Tag Archives: recap

A Recap of GGD PHL #8 – Winter 2013, Hosted by The Hacktory & Sponsored by Appzhao

12 Feb

Hacking the Gender Gap

Between our rise to fame in The Philadelphia Inquirer and our collective experiences in science and technology, a traditional play-by-play of GGD PHL #8 “Hacking the Gender Gap: A Hands-On Workshop for Boosting Gender Diversity in Tech” is not going to help us tackle this issue. Instead, here is a super quick recap of where to find more information followed by some ideas for future action that came from our discussion.

Our wonderful speakers, Amy Guthrie and Stephanie Alarcon, clearly introduced the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, showing that while the number of women in these fields has increased, there is still a significant gap. The resources referenced in their talk are available on The Hacktory’s website.

What followed was a thought-provoking exercise that helped us identify this disparity in our own lives, the sharing of war stories, and an interactive experience that spawned some possible action steps. The timeline activity, a staple of Hacking the Gender Gap talks, brought forward our experiences with technology and catalog both the positive (which included a lot of “firsts” and getting things to work on our own) and the negative (which exposed the significant potential for people in authority to put us down). Our experiences will be added to the official online timeline for the project.

The gender gap is a complex problem, and it’s hard to find concrete solutions, but that should not stop us from taking action. Here are some ideas that came up during the presentation and discussion.

For us:

Mentors, role models, peer support are super, super important.

  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people, and look for mentorship opportunities, whether those are formal programs or asking a particular individual or organization for guidance.
  • Join communities, such as Girl Geek Dinners, Girl Develop It, and Web Start Women, to gain peer support and find women with shared experiences.
  • And finally, consider being a mentor yourself.

If you see something, say something. Ask for antidiscrimination policies at conferences, refuse the status quo, and have comebacks ready to counter the chatter.

Get informed, and attend upcoming trainings on how to facilitate future presentations of Hacking the Gender Gap.

For future generations:
Improve K-12 education: Include earlier spatial training and work to eliminate bias among instructors. Equal expectations yield equal performance.

Equal pay: Ensure women can earn the same as men regardless of field.

More than circuits: Expand the vocabulary of science and technology to show the wide range of opportunities available.


Recap written by Catherine E. Odson

Catherine OdsonCatherine Odson is a librarian, overly enthusiastic reader, techie in training, and utility infielder for one of Philadelphia’s greatest co-ed softball teams. Born and raised in South Dakota, she recently acquired her first grown-up couch and intends to stay in Philadelphia. She occasionally blogs at http://catherineodson.wordpress.com and can be found at various events around the area sharpening her writing, communications, and UX skills, which she plans to use in libraries in the near future. Her dream job is copy editing the sports references in romance novels.

Photos taken by Lisa Yoder

Lisa YoderLisa is a recent transplant to the greater Philadelphia area, having grown up on a dairy farm in the wilds of Central PA. She spends her days proofreading and her nights reading, writing, learning to code, and dreaming of where to travel next. She aspires to mash up all of these pursuits into something beautiful.

2012 In Perspective

9 Jan

Now that 2012 has ended, we thought we’d send a little reminder of everything we did last year and where we’re going in 2013 (this also serves as a summary of sorts of what was discussed at our town hall meeting held in November). Please note: our major changes are at the end, including that we will now be charging a nominal fee to be a member of the Meetup group.

2012 – What we accomplished:

  • Dinners: 4 dinner events
  • Huge thank you to our speakers and hosts!
  • Speakers: Jessica Ivins, Maggie Avener, Anita Andrews, Mel Ward
  • Hosts: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, NextFab, Cipher Prime, Zivtech

Others

  • 2 Board Game Nights
  • 2 Books & Brunches
  • 2 Comic / Graphic Novel Nights
  • 2 Craft Nights
  • High T(ech)
  • Sweet Swap
  • handful of random get togethers (meet Code for America, Systers, turned 1 happy hour)

2013 – THE FUTURE – ChaCha Changes
Events

  • Standard GGD Dinners will remain quarterly
  • Next event – details coming soon!

Social Events

  • We’d like to throw it out there to any ladies who would like to organize events to let us know! There is small stuff you can help out with, like organizing happy hours and some of our smaller events. If anyone is interested, shoot us a message on Meetup!
  • We want more happy hours, more craft nights and more fun! Let’s do it!

Misc

  • We will continue supporting/partnering with sister groups/events: Girl Develop It, Py*, Web Start Women, Tech Girlz, Women in Tech Summit, and any others we come across
  • Hackathon - targeting Feb/March

Content / Website

  • Continue adding to GGD PHL website lady geek recaps of tech events in the area
  • We need help with this! If you attend a tech event in the city and are willing to write a short review of it, let us know!

Newsletter

  • We’d like a volunteer to help aggregate cool and geeky stuff going on in the city into a bi-weekly newsletter for our group. If you’re interested in helping out, let us know!

Stuff we’d like to accomplish in 2013
Get some flyers/postcards/business cards made and advertise!

Major Changes:

THE BIG NEWS
Organization Change – Tristin Hightower will be stepping back as Co-Organizer, and Karissa Demi will be helping Nicole Kline as Co-Organizer of GGD!

Bio: Karissa is a Web Developer at Drexel University and in her spare time teaches Web Design at University of the Arts. She has a bachelors Degree in Digital Media and is currently working towards an M.S. in Technical Communication. She enjoys brewing beer, watching sci-fi, reading graphic novels, and playing with puppies.

NOW CHARGING FOR MEMBERSHIP
We will now be charging members $5 a year to be a part of the Meetup group in order to cover the costs of Meeup.com as well as buying swag and promotional items. We will be making this change in the next week. If you cannot afford the fee, no problem – we have many volunteer opportunities. We are looking for responsible people to handle some of our events, like board game night and comic book night, as well as someone to write our biweekly newsletter (see above for opportunities). If these sound appealing to you, please contact us and let us know and we’ll set you up right away. Other responsibilities, like writing up events and taking photos/video, will also waive the fee. We are working on an organizer kit to help people create events and make things run as smoothly as possible.

Thanks so much!

A Recap of GGD PHL #6 – Social Games: How to think about the Metrics that Matter, Hosted by Cipher Prime Studios

28 Aug

July’s record temperatures and humidity didn’t stop local girl geeks from trekking to the second-floor Cipher Prime Studios in Old City one summer night to get the skinny on Social Gaming Metrics. Tristin Hightower, a co-founder and co-organizer for Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia, welcomed the cozy group, thanked event host Cipher Prime Studios, and noted that many of attendees were new faces.

At Tristin’s suggestion, attendees and a few shy Cipher Prime Studios employees introduced themselves and, in a few cases, explained their particular interest in social gaming metrics.  (The Cipher Prime Studios staffer working diligently in the studio hidden behind the white curtain on which the evening’s PowerPoint presentation was projected was amazingly quiet!)

After a warm welcome from Tristin, Sepiida CEO Anita Garimella Andrews began her presentation by briefly describing her background as a senior Internet and software product management executive who worked on Facebook application products and social gaming initiatives for companies like Wallop and Nutrisystem.com.

As head of Sepiida, an internet marketing optimization and product management services company focused on gaming, Andrews’ current work revolves around helping clients like Zynga Games Network and Softbank increase monetization in part by better optimizing acquisition, conversion, retention, and reactivation metrics.  She polled attendees on what their specific interests were in the social gaming metrics sphere and then launched a presentation that touched on:

  • Client desire to see all launches ‘go viral’
  • Data mining with end goal of increasing revenues in short term vs. increasing virality and identifying behavior patterns
  • How tiny design and text changes can have a drastic effect on acquisition and conversion rates
  • Using Daily Active User (DAU) and Monthly Active Uniques (MAU) ratio to derive churn and identify a minimum threshold figure for a successful DAU/MAU ratio

Attendees, most of whom came to the event straight from the office, gratefully noshed on fresh fruit and pizza provided by our gracious event host Cipher Prime Studios throughout the event. And the delicious cupcakes supplied by Mel and The Cupcake Friday Project were the proverbial cherry on the sundae.

About half of the attendees lingered after Anita’s presentation to mingle, introduce themselves to sister geeks, and meet Will, Dain, and the rest of the Cipher Prime Studios crew. Several luck girl geeks went home with free games from Cipher…and an extra cupcake or two.

Photos of the event, taken by Elise Wei, can be found on Facebook.

To stay connected with all of GGD PHL’s upcoming events and activities, follow GGD PHL on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or join the GGD PHL announcement mailing list today. Want to learn more about Girl Geek Dinners and its Philadelphia chapter? Visit www.ggdphl.com. See you at the next dinner!

Recap written by Yvonne M. Jones: Urban Farmgirl, Writer, Filmmaker
Yvonne M. Jones is a writer, filmmaker, and urban farmgirl. She is the brains and the brawn behind Word Soup, which creates lively social events that deepen our relationship to food, art, and each other. Her first book, No Tea for the Fever, a celebration of the most memorable films by and about black women, will be released in Fall 2012. She is in the process of building a sustainable, 172-square-foot, mortgage-free house on wheels–aka, The Chic Shack.

A Recap of Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Town Hall 2011

9 Jan

As the end of the year neared, the GGD PHL scheduled a town hall to review the accomplishments of 2011 and talk about the future plans for 2012. The meeting took place on November and was run by Tristin Hightower and Nicole Kline, Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia co-founders. It was held at Indy Hall, a co-working space for designers, developers, entrepreneurs, or anyone who works on a computer and wants to work with some dangerously awesome creative and technological minds in Philly.

It was decided that 2011 was very successful from three full dinners including the launch dinner for GGD Philly, a new logo courtesy of melissahead design / Operation NICE, three happy hours, and even a karaoke night at National Mechanics.

The first issue on the table was to discuss whether men should or would be allowed at future dinners. In the spirit of keeping the ‘Girl’ in ‘Girl Geeks’, it was decided that the rule would be only Girls at the dinners and the exception would be to invite ‘Boy Geeks’ if the topic would be enhanced by having the gender diversity. As always, Boy Geeks are welcome at other events such as the happy hours.

It has become apparent that the Girl Geeks need a better medium for communication within the group. The pros and cons of various forums, social networking sites and email clients were discussed. The decision was tabled, but the the team will be looking at options.

The group then moved into discussions about future activities. There will definitely be the standard quarterly GG Dinners and monthly happy hour. From movie nights, to high tea to girl fight club, all options were considered. There’s an open invitation for volunteers to organize an on-going event. Also, once the communication tool is launched, the group will be able to organize on-the-fly events as time and desire permit.

With the evening’s discussion wrapping up, it was time to move on to the most important part- mingling and refreshments. Being the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, attendees brought scrump-diddly-umptious leftovers from turkey chili to vegan chick pea salad to a stack of pies, some melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie bars and some et cetera yum.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia member, Meg Widholm.
Meg has been in IT for over 13 years. From developing websites, to managing an IT team, to providing Helpdesk support, she can’t eat enough computers. Her dentist told her that she’d better stop, so she has started a locally-sourced vending machine business, Snack Like a Local, with snacks such as brownies by Better Together Baking, Uncle Henry’s pretzels and Joe’s Chips. She will transition to the vending world allowing her to play with tech in her free time. She is currently working on building her first Android app.

A Recap of Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Town Hall 2011

9 Jan

As the end of the year neared, the GGD PHL scheduled a town hall to review the accomplishments of 2011 and talk about the future plans for 2012. The meeting took place on November and was run by Tristin Hightower and Nicole Kline, Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia co-founders. It was held at Indy Hall, a co-working space for designers, developers, entrepreneurs, or anyone who works on a computer and wants to work with some dangerously awesome creative and technological minds in Philly.

discussinIt was decided that 2011 was very successful from three full dinners including the launch dinner for GGD Philly, a new logo courtesy ofmelissahead design / Operation NICE, three happy hours, and even a karaoke night at National Mechanics.

The first issue on the table was to discuss whether men should or would be allowed at future dinners. In the spirit of keeping the ‘Girl’ in ‘Girl Geeks’, it was decided that the rule would be only Girls at the dinners and the exception would be to invite ‘Boy Geeks’ if the topic would be enhanced by having the gender diversity. As always, Boy Geeks are welcome at other events such as the happy hours.

It has become apparent that the Girl Geeks need a better medium for communication within the group. The pros and cons of various forums, social networking sites and email clients were discussed. The decision was tabled, but the the team will be looking at options.

nomsThe group then moved into discussions about future activities. There will definitely be the standard quarterly GG Dinners and monthly happy hour. From movie nights, to high tea to girl fight club, all options were considered. There’s an open invitation for volunteers to organize an on-going event. Also, once the communication tool is launched, the group will be able to organize on-the-fly events as time and desire permit.

With the evening’s discussion wrapping up, it was time to move on to the most important part- mingling and refreshments. Being the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, attendees brought scrump-diddly-umptious leftovers from turkey chili to vegan chick pea salad to a stack of pies, some melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie bars and some et cetera yum.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia member, Meg Widholm.
megMeg has been in IT for over 13 years. From developing websites, to managing an IT team, to providing Helpdesk support, she can’t eat enough computers. Her dentist told her that she’d better stop, so she has started a locally-sourced vending machine business, Snack Like a Local, with snacks such as brownies by Better Together Baking, Uncle Henry’s pretzels and Joe’s Chips. She will transition to the vending world allowing her to play with tech in her free time. She is currently working on building her first Android app.

A Recap of GGD PHL #2 (Summer 2011, Hosted by Bluecadet)

5 Sep

Bluecadet hosts second Dinner; many new faces

Stormy weather be damned: over 30 geeky ladies didn’t let a little rain ruin their evening, making their way to Northern Liberties on August 25 for Girl Geek Dinner Philadelphia’s second event, hosted by Bluecadet.

Tristin Hightower, co-organizer for Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia, welcomed the group and noted that about 1/3 of attendees were new faces! She covered some of the exciting things the group has done and pointed out the growing support for “lady geeks” with other programs in the area just for them: Web Start Women, PyStar Philly, Girl Develop It Philly, and TechGirlz.

Claire Ronsairo, a senior consultant with Blue Heron Consulting, Inc., presented on the world of Information Technology and life as a consultant. Discussing the entirety of a project timeline, Claire points out that not all IT positions require you to write code and that actual code writing is only a portion of what it takes to get a project out the door. Q&A after the presentation was very engaging, with ladies discussing a variety of topics, including how to prevent projects from going off track. [click here to see slides from Claire’s presentation, PDF]

Attendees ate dinner and mingled until about 9 pm. The friendly, casual atmosphere of Bluecadet was the perfect place for the ladies to sit back, relax, and meet new people. Pictures from the event can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Up next for Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia will be a September social event welcoming to all. To stay connected with upcoming events or activities, follow GGD PHL on Twitter, like them on Facebook or join the GGD PHL announcement mailing list.

To learn more about Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia, visit www.ggdphl.com.

A Recap of GGD PHL #2 (Summer 2011, Hosted by Bluecadet)

5 Sep

Bluecadet hosts second Dinner; many new faces

IMG_3737_150x150Stormy weather be damned: over 30 geeky ladies didn’t let a little rain ruin their evening, making their way to Northern Liberties on August 25 for Girl Geek Dinner Philadelphia’s second event, hosted by Bluecadet.

Tristin Hightower, co-organizer for Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia, welcomed the group and noted that about 1/3 of attendees were new faces! She covered some of the exciting things the group has done and pointed out the growing support for “lady geeks” with other programs in the area just for them: Web Start WomenPyStar PhillyGirl Develop It Philly, and TechGirlz.

Claire Ronsairo, a senior consultant with Blue Heron Consulting, Inc., presented on the world of Information Technology and life as a consultant. Discussing the entirety of a project timeline, Claire points out that not all IT positions require you to write code and that actual code writing is only a portion of what it takes to get a project out the door. Q&A after the presentation was very engaging, with ladies discussing a variety of topics, including how to prevent projects from going off track. [click here to see slides from Claire’s presentation, PDF]

Attendees ate dinner and mingled until about 9 pm. The friendly, casual atmosphere of Bluecadet was the perfect place for the ladies to sit back, relax, and meet new people. Pictures from the event can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Up next for Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia will be a September social event welcoming to all. To stay connected with upcoming events or activities, follow GGD PHL on Twitter, like them on Facebook or join the GGD PHL announcement mailing list.

To learn more about Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia, visit www.ggdphl.com.