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ChickTech encourages young women to join the tech industry

MISSOULA – Although the number of women in the workforce is increasing, the tech industry is trailing behind.

The percentage of females employed by some of the countries most well-known technology giants may surprise you.

For example, at Microsoft, only 26% of their workforce is made up of women, at Google that percentage is 31 and at Facebook, it’s 35% according to a study published by Statista.

ChickTech — a national organization that seeks to close the gender gap in the field of technology — hosted an event Saturday at the University of Montana in hopes of empowering young girls to get an interest in the tech industry.

ChickTech Missoula Chapter marketing manager Katrina Edmunds says 91% of girls enter the program with little to no confidence in their skills working with technology. However, they leave with a whole new perspective.

“The majority of them after they leave say that they want to enter in towards a more technology STEM-based field,” Edmunds said. And they see it more accessible and something that is exciting and creative and collaborative — something that it’s hard to find outside of this type of environment.”

High school senior Meghan Toomey said she has always known she wanted to work in tech, but until now she’s even more encouraged to continue her education.

“In all of my classes, it’s, or all of my tech classes, it’s basically all guys, and every year I’m the only girl, and I mean sure these guys are nice, but it’s not the same as having another woman in like in the class or in the workplace. Seeing all these other girls, it’s made me even more excited really,” said Toomey.

At the end of the day, the girls put their newly developed skills to the test and then displayed their final projects for the friends and family.

Lauren Heiser

Lauren Heiser

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