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Supporting Women in Tech: Where Rubber Meets the Road

Posted by Melissa Chadwick on Sep 3, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The ratio of men to women in engineering is 5:1 and only 37 percent of tech startups have at least one woman on the board of directors, according to recent stats. The time to change that disparity is now.

That’s why I’m using this blog as a platform to help support a fundraiser I'm spearheading for DFW Alliance of Technology and Women (DFW*ATW) as part of the bigger September 17 North Texas Giving Day. 

Why DFW*ATW? I recently joined this non-profit organization because they are “committed to increasing the number of women in leadership and strengthening the pipeline of girls entering technology fields.” 

The women in tech cause is near and dear to me and something I’ve been involved in for many years. Before I moved to Dallas, I participated in a panel for the Girls in Tech Washington, D.C. Chapter Relaunch to discuss how women in tech can help find their voice. Speaking alongside other women leaders, it struck me how far we’ve come, but just how much more work is to be done. And women can’t do this alone -- getting the men in our lives on board as advocates is critical to enacting change. 

Hanging out before my 2019 Girls in Tech Washington, D.C. Chapter panel

I have to say that I’m very lucky in that my personal values are strongly reflected at Merritt Group, which has kindly helped kick off the fundraising. For starters, we’re woman-led. In 2019, our Senior Partner and CEO, Alisa Valudes Whyte, was honored with a Silver Award for Female Executive of the Year in the annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. She’s also been named a finalist for DC Inno's "50 on Fire" and a finalist in Women In Technology's (WIT) Annual Leadership Awards. She also serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Neighborhood Health and the Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia. She’s what I’d call a great example of “practicing what you preach.” 

Merritt Group also provides pro bono PR and social media support for WIT. Merritt Group’s work with WIT ranges from content placement, media interviews and press release development to full-scale social media campaigns. Recently, Merritt Group introduced an ongoing #FierceFemaleFriday campaign to highlight successful, powerful women every Friday via WIT’s social media channels. With more than 20 women featured and nearly 40 women nominated so far, #FierceFemaleFriday serves as an opportunity to inspire and learn from others in the WIT organization and beyond.

Importantly, we’ve also worked with clients that share our values. I’ve personally had the pleasure of working on projects like presenting ‘Night of the Living Data’, a sketch the comedy night benefiting Girls Who Code. The event took a novel approach to highlight the barriers to access for women in the technology industry. And there are countless other stories of how our clients are helping advance the conversation by providing real opportunities in the technology field. 

Whether you’re in tech B2B marketing or you're an engineer, we all need to lift each other up and provide women and girls greater access to more training and opportunities in technology. Let’s do this!

If you’re in the position to donate, I encourage you to give what you can at https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/MerrittGroup.

Topics: Women in Technology, Texas

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