Contribute to an Open Source Project
Open Source software is an important part of the technology culture and plays an especially critical role in the non-profit and small business world, where enterprise software is prohibitively expensive. Open data is emerging as an important tool in the civic hacker's belt, and governments and municipalities have caught on. Philadelphia leads the pack of large cities when it comes to releasing open data for developers to include in their projects.
Developers, content providers, community organizers and designers who contribute to open source projects learn new skills, sharpen old ones, can build a portfolio that leads career advancement, all while working on projects for the general good. Women are underrepresented in tech at large, but especially so in the open source sphere, making up just 1.5%* of contributors. Let's change that right here at LadyHacks!
Create a game to demonstrate how stereotypes and cultural influences affect career choices. Alternatively, a game can be used to demonstrate the positive influences that a developer or designer can make on society.
Build a choropleth map showing the gender ratio of STEM-pursued degrees globally. Who has the lowest gap? The largest? Why?
Create an infograph showing the pros and cons of careers in technology and design, from the perspective of someone looking for a work/life balance as she raises a family, or from the perspective of someone who wants to make an impactful contribution to society.
Aggregate data, such as from WeWorkInPhilly, to locate where Philly’s women technologists are, so that tech meetings/classes can be held in places where they have access.
What other websites do you feel would help address the gap in STEM?
Build an application to pair mentors with mentees, or a free-cycle inspired app to share resources with each other (books, devices, tutorials).
March is Women’s History Month, and WikiWomen are celebrating all month long by increasing the presence of women’s voices on Wikipedia. Women are underrepresented in Wikipedia, contributing to less to 10% of all edits and authorship. Pick an article in your area of expertise and become a Wiki contributor, or give the Girl Geek Dinner page an update, or create a Girl Develop It or PyStar article!
A Suggestion of Your Own
The above are just some ideas to toss out there. What are questions, stereotypes, or concerns you would like to address? Apps you think would help to encourage more women to pursue technology as a career? Or resources that you think would help them achieve this goal?