Tech needs more women.
Now, that concern has become the mantra for Jewelbots, an NYC-based customisable-by-code accessories startup, which sees the deficit as an opportunity for young girls interested in tech.
“Girls love expressing themselves through customisation,” says Sara Chipps, now co-founder and CEO at Jewelbots, which started last fall.
Chipps, and her COO Brooke Moreland, a fashion enthusiast-turned-tech entrepreneur, plan to raise $US1.5 million by this fall to engage young girls in computer science.
Right now, the US is seeing the lowest number of women studying computer since the mid-’80s, when more than 37% of computer science degree recipients were women, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2012, a mere 18% of computer science graduates were women.
If the trend continues the US could face an even bigger problem in 2020, when the Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates there will be 1.4 million new computer science positions and a lack of graduates in the field to fill the demand.
On Wednesday, July 8, Jewelbots, which only launched last fall, began a Kickstarter campaign for the smart jewellery at the core of their company. The campaign will run until August 4th, with a fundraising goal of $US30,000. Donations come with perks, including bracelets, 50% discounts and private coding classes with the founder of Girl Develop It.
“Media separates femininity from technology and engineering,” Chipps told Business Insider. “Being girly and being an engineer is exciting.
The start-up has also opened registration for a series of Bring Your Daughter to Hack Weekend events.
Hackathons were held in both San Francisco and New York City with sights on Washington, D.C., to host the next event of its kind. Among the sponsors were Microsoft, Andreessen Horowitz, and littleBits. All proceeds went to Girls Who Code, a non-profit geared towards closing the gender gap in the technology sector.
We stopped by the hackathon at the Stack Exchange in Manhattan to see Jewelbots’ vision of a future with more women in coding.