Being a part of the Do Space Women Innovators Fellowship Program has been such a rewarding experience. Speaking to women about their stories and how they chose their majors has been eye-opening — and I’m excited to share my results with the Do Space community at the August 3rd Fellowship Showcase. I’m grateful to the folks who I have gotten to talk to already. We have a lot of amazing women here in Omaha!

Expanding the Call

I’m starting to hear fascinating stories of how women got into their tech majors and what influenced them to stay on or leave those tracks: backgrounds; influential people in their lives; how they deal with discouragement; and what keeps them driving forward.

But, I’ve decided I’m not going to stop there. In order to better understand the tech talent pipeline issues we face as a community, I’m expanding my call for interviewees to include women who are currently in tech careers or who have left tech careers here in Omaha. I want to understand if there are similar challenges at separate points in women’s education and career paths. What are we, as a community or as local businesses, doing well to keep women in these positions and support their career goals? Where could we improve, and what steps might be taken?

As I compile my research findings, I’ll break out the discoveries by group to show within-group themes and then compare what I’ve seen in both groups for between-group themes. This will help paint a more complete picture of our local landscape. As I mentioned in my last blog post, my goal is to help local universities and businesses by providing practical retention recommendations — recommendations that I hope will create value both for Omaha’s women technologists and local employers seeking diverse tech talent. I’m excited about what I’m uncovering so far and what it will mean for our community.

Let’s Talk!

I am still interviewing participants and if you belong to one of the groups I’m hoping to chat with, please get in touch.

If you or a friend is a woman currently attending a 4-year university program in Omaha, and currently a computer science major or a former computer science major who switched away from computer science, I would love to hear your story! If you or someone you know is a woman in Omaha currently in a tech career or who has left a tech career, let me know!

Email dospaceresearch2019@sudomail.com or call/text 402.415.0233 to get in touch with me before July 5th. I’m giving away gift cards to say thank you for spending 30-60 minutes with me.

About Author
Bianca Zongrone Jefferson, Do Space Fellow

Bianca is a recipient of the 2019 Do Space Women Innovators Fellowship. She is conducting a research study on behalf of the Omaha community exploring why local women choose to stay in or leave tech majors, with the aim of helping local universities and employers retain diverse tech talent.