FutureTalk with Liz Abinante and Janice Levenhagen

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Diversity and Education in Tech*

Programming, Education, and the American Dream

The learn to code movement has popularized the idea that coding is a skill everyone can learn. It's the American dream: learn the desirable skill and you'll succeed financially. I'll discuss the history of the American Dream, how new programming education endeavors have repackaged it, and how the lack of awareness and analysis of this privileged rhetoric is damaging our culture and workforce.

Liz Abinante is an engineer living in Portland working for New Relic. Previously, she has served as co-leader for the Chicago chapter of Girl Develop It, where she taught and organized programming classes for women and minorities. She is infectiously enthusiastic about web development, teaching, learning, and feminism. She enjoys knitting, writing knitting programs and patterns, and hacking away on interesting problems. Her greatest dream in life is to spend her entire day surrounded by puppies while coding.

Women in Tech Today

At ChickTech, we're often asked exactly why women are so underrepresented in technology. This is a hard question to answer, because it rarely is just one thing. It's a complex mix that we often call "death by a thousand cuts". Janice will guide us through the stats on technical women in various national and local tech companies and then take a dive into anecdotes that help to illustrate some of the reasons why women leave technology at twice the rate of men.

Janice is the Executive Director of ChickTech. She has a BS in Computer Engineering from Oregon State University and an MBA from Willamette University. She believes strongly that the diversity and strengths that women can bring will push high tech to even more impressive heights. Her inspiration for creating ChickTech came from her own experiences in computer engineering and the realization that the percentage of women in engineering isn’t going to get higher by itself.


*note: no need to RSVP via Eventbrite

› Doors will open at 5:30 for a 30-minute networking happy half-hour! The food, beer and drinks are provided by Bellagios and New Relic.

› The presentation will begin right at 6p.

› FutureTalks is brought to you by New Relic (http://www.newrelic.com/) in collaboration with TAO (http://www.techoregon.org/).