As the tech industry catches up to diversity and inclusion, these books, events and podcasts are forging a way through representation and resource-sharing.
It isn’t easy for women who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That’s why, podcasts and books about tech by women, for women, say one thing: “You’re not alone.” They center in on how they got into the field, the gender gap, their greatest challenges and advice for women entering the industry. Here is a roundup of some of the absolute, must-read books, podcasts and conferences for women in tech, written by women, and why they’re the latest and the greatest.
Women in tech podcasts aren’t as hard to come by as one might think. The following podcasts highlight leaders and innovators in tech.
SheTooSTEM is a biweekly podcast that shares the experiences of black women and their various career-paths in STEM. It was founded out of a need for intersectionality in tech, says the co-hosts Alanna Tremble-Winfrey, Jeseekia Vaughn and Kayla Jordan, all working in industrial, software and electrical engineering. Their podcast topics range from black excellence in tech to black women in STEM who have written books about their careers. “Blackness gives us unique perspectives and experiences that are hard to find,” they write. “Don’t we exist, too?”
She Talks Tech
She Talks Tech is a weekly podcast that brings stories, lessons and tips from some of the top women (and men), in technology today. From robotics and drones to machine intelligence, interviews with women AI scientists like Inma Martinez and tech leadership trends, this podcast interviews a different tech expert in their field every week. Highlights include the episodes about neurodiversity and coronavirus apps, or digital innovation in FinTech.
The Women in Tech Show
The Women in Tech Show offers the mic to women in tech to talk about their experiences and projects in the industry. There are interviews with software developer Laura Butler, Intel engineer Huma Abidi and tech journalist Kara Swisher, among others. It's hosted by Edaena Salinas, a software engineer at Microsoft, and this podcast has been going strong since 2016. “These women typically get asked ‘what does it feel to be a woman in tech?’ or they get invited to give the diversity talk, instead of being asked about what they work on,” said Salinas. “This show is about their work.”
Women Tech Charge
Women Tech Charge is a British podcast that covers everything from fashion to finance, and is hosted by Anne-Marie Imafidon, the CEO of Stemettes, a STEM nonprofit for women. From interviews with Tobi Oredein, Founder of Black Ballad, a lifestyle platform, to an interview with Venture Capitalist, Check Warner, it is meant to inspire women to take charge in tech. Presented in partnership with The Evening Standard newspaper, the tone is lighthearted, fun and entertaining.
Her STEM Story
Her STEM Story is a weekly podcast that shares the extraordinary stories of real women working in STEM. Hosted by Prasha S Dutra, a STEM career coach, there are interviews with Jocelyn Ashford, the head of global patient advocacy at Eidos Therapeutics, a BridgeBio Company, on how diversity helps healthcare. There are also interviews with academics and productivity tips from mathematician, Toyin Alli.
Streamed Events and Conferences
Ladies Get Paid
Ladies Get Paid is a women-led platform which offers resources and networks that help women negotiate and set their numbers high when fighting for equal pay in tech jobs. They boast a private network of 70,000 women and have regular fireside chats with experts (the most recent chat was on March 1 with its founder, Claire Wasserman, who wrote a guide on the topic called Ladies Get Paid).
Women in Tech Summit
The Women in Tech Summit is typically held every year, but this year the summit is virtual. There will be two sets of conferences in March and again in October. With talks led by women, it claims to be the only technical conference with all women speakers, connecting women in tech while offering educational seminars and inspiring women to work in tech.
Lesbians Who Tech
Lesbians Who Tech is a non-profit for LGBTQ women in tech today. They have a Not IRL) Pride Summit this June during Pride Month (speakers TBA), where Vice President Kamala Harris has previously given a keynote, as has Alicia Garza, the principal of Black Futures Lab. While their festival passes start at $150, their keynote talks are always free.
Women in Tech Festival
The annual Women in Tech Festival returns October 13 to 15, celebrating women in STEM, as well as women in business and leadership roles. Expect to see inspiring talks, pitches for new startups and educational workshops.
Ada Developers Academy
Ada Developers Academy is a nonprofit coding bootcamp for women and nonbinary people. Based in Seattle, it hosts online coding courses. The best part is that it's tuition-free. Be sure to see if you fit the eligibility requirements before you apply.
Books by women in tech display an array of experiences and lessons that can only be shared by women. They range from personal life experiences to professional tips in the tech industry.
Uncanny Valley: Seduction and Disillusionment in San Francisco’s Startup Scene
Uncanny Valley: Seduction and Disillusionment in San Francisco’s Startup Scene is a firsthand account of working in Silicon Valley. It was just published early this year and is already causing a huge stir in the tech community. Written by Anna Wiener, who worked at a data analytics startup in San Francisco, “casual sexism was rife,” she writes. “Eight women worked with a team of 60 men.” The book is a memoir from a woman who writes candidly about the day to day realities of being a woman working in tech, and how much the industry has yet to change. This memoir is described as “microscopic portrait of ambition, hope and dread.”
Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur
This book, written by Cara Alwill Leyba, looks at how women entrepreneurs can support other women in tech and in business. By offering statistics, tactics and strategies, Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur will teach you “to learn the power of connection, because at the end of the day, that’s what life and business are all about,” she writes.
Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley
This book is already a classic. It was written by tech journalist Emily Chang, who experienced chauvinism while working at startups in the Bay Area before getting her current job as a TV anchor with Bloomberg Technology. It shows the pressing need for creating a more inclusive and empowering environment for women - something that should be taught in all STEM classes today. Read an excerpt from Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley and see how toxic one of her experiences was in her published Vanity Fair article.
Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology
In 1978, tech pioneer Ellen Ullman wrote her first computer program. It led her to a 20-year career as a programmer and software engineer; she has also written many books along the way, from novels to essay collections and a memoir. All of her books have one thing in common:they look at how technology affects us. For Life in Code, she writes about AI, the evolution of the internet and the dot com boom, but what’s next? She uses the past to reflect on the future, with tips on what we can expect to see on our screens by 2040.
How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody
Written by information architect Abby Covert, better known as “Abby the IA,” this workbook offers a seven-step process for making sense of any kind of mess--online or offline. With lessons, a workbook and exercises to help you work through your own mess, the goal is to get to the right solution. “We have spent the last thousand years inventing ever-stronger ways to transport messages from one point to another,” writes Covert in How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody. “But along the way, we haven't spent as much time considering how our messages will be interpreted and how that might impact the way people understand and use the information that our messages contain.”