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Women in Tech Aim to Inspire Next Generation

CLEVELAND, OH, October 16, 2013/HER Ideas in Motion-- Just one childhood experience can ignite a passion that lasts a lifetime. Yeah, right.

For most of us, the path is often circuitous and marked by random potholes. But, a group of local, professional women are making the road a little less bumpy for girls who are interested in careers in technology and media.

These local talents--successful designers, system administrators, filmmakers, and software developers—are engaging 5th and 6th grade girls in hands-on learning as volunteers for HER Ideas in Motion, a local, non-profit educational organization.
“We try to give girls real-world insights into what it’s like to work in these fields,” explains developer and founder Rachel Wilkins Patel. “We want them to get their hands dirty--to really learn and practice technical skills, such as digital film editing and coding.”
Why the focus on girls? Studies show that women have the same technical aptitude as men, but cultural biases and self-doubt tend to discourage them from pursuing computing careers. Yet, the U.S. lacks enough skilled workers to fill technology positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nearly 1.4 million computing-related jobs will be added to the economy by 2018.1

On November 9th, volunteer Cassie Milicia, a senior interactive developer at Rosetta, will be leading the HER Ideas in Code workshop for girls ages 11 to 14 at Laurel School. Registration for this event is open to any girl between the ages of 11 to 14 in the area. “I’m hoping that the girls take away a sense of accomplishment that they were able to understand the code and build their own web pages,” says Milicia. Students will design their own online cartoon using raw HTML and CSS.

A workshop in filmmaking is scheduled for March 8st, and a workshop in Game Design follows on April 12th. To enroll in the workshops (seats are limited) or to learn more about HER Ideas in Motion, visit www.herideasinmotion.com. Or, contact the organization by email at contact@herideasinmotion.com or by phone at (216) 308-1039.

*NCWIT Scorecard: A Report on the Status of Women in Information Technology, December 31, 2010, National Center for Women and Information Technology.

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