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Are We Rocking Tech Education? Passion + Talent + Leadership = Success!
On Friday November 6th, 2015, 45 female students from 7 San Diego County high schools and 9 San Diego County colleges gathered at Sony Electronics in Rancho Bernardo, CA, for the first ever "Insights From Women In Tech – Keys 2 Future Success" Event – brought to you by the Women's Hackathon at CSUSM(California State University San Marcos).

The event which is a new and exciting addition to the semi-annual Women's Hackathon is designed to introduce young women to careers in the field of technology; with a keynote from Sony's Senior Director of Information Systems, Sony Network Entertainment, a panel of powerful women leaders in tech and by connecting local companies with the girls to discuss available internships, career opportunities and career paths in technology. Several girls shared their excitement about a possible internship with Sony – while they test-drove PlayStation™ in the lobby!

Offering Career and Life Advice for Young Women in Tech

Encouraging women to pursue computer science careers is not easy, but research shows that combatting stereotypes is one approach to increasing women in STEM. We need more visibility when it comes to the work female engineers have already accomplished, so young girls know it's not just men who are behind technology they use in their everyday lives. At the event, four successful women leaders in tech joined the panel for a Q&A session to offer career and life advice for the young women in tech. Girls asked curious and intelligent questions following the panel.

  • What challenges have the women faced in getting to where they are today?
  • What advice do they offer women when starting their career?

The girls asked questions as to what coursework do they think is necessary to move their career forward? What is the value of an internship?

The event was to celebrate and recognize the girls who had participated in the hackathon 2 weeks before. The goal of the hackathon (and the reception) is to expose girls to the idea of a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) career by exposing them to the work (hackathon) and showing them positive role models (the keynote and panel).

Keynote

Erna Adelson :
Senior Director Information Systems, Sony Network Entertainment

Panelists

Marie Harrington :
Senior Director Program Management, Sony Network Entertainment
Erin Metzger :
Senior Product Manager at PlayStation Network - Sony Network Entertainment
Crystal Harrison :
VP Product Management and Product Strategy, Pivot3
Samantha Urban :
CEO, Urban Translations
The event was organized and implemented by Dr. Youwen Ouyang, Professor and Chair of Computer Science Department, Shauna Ruyle, a Marketing Consultant and Cal State San Marcos graduate, Sahar Mosleh Adjunct Faculty member of the Computer Science Department, and Kelly Jenkins-Pultz, Regional Administrator of the US Department of Labor Women's Bureau. The team was supported by 8 local companies (including Sony whose HR representatives were present) and over 10 industry professionals who participated as Mentors, Judges or Sponsors at the October 24, 2015 Women's Hackathon.
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