring technology. That includes websites and micro controllers,” said Karl Griffin, a teacher and one of the club’s advisor for Sisters-N-Tech. “We’re really open to any interest that [the members] might have,” he said.

Sisters-N-Tech originated at North High School, it soon was set up in South after students expressed interest. “An [employee at North High School] saw the students were interested in [computer science], and saw that it was a valuable skill to [have when] considering a future in technology,” said Griffin. “He wanted to have a club to support those students in exploring those interests and in going to college and getting careers in those areas. There’s a really big gender gap in technology so clubs like this help.”

The technology field is a very unbalanced career path in the United States. According to Microsoft, women make up less than 20 percent of U.S. tech jobs. The 2016 STEM graduates were 37% female and 63% male with less than 7% of all women who graduated that year earning a STEM degree.

“I think women in technology is one of the most underrated professions… because of how big of a profession technology is right now and how much technology is growing. So we’re gonna have to have more than just men in technological positions,” said Matisse Bolstron a junior and member of Sisters-N-Tech.

According to reports from the following companies, women make up only 32% of Apple’s workforce, 31% of Google’s workforce, and a meager 26% of Microsoft’s workforce. Sisters-N-Tech is working on contributing to a solution to this problem with its focus on encouraging young women. “[Sisters-N-Tech] connects you to a lot of other opportunities, we go to a lot of events and stuff like that,” said Sylvie Rainville, a sophomore and member of Sisters-N-Tech. “There are a lot of opportunities for women in technology because there are so few [women in technological positions]. Companies are really looking to hire women and you can get more competitive salaries, because they really want women because it is such a problem.”

Because Sisters-N-Tech welcomes the beginners and experienced alike, their numbers continue to grow. “I didn’t really know a bunch about coding before this. I knew that it was important and I knew that a lot of positions look for things that you can could, especially in technological positions. So I just think its a really valuable skill,” said Bolstron.

Rainville says to anyone considering joining, “There is no stress, you don’t have to know anything coming in, and you don’t have to do anything outside the club… if you just wanna come here for an hour every week and [work on a] website or something or just mess around… that’s fine you don’t have to do anything serious.”

With its second year at South nearly over, the club’s ambition and drive continues to strive forward. “My personal ambition is to see Sisters-N-Tech start finding time and ways to push into middle schools and support younger students in doing some hours of code or something like that,” said Griffin. “Also as we develop more skills, [I’d like] to support other clubs. Like if another club is like ‘hey will you help us build a website?’ I’d like to see us be able to do that. It’s really ambitious, there are only 24 hours in the day. And [the students] are taking 7 classes.”

Sisters-N-Tech meets in room 238, Tuesdays at 3:20.

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