The statistics surrounding women in tech are bleak:
- Only 25% of the top innovation firms are led by women.
- Women account for only 20% of Fortune 500 Chief Innovation Officers.
- There’s a gender wage gap of 14% between men and women in STEM occupations.
- Only 0.1% of creative agencies are founded by women & non-binary people, and the numbers are even smaller for women/non-binary BIPOC.
Thankfully, across the world fearless women have stepped up and are actively working to change these trends. We’ve rounded up 15 organizations that are creating space for more women in tech through networking, job boards, mentorship, education and more. If you’re a woman, non-binary, trans person, or ally, there’s likely an organization here that can help support you in your career. Read on to explore these organizations and find (or expand) your women in tech tribe!
Lesbians Who Tech & Allies is a community of LGBTQ women, non-binary and trans individuals in and around tech (and the people who support them). They aim to get more women, POC, and queer and trans people in tech through connecting people in their community to tech organization and companies that are fighting for the rights of these groups. Register for their upcoming (Not IRL) Pride Summit in June!
Ladies that UX is all about giving women the chance to meet up to support each other, push UX boundaries, and promote female skillshare and talent. There are a growing number of local groups based in cities worldwide, and each city runs slightly different events. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and if you want help with a particular UX challenge, you’ll find plenty of willing problem-solvers.
3. Hexagon UX
Hexagon is a non-profit aimed to empower and support women and non-binary folks in UX through community, events, and mentorship. With chapters all over the world and a community of over 7,500, Hexagon hopes to help drive the conversation around diversity and inclusion in UX. You have the option to join your local chapter, apply for their mentorship program, and/or join the Slack group.
4. UX HER
UX HER is a career development organization that provides women of color with the tools, resources, and community to start and grow their UX careers. Through a supportive online network, job board, and learning opportunities, they help women of color navigate their careers and find a community in the field.
Elpha is a hybrid social and professional networking community of 35,000+ women who are looking to make career changes, search for jobs, and ask for advice in a safe place. You can join in on conversations like “mistakes I made in my career” with top tech talent and learn from their experiences along the way.
6. Tech Ladies
Tech Ladies is a worldwide community with 100,000 members where ladies can get help growing their careers in tech. Through a supportive online group, a free job board, and opportunities to learn, Tech Ladies has connected thousands of women in tech with opportunities across the world. They also recently authored a report for the United Nations about the gender digital divide!
Whether you're looking for a job, advice, or encouragement, the Ladies Get Paid Slack group has 100,000 women from not only all 50 US states, but more than 120 countries across the world. Through networking meetups, fireside chats, virtual lunches, webinars, and more, you’ll get advice on careers, finance, business, and life.
Women in Innovation (WIN) is a non-profit organization that includes 4,000+ members in New York, San Francisco, and London. WIN’s monthly events bring together a variety of innovators to explore topics like leadership, development, and growth. Interactive activities and hands-on workshops create connections that go beyond traditional networking to educate through real work.
9. Path Forward
Path Forward is a nonprofit organization on a mission to empower people to restart their careers after time spent focused on caregiving. They fulfill this mission by working with companies to create and run mid-career internships that give professionals a jumpstart back to their careers. They work with more than 80 companies to create return to work programs, including Walmart, Netflix, Apple, SAP, NBCUniversal, Verizon, PayPal, Intuit, and others.
Ladies, Wine & Design is a global non-profit initiative with chapters in 280 cities worldwide that has with the mission to see more diversity in the creative industry, especially within leadership roles. They take an intersectional approach to this work through free mentorship circles, portfolio reviews, talks, and creative meetups for underrepresented creatives.
11. Women Hack
WomenHack promotes gender equality in tech and helps people get hired at companies committed to diversity in the workplace. They take a unique approach by vetting companies to ensure they’re committed to things like equal pay, career advancement, and leadership opportunities. You can join by creating a talent profile, attending an event, or reviewing a company.
Girlboss is a community of strong, curious, and ambitious women redefining success on their own terms. Their mission is to inform, entertain, and inspire action through content and experiences. You can sign up to receive their newsletter and join the community, and what’s good to note is but you don’t need to be a member to access their free job board.
PowerToFly's mission is to fast-track economic equality by upskilling and connecting women to roles in highly visible sectors. They do this by providing free live virtual events with decision makers from companies for people within their community. They also provide upskilling content and host summits with industry leaders creating diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces.
14. BUILT BY GIRLS
This community for women aged 18-22 provides support for those making their first career move. They provide one-on-one relationships with expert advisors, invitations to events designed to develop tactical skills, and access to a network of tech professionals. Women 22+ are also invited to volunteer their time and get matched with a student to help them explore possibilities in tech.
15. The Next IT Girl
The Next IT Girl connects students, technologies, academia, and businesses to create an ecosystem of innovation and drive needed change in tech. They do this by educating, mentoring, and advancing young women of color aged 8-22 on computer science and information technology. Volunteer your time to work with these students and close the gender and racial gap.
We hope you found this list of organizations helpful! Join the Designlab community and receive support in your UX design learning and career-changing journey from peers and professionals in the tech industry. Learn more here.
We also invite you to explore our Diversify Design scholarship program, which has run since March 2020 with the intention of building equity across diverse and inclusive representation in the design industry. We aim to do so by providing design education and professional support to aspiring designers from groups underrepresented in the design industry; this includes women, AAPI, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and members of other historically disadvantaged groups. Learn more and apply here.