On October 13th, 2014, Mozilla held an event related to the Techwomen Program
Mozilla Corporation, San Francisco office…few minutes passed 7PM. A soft voice, a female one is on the microphone. About 70 participants are there, listening to this voice, silently. It’s the voice of a wonderful woman: Haben Girma. She’s 25 years old and deafblind. Haben is doing everyday disability rigths advocacy. The Mini-biography of this woman explains that « During her time as a student, Business Insider ranked her among the 21 Most Impressive Students at Harvard Law School, and the White House recognized her as a Champion of Change. Haben currently serves as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of people with disabilities around the country. As a member of DRA’s team in Berkeley, California, Haben works to improve access to education for students with disabilities.« . At this event, she was talking about how to improve skills of people with disabilities by using digital tools and Internet. She began directly an inspiration for the Techwomen Emerging Leaders attending this meeting.
Others Speakers were there, talking about the advocacy for an open access to Internet. Larissa Shapiro and David Steer from Mozilla Corporation (San Francisco Bay area office) demonstrated that lot of opportunities existing for women in tech ought to improve their carriers and work. For example, in Open Source field,women have the possibility to get internship when call for applications are launched, like this one for the Open Web Fellows program. In the other hand, Leah Symekher, Konstantin Kalaidtzidis and Michael Snell were talking about opportunities and activities of the Internet Society Network (ISOC) in general and the ISOC SFBay Area Chapter. Additionaly, Rachel Leventhal from the Women’s Peer to Peer Network was thinking on how to build « hackerspaces » that are safe, supportive of and inclusive for women and also how to help women with limited technical access and literacy in Africa. One of the 2014 Techwomen Emerging Leader from Cameroon has shared her own struggle to be in STEM field.
Impact on the Techwomen community
The participants feel happy and inspired to be part of this meetup. An interactive exchange with speakers took place. All the event is on this video.