Meet Kathryn Bartlett, our #JWiT2017 Co-Chair!

I joined #JWiT2017 because...

I’ve been interested in tech since I was in high school and have experienced first-hand the lack of women in the industry.  In high school, I was one of two women taking computer science classes (out of 15 total). At the time, it was regarded negatively as a nerdy thing to do, which I believe(d) is an unfair perception.  Although I didn’t major in Computer Science in college, I continued to take more computer science than those in my major and went on to become a software developer after graduation.  I was the only female developer in the company (one of ten).  My job prior to attending business school was more balanced, having five women in a dev team of twelve.  However, I was the only woman holding a senior dev position in my company.  I’ve met many women who were curious in tech but were steered away for various perceptions, most notably that tech is too difficult or quantitative.  I want to help dispel these existing perceptions and help more women get into the industry.

 

#TechTogether means to me... 

As stated above, at both firms I worked at prior to business school, the percentage of women and women in leadership was quite low. I was lucky that both firms were very supportive and valued creating an inclusive environment. None of my mentors were women, but all were eager to help get me to the next level. I realize the importance of having these diverse connections that embody the theme #TechTogether and unfortunately this sort of inclusive culture doesn’t exist everywhere. As co-chair of this year’s JWiT conference, I hope we will be able to help move the needle by teaching people how to build their mentorship network and how to gain confidence voicing their opinions/ideas, even if they are the minority in the room.