Technology doesn't have to be a boys' club.
In the past year, Philadelphia's bubbling digital realm has seen an outgrowth of user groups, meetups, startups and leadership focused on bringing more women into the conversation. This year's Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T -- an open calendar of more than 80 events held the last week of this month celebrating technology and innovation in the region -- may be their coming out party.
"It's not just the groups that are focused on women, it's the whole community in Philadelphia that is really different," said Kate Krauss, a sometimes entrepreneur who felt less welcomed in tech scenes in San Francisco and elsewhere than she does here.
Of the 80 events on tap for Tech Week, more than a dozen are dedicated to communities often overlooked in technology, the female sect included, and many others are being organized by women. The highlight could be the first ever Women in Tech Summit, to be held Sat. April 21 at Wharton, where female hackers, developers, designers, executives and their ilk are aiming at inspiring and connecting with others of their respective stripe.
The attention is high following recent Census data that showed while 56 percent of professional jobs in the U.S. are held by women, just 25 percent in IT are. That could keep U.S. innovation from excelling, as research often shows women add perspective and have better collaboration and communication skills than men.
So groups like Web Start Women, Girl Develop It and others in Philly are increasingly trying to do something about it.
"I think [we are] helping to foster kind of a collaborative atmosphere with women," said Nicole Kline, who helps organize Girl Geek Dinners. "We can be more fulfilled because of it."
If you go
Women in Tech Summit: April 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Wharton
Smart Talk: Women in Science: April 25, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Quorum
Women and Minority Tech Leaders: April 25, 3-4:30 p.m., Drexel
Philly Tech Week Signature Event: April 27, 6-9 p.m., Moore College, $30 open bar
Podcasting Workshop with Techgirlz: April 28, 1-4 p.m., Chestnut Hill