Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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July 16, 2021

Innovation, change and growth are key themes in SXSW EDU podcast

TechGirlz Director Amy Cliett recently moderated a panel discussion at the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival. Joining her were representatives from other organizations that mentor girls and young women to lead to positive paths and prosperous careers in technology.


Their discussion centered around changes each organization was forced to make during the COVID-19 pandemic to successfully transition to online programming.


“We wanted to know if, like TechGirlz, they survived their own pandemic pivots and were thriving,” Cliett said. “When I reflect on my conversations with my nonprofit sisters, I feel the greatest revelation from our pandemic pivots is this: if we confront our toughest challenges with a sense of urgency, true grit and irrepressible energy, we can transform the crisis that threatens to drive us apart into forces that draw us closer together.”.


These conversations are captured in three podcasts from Technologist Talk, an award-winning podcast produced by Creating IT Futures, CompTIA ’s tech workforce charity.


Listen as Cliett speaks with Lauren Psimaris, director of development for Girls on the Run of Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties in Pennsylvania; Ashley Turner, an academic technologist who founded Philly Tech Sistas; and Isis Miller, the community and events manager for Black Girls Code.


Chapter 55, Part 1:  How Urgency Can Become Innovation:

Lauren Psimaris and her colleagues at Girls on the Run of Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties in Pennsylvania didn’t want girls to miss out during quarantine. They moved their running and health program to an online format and successfully completed 16 lessons virtually. Feedback from their community was overwhelmingly positive. Listen here.


Chapter 55, Part 2: Grit Can Become Growth

Ashley Turner, an academic technologist, founded Philly Tech Sistas with the goal of diversifying the tech industry by empowering women of color with the skills and leadership tools needed to thrive in Philadelphia’s technology community. The organization moved events and workshops online and found that demand grew along with membership. Listen here.


Chapter 55, Part 3: Energy Can Become Expansion

Black Girls Code works to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities and builders of their own futures. Traditionally, the organization pursued this through in-person events. Since going virtual, Isis Miller says they have conducted more than 180 virtual events, with more than 20,000 registrants. Listen here.