We monkeys love the opportunity to support the innovative work that community groups are doing to get younger generations–girls in particular–pumped about technology.
ChickTech is a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon and is dedicated to increasing and retaining the number of women and girls in tech-based careers. This year is an exciting one for them, as they’re running tons of hands-on tech events and workshops throughout the Northwest for women and girls in Portland, Corvallis, Central Oregon and in San Francisco.
Jennifer Davidson is the Program Manager for ChickTech and popped by our blog to chat about an awesome program called ChickTech: High School. She shared how SurveyMonkey helped her team get to know these girls, identify their goals, dreams and more.
Thanks for having me! ChickTech: High School is a year long program where 100 high school girls take part in a year’s worth of events, internships, and mentoring opportunities. As you might imagine, it’s an incredibly thrilling, not to mention rewarding, overall experience. With such a large number of participants, it’s pretty important that we’re able to evaluate and assess just who all of these amazing women are. SurveyMonkey provides us with the tools that my team needs to measure our programmatic success.
For us, success revolves around increasing these 3 things in our girls:
1. Confidence in technology skills
2. Awareness of a supportive tech community
3. Interest in studying tech at college or starting a tech career
Recently, we concluded our year-end survey for our very first ChickTech: High School cohort. SurveyMonkey has helped us analyze our results efficiently, and super quickly. Within minutes, we learned that this group had a 118% increase in their confidence in tech skills, a 61% increase in interest in a tech career, and an 80% increase in their “tech knowledge”.
After conducing statistical analysis on our survey data, we found that girls reported a significant increase in their awareness of a supportive local tech community. We also found that girls really appreciate that these are girl-only events. This important data point helped us answer a crucial question for us here at ChickTech: “Why not have an event for everyone, and not just girls?” We now have a response that’s backed up by the data we gathered: “Our participants feel more comfortable learning and exploring in a girl-only environment.” Between our surveys and our photos of excited and inspired girls, we were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ChickTech experience.
We’d love to share some of the truly inspiring notes we received from high schoolers.
“This year, my senior year, I have applied to engineering schools for college. Without having the experience of ChickTech, I wouldn’t have even thought to be interested in technology. Now I want to go to school for it.”
“ChickTech pointed out to me that I don’t have to deal with the sexism in my engineering class. It has helped me push back on that and helped me realize that I am majorly a feminist.”
“I now have the confidence to join my school’s Robotics team and I am very happy with that bold choice!”
Thanks to our SurveyMonkey surveys, we can show tangible proof of and measure our organization’s successes. We can identify areas of improvement and share our results with the community. Next step is to take these results and use them to strengthen our programs and find additional funding as we continue to expand. ChickTech has served over 600 girls and women last year and the goal is to serve even more this year! There’s so much incredible data to be collected and we’re truly excited to make lasting and positive changes in the tech community.
To learn more about ChickTech and find out how you can get involved, visit their site.
Leave your questions and comments for Jennifer below!