Meet the Non-Profit: PDX Women in Tech

AMA PDX is excited to partner with PDX Women in Tech for the 2018 Community Outreach program. PDXWIT has been a part of Portland since 2011, when Megan Bigelow realized the camaraderie she felt with other smart-as-hell tech women at a conference. She couldn’t go listen to Sheryl Sandberg on a regular basis but she could create a space for women to connect with other women in a male-dominated industry.

Since this realization, PDXWIT has turned in to a community-based non-profit organization with the purpose of strengthening the Portland women in tech community. They have achieved this by offering educational programs, partnerships, mentorships, resources and opportunities.

Women make up merely 25% of the computing industry even though more women are graduating from college than men. PDXWIT has helped to close this gap and they have the numbers to prove it. According to a member survey:

  •  They have helped 11%​ of members ​find new jobs
  •  14%​ ​have built NEW technical skills from their events
  •  They helped​ ​16%​ ​improve their resume/LinkedIn profiles
  •  36%​ ​have found volunteer opportunities through PDXWIT
  •  Almost​ ​HALF​ consider PDXWIT their sole tech community
  •  PDXWIT has helped OVER​ ​70%​ ​expand their network

  *Source: PDXWIT July 2017 State of the Community survey

In the coming year, PDXWIT is hoping to expand their existing networking, job board and outreach programs. However, PDXWIT is trying to embark on this journey toward change within their organization while also making a difference in the tech industry as a whole. PDXWIT is fighting to move the needle closer to equality. They’re taking on some hot-button issues by looking at the feedback of women in their organization…

  • 31%​ ​lack access to a quiet/nursing room at work
  • 18%​ ​feel they have little balance in their life
  • 17%​ DO NOT have a maternity leave policy
  • 3​ ​OUT​ ​OF​ ​5​ ​feel they are paid inequitably
  • 17%​ cannot go to their manager for help
  • 1​ ​OUT​ ​OF​ ​4​ do not feel their workplaces are diverse and inclusive
  • 1​ ​OUT​ ​OF​ ​4​ have been asked an inappropriate question in an interview

Making an industry change takes time and effort, but it has to start somewhere. Portland can be the catalyst that makes the difference for women. With the help of their super-smart volunteers, community, and partnering with AMA PDX, we can share PDX Women in Tech’s mission for workplace equality.

Stay up to date with PDX Women in Tech! Follow them on Twitter and join their Facebook Group. To learn more about AMA PDX’s Community Outreach Program, click here.

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