Celebrating a decade of promoting diversity, Girls in Tech leader Adriana Gascoigne rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange today.
Started a decade ago, the nonprofit group now has more than 50,000 members across 60 chapters around the world.
Gascoigne started Girls in Tech in San Francisco in 2007 during a tech boom that saw an explosion of new technologies, from the iPhone to Facebook.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen as one of the few nonprofits to ring the NYSE bell,” said Gascoigne, who also serves as CEO of Girls in Tech. “It’s a testament to how far we’ve come, but women are still grossly underrepresented at tech companies and underpaid, when compared to men who hold the same position. 2017 will be a year where we push harder than ever to increase the ranks of women, eradicate gender discrimination, and empower girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.”
In 2008, the group launched chapters in Los Angeles and New York. In 2009, it made a foray into Europe with a chapter in London. It made its debut in Africa in 2010, with a chapter in Cameroon and expanded to Asia with a chapter in Jakarta in 2011. In 2014, Girls in Tech launched Global Classroom, an online learning platform that teaches coding, design, and entrepreneurial skills.
The group started an annual women’s startup pitch competition, dubbed Amplify, and a three-day annual Catalyst Conference with speakers like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer.
While Girls in Tech is proud of its progress, the organization is aware that there’s more work to be done. Women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population, 55 percent of the students enrolled in college, and 59 percent of the U.S. labor force. But they are still grossly underrepresented at technology companies. The average number of women at tech companies is 30 percent, with only 15 percent occupying technical positions.
And while women have made strides in terms of earning power, they are still underpaid compared to men who hold the exact same position. In 1979, women were paid 63 cents for every dollar men earned. In 2015, they received 80 cents on the dollar.