Women’s contributions to history are often ignored or underplayed.
And in fields like design and development, just getting into the industry can be a challenge.
So to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting organizations that help women in design and development succeed and continue to make history.
8 organizations supporting women in design and development
1. Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is “on a mission to close the gender gap in tech.” Studies show that girls start to move away from computer science between the ages of 13 and 17 — so this organization aims to reach girls during that crucial time. Its online resources, clubs, summer immersion programs, and books have helped more than 450,000 girls develop coding skills.
2. The Female Designer Movement
Since launching in 2018, The Female Designer Movement (TFDm) has trained more than 3,000 women throughout Nigeria in graphic design.
TFDm’s mission is “to expand opportunity for as many women as possible by training and empowering them with a graphic design skillset, and thereby increasing the number of women in tech.” The initiative aims to bring its completely free training program to 10,000 women across Africa within its first 5 years of operation and 50,000 women within 10 years.
3. Women Talk Design
Women Talk Design helps organizations find women and gender non-binary speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Here you can find diverse speakers who specialize in UI/UX design, user research, product design, engineering, motion and animation design, content strategy, graphic design, game design, and more.
This comprehensive resource helps conference organizers elevate the voices of women and gender non-binary speakers because its founders believe everyone should be able to see someone speak at an event and think, “that could be me.”
Women Talk Design also offers a safe space for aspiring speakers to practice and learn. The team hosts workshops and talks around the US and offers private training to companies who want to equip employees with the tools they need to become successful public speakers.
4. Kerning the Gap
Kerning the Gap (KTG) strives to get more women into leadership roles in the design industry.
Founder Nat Maher created KTG because of the wide gap between the amount of women graduating from design programs and the number of women holding leadership positions within the industry. KTG brings people of varying experience levels, role types, and genders together. Doing so enables designers from all areas of the industry to discuss solutions and create opportunities for more diversity in leadership.
This community has chapters across the United Kingdom and hosts virtual events throughout the year. KTG’s site also includes written resources and information about becoming a mentor or mentee.
Floxies is a community for women in UX/UI design and Webflow development. Together, the women of Floxies share industry knowledge, practice during hands-on sessions, host educational workshops, and build relationships.
Joining the community is free and gives you access to the weekly virtual hangs in Gathertown. Plus, you’ll hear about special events throughout the year, like this session with guest speaker Elsa Amri, No-Code Conf’s 2021 speed build challenge winner!
As a nonprofit organization, ChickTech strives to increase the number of women and non-binary people pursuing and succeeding in STEM-based careers.
Programs like ChickTech: High School help young women and non-binary people see STEM careers as an option, even if they don’t consider themselves to be technical. Additional programs like Advancing the Careers of Technical Women (ACT-W) conferences and ACT-W+ — an online community for technologists of all genders — aim to create an equitable future for the tech industry.
7. Girls Develop It
Girls Develop It (GDI) is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for women and non-binary people to learn software development. GDI offers live workshops and events, as well as independent study programs.
Classes are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis or monthly membership, but GDI has a unique scholarship program. After completing a year of training, scholarship recipients become part-time teaching assistants, helping the next generation of GDI students. Throughout the year, GDI also hosts various free events and maintains a community to help women and non-binary people network and build skills.
8. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies
Lesbians Who Tech & Allies promotes “the visibility and inclusion of women, queer people, and others from other backgrounds underrepresented in technology.”
This community builds connections among LGBTQ+ women, non-binary, and trans people so they can network and support each other in the tech industry. Its work includes a mentoring program, the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund, Bring a Lesbian to Work Day, and a leadership program that supports members as they transition into leadership roles.
Women belong in design and development
We hope you’ll check out some of the organizations on this list. This month and every month of the year, seek out ways to amplify women in design and development by supporting communities like these, sponsoring their programs, and acknowledging all the great work women do every day.
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