Directors End of Year Letter

January 01, 2016

Well into its fourth year as a Stanford-based student organization, she++  is run by a passionate team of undergraduate women working to change Silicon Valley for our successors.  We’ve seen the most influential technology companies proclaim their dedication to increasing their pitiful diversity statistics; we’ve been assured by countless recruiters that their company is committed to hiring more diverse engineers.  At the same time, we have felt the stigma of the ‘diversity hire’ and followed as others have tried to battle its nuanced but crippling effects.

she++ works to empower underrepresented groups in technology by dismantling the negative stereotypes surrounding the industry.  We work with high school and college students to help them experience firsthand how computer science is about problem-solving, impact, and the ability to harness the power of every-day technologies. she++ has begun its second year as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and we welcome Jen Dulski and Mehran Sahami to our Board to join Jocelyn Goldfein and, of course, our co-founders, Ayna Agarwal and Ellora Israni. As we establish ourselves with a seasoned Board in addition to our student team, we are grounding and expanding our operations.

In April 2015, our annual #include Fellowship for high school students culminated with thirty talented fellows experiencing an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley. Fellows this year started initiatives ranging from green tech campaigns to hackathons to coding camps for younger students that lack access to technology education. We are proud to see the #include community expand as this year’s group of over 150 high school participants begins to work on their projects not only with the help of their college mentors, but also with the support of past fellows.

Our 2015-2016 ambassadors come from all over the world -- ambassadors in Abu Dhabi, India, the UK, and the US have already kicked off events to strengthen  the international she++ community. We are excited to see more events unfold and our global reach expand as our eleven ambitious ambassadors dive into 2016 with big plans to impact their local communities.

This year marked an exciting step for she++ as we launched the she++ Challenge, a call to action for students to share programs and technology they have created. Only a shift towards looking at the wide array of applications and the diverse range of people that are the creators, can we truly show that the stereotypes are untrue.  By showcasing the personas of the challenge winners, we can make the underlying technology accessible and relatable. As a program without physical limitations, we hope that the she++ Challenge will grow our online presence and help us build a community across borders.

With the launch of the she++ Challenge, our widening international outreach with Ambassadors, and a growing #include community, 2015 marked an exhilarating year for our young non-profit. In a time where giant strides are already being made, issues surrounding the diversity of tech communities continually come to light. We look forward to seeing the changes that companies, organizations, and the public will effect  for women in tech. It is empowering to see the movement growing, and we are so excited to work with the entire community to keep pushing for change.

Happy New Year!

Helen Hastings & Reynis Vazquez-Guzman

she++ Co-Directors

Enter she++ challenge!

November 11, 2015

Enter the very first she++ challenge with your "Hello, World moment"! Show us the project that got you excited about computer science. Learn more at the challenge website! Don't miss out on your opportunity to win an Apple Watch and other awesome prizes!

Come to the she++ challenge kickoff!

October 21, 2015

Join us on Wednesday, October 28th as we kick off our very first she++ challenge! Learn how to participate, brainstorm exciting projects, and get a competitive edge for our very first she++ challenge - featuring Oren's Hummus and a raffle for a $250 Amazon gift card!

she++ challenge is your chance to build and share awesome things and inspire the next generation of technologists while you’re at it. A series of month­long competitions throughout the year will focus on exciting applications and intersections of computer science, with winners selected by expert guest judges and projects proudly displayed in an interactive repository.

RSVP at bit.ly/challengekickoff