Networking and Professional Development Resources for Women in STEM
January 27, 2022
Although women make up half the U.S. workforce, they make up only 27% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The male-dominated STEM industry can often seem intimidating and exclusionary, which produces a myriad of challenges that women in STEM face.
According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), gender stereotypes and male-dominated STEM cultures can perpetuate gender gaps. From a young age, teachers and parents often view STEM fields as masculine and underestimate girls’ competencies in math and science. AAUW also reports that fewer mentors and role models for women, especially women of color, also contribute to their lack of interest in STEM careers. And, women working in STEM can also experience negative stressors such as sexual harassment at the workplace, performance pressure due to being one of the few women on staff and social isolation because men see them as outsiders, according to the American Psychological Association.
Connecting with other women in these careers who have shared experience and challenges can be an important source of support for individuals who choose to enter these careers.
The following organizations for women in STEM, networking events and online communities can offer professional networking and development experience for women at any stage of their STEM career.
Wonder Women Tech: An organization that celebrates women and diversity in STEM through an inclusive community with forums, keynotes and panels.
The WIT Network: An organization dedicated to inspiring, mentoring and networking for women in technology and helping them advance their careers through global and local events as well as leadership programs.
Society of Women Engineers: An organization that advocates for women in engineering and technology and strengthens their career opportunities.
PyLadies: A global mentorship group dedicated to women in tech who use Python that helps them become more active participants in the Python community.
Women’s Tech Forum: An organization that provides workplace advancement and builds leadership for women in tech.
Women Who Code: A community that provides coding resources, leadership opportunities and job boards for women in tech and celebrates their achievements.
Women Techmakers: A Google program that provides community and career resources for women in tech careers.
MotherCoders: A tech talent pool that helps women with kids gain or improve their tech skills and provide connections with other mothers in tech.
Women of Color STEM Digital Conference: A conference for women of color offering networking opportunities and career advancement, as well as mentorship for college students interested in a STEM path.
Girls in Tech: A one-day virtual event dedicated to the community of girls in tech and helping them sharpen their skills.
STEMNoire: A research conference retreat for women in the African diaspora who work in STEM careers.
Women in Data Science (WiDS): A worldwide technical conference featuring women in data science who advocate for and speak up about their work in data science, AI and related fields.
Women Impact Tech: A community for women in tech that seeks to advance equity in the field. Their conference in San Francisco will consist of keynotes, panel discussions and other discussions about tech advancement for women.
Women in Cybersecurity: A three-day technical conference that helps organizations recruit and advance women in cybersecurity.
Young Women in STEM Conference: A conference dedicated to inspiring and engaging young women in STEM and to those who are interested in connecting with other women STEM professionals to develop and advance their careers.
Womxn Level Up: A meetup for women or non-binary people in tech that provides networking and mentorship opportunities.
Black Girls Code: A group that provides educational workshops in coding and a virtual Hack-A-Thon with Nike that explores sports, activism and technology.
League of Women Coders: A recurring meetup event (in New York City and Washington, DC) that meets once a month and offers collaboration on projects and ideas, allows participants to ask technical questions and provides casual five-minute lightning talks about tech.