Despite national conversations about a lack of women in IT, women remain largely underrepresented in STEM roles, according to a study by the National Science Foundation. And the pipeline doesn’t suggest a near-term correction, as only 19% of computer science degrees were awarded to women in 2016, down from 27% in 1997. Women also typically make less than their male counterparts in science, engineering, mathematics, and computer science occupations — with an average median salary of $66,000 per year, versus $90,000 for men.
And, according to recent data, representation of women in IT is trending in the wrong direction. In 2022, more than half of companies lost 20% of their tech workforce to attrition, with women technologists (16%) leaving at a higher rate than men (13%). With twice as many women having left tech jobs in 2022 than in 2021, representation of women in the IT industry is currently at pre-pandemic levels, with 27% of technology roles filled by women compared to nearly 29% in 2020, according to data from AnitaB.org.
Such issues have played a large role in the rise of organizations focused on empowering and supporting women in tech roles. Today’s networking and advocacy landscape finds a growing array of programs and organizations for girls, women, and anyone who identifies as a woman — and plenty are also open to male allies. Here are 18 key organizations dedicated to uplifting women in tech, pushing inclusivity in the workplace and closing the diversity gap.
18 organizations for women in tech
Ada Developers AcademyAnitaB.orgBlack Girls CodeChange CatalystGirl Develop ItGirls in TechGirls Who CodeLeague of Women CodersNational Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)SwitchTechLadiesTechWomenWomen in STEMWomen in Tech (WIT)Women in Technology (WIT)Women in Tech Council (WTC)Women in Technology International (WITI)Women Who Code
Ada Developers Academy
Ada Developers Academy is a nonprofit, tuition-free coding school for women and gender expansive adults that also prioritizes BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and low-income people. The training program offers a collaborative learning environment as well as individualized support through mentors, tutors, mental health support, and affinity groups. Participants also take part in a paid “applied learning internship” that teaches students how to write code and the skills to become a software developer.
The AnitaB.org is a nonprofit organization for women in tech that was founded in 1997 by computer scientists Anita Borg and Telle Whitney. The organization seeks to support women in technology and to “connect, inspire, and guide women in computing.” AnitaB.org also includes Systers, which was founded in 1987 by Anita Borg as the first online community for women in tech. Systers is still functioning today and is now the “largest email community of women in technical computing” with more than 8,500 members worldwide.
Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in part because she felt culturally isolated in her electrical engineering and computer programming courses in college. While women are underrepresented in STEM fields, that’s even more true for women of color working in the industry. Black Girls Code is an organization that aims to support young and pre-teen girls of color to help give them the resources they need to succeed in STEM fields. Sparking an interest in technology at a young age is important to encourage girls to embrace an interest in STEM and to show them that a career in tech is an option.
Change Catalyst is an organization focused on diversity in tech for women and minorities — it was developed in a direct response to Silicon Valley tech industry diversity numbers released in 2014. Change Catalyst “builds inclusive tech ecosystems through strategic advising, startup programs and resources, and a series of events around the globe,” according to the organization’s website. The organization speaks at all-hands events, team offsites, leadership retreats, industry conferences, and startup programs in addition to developing L&D programming, hosting inclusive events, and designing customized training solutions. Change Catalyst also offers one-on-one inclusive leadership coaching to help leaders drive DEI in their organizations.
Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It offers web and software development courses at affordable rates in a “judgement-free zone.” The nonprofit organization offers hands-on programs that teach women and non-binary professional skills for software development and supports a diverse network of women in STEM. Girl Develop It has charters in 60 cities across the country, but if you can’t find one in your area you can submit a request for a new chapter where you live. The goal of the organization is to help eliminate barriers for women and non-binary individuals through live and hybrid workshops on career topics, one on one instructor study, and learning and networking events for members.
Girls in Tech
Girls in Tech is a nonprofit organization that aims to stop gender inequality in the tech industry by empowering women through coding courses, bootcamps, and hackathons for girls and women of all ages and professions. The mission is to “support women with the access and community they need to succeed in tech.” The organization started in San Francisco in 2007 and has since grown to include over 62,000 members in 33 countries. Events and programs vary by chapter and are designed to suit the specific needs of each community.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in tech and redefining what it means to be a programmer. It includes after-school clubs, summer courses and programs, and career advice and networking support for college students. According to data from Girls Who Code, 66% of girls aged six to 12 are interested in computing programs, but that drops to 32% for girls aged 13 to 17 and down to just 4% for college freshmen. The organization focuses in keeping girls and young women engaged in STEM fields as they grow by giving them support and a community.
League of Women Coders
Formerly Ladies Who Code, the League of Women Coders is a “grassroots collective” for coders, hackers, and anyone interesting in learning more about programming. The group meets monthly to work on projects, catch up, ask questions, and share ideas about the industry. The next two meetups are planned for New York City and Washington, DC. Meetings are open to anyone who identifies as a woman and typically include refreshments, food, and the occasional speaker.
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a community of “change leaders focused on advancing innovation by correcting underrepresentation in computing.” They offer several programs both for professionals as well as for kids, teens, and young adults. The organization, which was chartered by the National Science Foundation in 2004 and was one of the first organizations to focus on women’s participation in computing fields, also offers support to companies that want to strengthen DEI in their organizations through hiring, awareness, inclusion, and systemic change. They also provide research and stats on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry for women and BIPOC technologists.
Switch, formerly known as Women 2.0, is a for-profit media and tech company that creates and delivers content, programming, products, and services designed to bring awareness to issues surrounding inequality and inclusion in the tech industry. Switch provides programs for founders who are trying to grow startups and provides networking opportunities and resources on capital, hiring, workplace culture, and more. The goal is to create a more diverse and inclusive environment, especially when it comes to startups.
TechLadies is an organization that focuses on connecting members with jobs and opportunities in tech through an online network, a free job board, and events and resources to help members learn new skills to grow their careers. TechLadies’ more than 150,000 members receive access to a private online community, weekly webinars and a library of on-demand webinars, goal-setting challenges to stay motivated, and member-only online events. In 2022, Ada’s List joined TechLadies, bringing their nearly 10,000 members over to continue their mission to uplift women in tech.
TechWomen is an initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs — the global organization brings together women in STEM fields from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East with those working in Silicon Valley and San Francisco to build a stronger network in the industry. To join the organization, you’ll need at least two years of professional experience working in a STEM field with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. It works as a mentorship and exchange program, bringing women over from other countries to the US to “engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies” in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Women in STEM
Women in STEM is an organization that matches female university students and professionals with high school girls to encourage them to stay engaged in STEM. The aim is to increase representation in STEM fields through one-to-one mentoring partnerships. Mentors offer mentees college and career advice to help young girls understand the path to college and a career in STEM. Women in STEM also organizes guest speakers, discussion panels, and other programs for elementary, middle, and high school aged girls to get them excited about the field.
Women in Tech (WIT)
Women in Tech (WIT) is an organization focused on fostering DEI in STEM by promoting the empowerment of girls and women globally when it comes to education, business, digital inclusion, and advocacy. WIT offers a global mentoring program for those seeking mentorship in career and leadership, technology, startups, digital marketing, project and product management, business analytics, and UX/UI design. The mentorship program is no-cost for both mentors and mentees, and it involves three individual sessions over the span of three months, where participants are given access onboarding and training materials as well as closed community meetings and events.
Women in Technology (WIT)
Women in Technology (WIT) is committed to advancing women in technology through leadership development, education initiatives, and networking and mentorship opportunities for women technologists at every level of their career. WIT offers the mentor-protégé program, which matches participants with experienced professionals for mentorship. Protégés are matched with four different members over the course of five months, allowing mentors and mentees to connect with different professionals who can offer unique insight into the industry.
Women in Tech Council (WTC)
The Women in Tech Council (WTC) is focused on developing programs that help diversity the pipeline from high school to the C-Suite. WTC offers programs on DEI, women in the C-suite, women-led startups, innovation, and inclusion. They also offer mentorship, networking, and learning opportunity for members, in addition to several different events including the WTC Summit, where topics around tech talent, building careers, and talent trends are highlighted and discussed in panel sessions.
Women in Technology International (WITI)
Women in Technology International (WITI) was founded in 1989 as the International Network of Women in Technology and was later rebranded in 2001. WITI is a global organization that connects over two million women in STEM with membership in the US, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Australia, and Mexico. WITI organizes events, meetups, career coaching, speaker events, and more across the US and around the world. The organization is dedicated to empowering innovation and building a future of inclusivity in the workplace.
Women Who Code
Women Who Code focuses on empowering women in tech and redefining the industry so that women are equally represented at leaders, executives, founders, VCs, board members, and software engineers. The focus is on empowering women with the coding and programming skills they need to advance in their careers, educating companies on how to promote, retain and hire women and establishing a global community of mentorship and support for women engineers.
More on Women in IT
Gender gapped: The state of gender diversity in ITWomen IT leaders bring fresh perspectives to corporate boards20 worthwhile conferences for women in techWomen in tech statistics: The hard truths of an uphill battle12 awards that recognize women in tech7 factors women look for in an IT employer — and how to address them