Not a solo act: The real steps to empowering women in tech | #WomenInTech

dsc_0092

There has been a mission across science and technology educators and employers to get more women to study and pursue careers in technology.

The fact is that only 26 percent of the female workforce has a career in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-related job, as opposed to 74 percent of males. Women represent 47 percent of the workforce, and ignoring the disparity is not an option.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for workers in computer and mathematical occupations will see 13 percent growth by 2024. Software developers will see increased employment opportunities in the high 20- to low 30-percent range, with healthcare being one of the leading sectors.

Reports indicate that female high school students are less likely than their male classmates to set their sights on a college major or career in STEM (15 percent versus 44 percent, respectively). Another harsh reality is that only 12 percent of women will graduate with a degree in science and only three percent work in STEM-related fields for less than 10 years.

Facing the issue through connections

Combating this issue on a few fronts is Jocelyn DeGance Graham, founder of CloudNOW (Cloud- Network Of Women), a non-profit consortium of leading women in cloud computing and converging technologies. DeGance Graham said the organization has one mission: to connect women in cloud, and there are no “ulterior motives” behind CloudNOW. She believes that this pure intent is the contributing factor to CloudNOW’s growing success.

She joined Lisa Martin (@Luccazara), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the CloudNOW 5th Annual “Top 10 Women in Cloud” Innovation Awards in Mountain View, Calif. (*Disclosure below.)

This week, theCUBE spotlights Jocelyn DeGance Graham in our Women in Tech feature.

The concept came to DeGance Graham while attending technology conferences when cloud was a nascent, emerging technology and she noted she was one of only a few female attendees. Determined to find a way to connect and support other women that were in the industry and form beneficial connections, she created CloudNOW five years ago, and the recognition and success keep expanding.

There were three pivotal moments for CloudNOW, according to DeGance Graham. “In the first few months of launch, the organization received a grant from IBM, a three-year grant that [became] the foundational piece,” DeGance Graham disclosed.

The next key milestone was the Top Women in Cloud Awards the organization offered. During the first year, the group wanted to highlight women in the field who were doing amazing things. “That first year, we got so many talented women applying, it absolutely shocked me,” she said.

The award brought recognition to the organization no one had heard of before, and CloudNOW quickly became respected in the field. This leads to industry-wide support for the organization, including Google hosting and sponsoring the organization for the Dec. 7 CloudNOW awards event.

CloudNOW is focusing on the educational piece as well. In an effort to help more women into studying technology, they have developed a scholarship program with the Holberton School, which offers a two-year, hands-on accelerated degree program, as opposed to a four-year traditional computer science degree. The organization is seeking to provide support to see young women become successful in a STEM career.

“The timing is right. We’re really interested in identifying this next generation of women who want to study STEM and be able to empower them to do that,” DeGance Graham said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the CloudNOW – 5th Annual “Top 10 Women in Cloud” Innovation Awards(*Disclosure: Some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. No sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo by SiliconANGLE