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Nonprofit group encourages women of color to pursue tech jobs

Jun 27, 2023, 1:38 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2023, 6:29 am

SALT LAKE CITY — With a lack of women in the technology field, a nonprofit group is pushing for change and more opportunities for women of color.

The nonprofit group Tech Moms launched a new fall course explicitly designed for women of color. They want to help women explore nontraditional pathways that could lead to successful tech careers.

During the pandemic, Antonella Packard considered looking for a new career.

“I’ve got aging parents, and I thought if I had the flexibility to help where I can, tech is one of those things,” Packard said.

She signed up for a nine-week course put on by Tech Moms – taught by professionals working in the industry.

“I saw how many people were trying to transition out of what they were doing,” Packard said.

There are barriers for women of color like Packard, who enter the tech field, such as lack of representation. They occupy less than 5% of tech jobs even though they comprise 25% of the workforce.

After completing the cohort through Tech Moms, Packard completed an intensive six-month course through the University of Utah called User Experience, User Interface.

“If I had not gone through Tech Moms, I would have struggled highly in that course,” she expressed.

She now plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Human Centered Design.

“The doors that are open through this are fantastic,” Packard said.

Trina Limpert is one of the co-founders and director of operations for Tech Moms.

“We have a saying, tech jobs are mom jobs because they offer so much flexibility, remote working, and higher pay, and we need to be opting into these roles, not opting out of them,” Limpert said. “There’s so much support and need and want for women in the workforce.”

In its third year, the non-profit group is branching out.

This fall, they’re offering their first cohort exclusively for women of color.

The course is for anyone – whether they have a diploma or a doctorate or returning to the workplace.

“If there’s some kind of spark in you saying hey, this might be something we want to do, know that we’re here and we’re here to help,” said Limpert.

She has appointed Packard to chair Tech Moms in Color.

“I am a product of Tech Moms. I can relate to women wanting to transition into tech,” Packard said.

She said Tech Moms is a community and will help you navigate these opportunities.

“It doesn’t need to be intimidating. I figured if I could do it, I think most people can,” Packard expressed.

Enrollment for fall classes is now open. The nine-week course is taught at Salt Lake Community College Jordan Campus, Utah Valley University and Weber State University. For more info, you can visit the Tech Mom’s website.

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Nonprofit group encourages women of color to pursue tech jobs