A common thread connecting the small army of IT professionals I've met over the last 20 years is that their interest in technology developed when they were very young, and that youthful interest grew into a full-fledged career. That's truly wonderful. But what happens if a young person never has a chance to develop that interest? And what can be done to draw those young people to careers in technology? In this Oracle Groundbreakers Podcast extra you will meet someone who is dedicated to solving that very problem.
Karla Readshaw is director of development for Iridescent, a non-profit organization focused on bringing quality STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to young people -- particularly girls -- around the globe.
"Our end goal is to ensure that every child, with a specific focus on underrepresented groups -- women and minorities -- has the opportunity to learn, and develop curiosity, creativity and perseverance, what real leaders are made of," Karla explains in her presentation.
Iridescent, through its Technovation program, provides middle- and high-school girls with the resources to develop solutions to real problems in their local communities, "leveraging technology and engineering for social good," as Karla explains.
Over a three-month period, the girls involved in the Technovation program identify a problem within their community, design and develop a mobile app to address the issue, and then build a business around that app, all under the guidance of an industry mentor.
The results are impressive. In one example, a team of hearing-impaired girls in Brazil developed an app that teaches American Sign Language, and then developed a business around it. In another example, a group of high-school girls in Guadalajara, Mexico drew on personal experience to develop an app that strengthens the relationship between Alzheimers patients and their caregivers. And a group of San Francisco Bay area girls created a mobile app that will help those with autism to improve social skills and reduce anxiety.
Want to learn more about the Technovation program, and about how you can get involved? Just listen to this podcast.
This program was recorded during Karla's presentation at the Women In Technology Breakfast held on October 22, 2018 as part of Oracle Code One.
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