AUSTIN, TX (DATE) – Engineer Lina Nilsson shared her woes about the low numbers of females working in engineering in a recent New York Times Opinion piece[NM1] . She cites legitimate issues of workplace discrimination and a lack of female role models, but also points out what attracts women towards STEM careers is different than their male peers. That difference is starting to change the numbers of female enrollment in STEM classes.
Nilsson said when societal causes are attached to collegiate classes on engineering tech and science – women enroll.
At the interdisciplinary D-Lab at M.I.T., which focuses on developing “technologies that improve the lives of people living in poverty,” 74 percent of over 230 enrolled students this past year were women. She also cited Arizona State University as a school whose humanitarian engineering courses and study options have twice as many women as its traditional engineering classes.
Capitalizing on this important trend is Austin-based Latinitas, a nonprofit focused on empowering Latina and other girls and teens using media and technology and local software supplier, Blackbaud.
Latinitas will visit Blackbaud for a 10 hour coding boot-camp July 30-31. Girls ages 9-14 will meet Blackbaud engineers, designers, testers and programmers, and work in teams to create an app that helps community. Community is defined as the girls themselves, their families, neighborhoods, cultures or the world. Blackbaud staff will assist with coding lessons and will then test guide girls through testing, documentation and product marketing.
“We polled our Latinitas about what motivates them overall and the general consensus is ‘helping others.’ Blackbaud’s engineers, programmers and other technology professionals are going to help us connect girls’ passions for change with the development of an actual piece of technology innovation,” said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas founder and COO.
“Blackbaud is interested in promoting methods that encourage more women to study and work in technology, so we are excited to help the girls in Latinitas leverage that desire to help others into a technology product that causes societal change,” said Sally Ehrenfried, manager of philanthropy and volunteer engagement at Blackbaud.
Founded in 2002 by Alicia Rascon and Laura Donnelly, then-journalism students at UT Austin, fed up with the misrepresentation of Latinas in media, Latinitas has served over 20,000 girls and teens through after-school clubs, weekend workshops, camps and conferences at 112 schools, libraries, community centers. The organization also publishes Latinitasmagazine.org, the first and only magazine made for and by young Latinas. Latinitas has evolved with Austin and its evolution as a tech sector, first by providing digital media training to students who lacked that access and now as a source of coding, app development, video game design and robotics education programs for Hispanic and other youth and their families.
Blackbaud is a leading global provider of software and services specifically designed for nonprofit organizations. Its products focus on fundraising, website management, CRM, analytics, financial management, ticketing, and education administration.
Contact Laura Donnelly Gonzalez at 512.809.4618 or email@example.com for an interview.
Laura Donnelly Gonzalez
Founder, COO Latinitas
( o ) 512.900.0304
( c ) 512.809.4618
Empowering young Latinas using media and technology