Guest article by Brittany Ballard
“Stand tall and show who you are,” Belinda Perez said while addressing the room at the recent Austin Women in Technology happy hour. “Don’t be afraid to follow your passions.”
If you venture over to one of the events hosted by Austin Women in Technology, you’ll find yourself surrounded by one of the most inspirational and supportive groups of women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. With Austin’s tech scene absolutely booming, this organization is working to make a positive impact on the lives of women who have or want careers in technology.
The happy hour opened with the board members providing an overview of the organization, as well as an explanation of the types of opportunities Austin Women in Technology provides, and how these opportunities can promote personal growth. Attendees exchanged information on local job postings and what kinds of positions they sought.
So What Is Austin Women in Technology?
Founded in 2000, Austin Women in Technology is an Austin-based nonprofit organization focused on creating an avenue for women in the tech scene to come together and thrive, both professionally and personally. It provides many opportunities for women to grow, connect, learn, and lead.
The board is fully passionate about following the organization’s mission, and providing a welcoming environment for women in tech to communicate and grow together. And they’re succeeding. Several members at the happy hour were enthusiastic about the experiences they’ve had with Austin Women in Technology, stating that it offers a meaningful network, high level of engagement, and reassures individuals who wonder whether they’re making the right decisions with their career choices.
Austin Women in Technology is also making an impact on the community by working with two charities in the Austin area: Girlstart, an organization that helps young girls obtain STEM education, and Dress for Success, an organization that empowers women to obtain economic independence, by providing professional attire and a network of support. Austin Women in Technology holds several fundraisers throughout the year in support of these two charities.
How Was Austin Women in Technology Born?
The original founders of Austin Women in Technology came together because they didn’t have a support group in their offices. There was no place for women in technology to bond and grow.
They were some of the first female managers and board members in Austin, pioneers in an age in which women weren’t often in positions of power.
What Opportunities Does Austin Women in Technology Offer Members?
Austin Women in Technology organizes 12 events throughout the year. These events focus on the following four core values of the organization:
Connect. Members and attendees get the chance to connect with other women in their field at various happy hours and networking events. While the happy hour events are more casual, both types of events allow a chance for women to meet other strong women and learn about potential job opportunities.
Grow. Every part of this organization promotes positive growth for its members. The sense of community and togetherness inspires confidence, and allows women to become a better version of themselves.
Learn. Austin Women in Technology offers fantastic “fireside chats” and intelligent conversations. They’ve had several prestigious guest speakers in the past, including the Chief Security Officer of Oracle and the Senior Vice President of Dell.
Lead. Austin Women in Technology encourages leadership by providing volunteers opportunities for members of the organization, and allowing them the opportunity to join the board. In fact, there is a volunteer luncheon this month to discuss board changes that will occur in September.
What’s Next for Austin Women in Technology?
While this amazing team is already offering fantastic opportunities to its members, Austin Women in Technology is hoping to provide even more resources moving forward. Their brand new Slack team offers things like an online job board channel that shares local career opportunities, updates on organization events, an “Applaud Her” channel to promote empowerment, and more.
There are several events coming up this year, including a Dress for Success event in September and a movie event in October.
Check out Austin Women in Technology’s website to learn more about being part of this amazing organization.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your favorite professional networking group in Austin?
Born in Austin, but raised as an Army Brat outside of Ft. Hood, Brittany didn’t find her way back to the city until 2012 when she attended St. Edward’s University. She spends her free time reading, blogging, finding the perfect outfit for her fashion-inspired Instagram, and exploring Austin one piece at a time.
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