Bringing Women and Technology Together

My fellow Healthflock bloggers and I have written often about the thriving healthcare IT scene here in Atlanta. It’s no secret the city takes pride in the booming business development seen in this industry over the last several years. What might surprise you, however, is that an ecosystem of professional organizations dedicated to helping women thrive in technology-driven industries has grown in tandem with that business development.

As a working mom, I have a soft spot for working women’s issues. As a woman working in the world of healthcare IT, I have developed a highly sensitive radar for dialogues and conversations taking place around women’s roles in technology and the greater STEM fields. It seems that, as of late, gender’s role in the workplace has taken a greater place in the spotlight of industry news. Whether it’s President Obama speaking on purported wage disparities between men and women, Sheryl Sandberg explaining what it means to “Lean In,” or a plethora of women writing about their experiences working in the “brogrammer” culture, there’s no shortage of coverage – and everyone’s got an opinion.

Sharing these opinions and experiences is a great way for women to learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. Working women in Atlanta are fortunate to have a number of professional associations that enable these dialogues to take place:

Women in Technology (WIT)
A partner organization and society of the Technology Association of Georgia, WIT helps professional women in the technology field build their network, expand their leadership skills, get involved in the community, and gain industry insight.

Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
The HBA exists to further the advancement and impact of women in healthcare worldwide. Its Atlanta chapter is actively trying to expand its membership to include more women from within the field of healthcare IT. I had the opportunity to attend HBA’s most recent event in Atlanta on the “Marriage of Health and IT,” and was impressed with how approachable members, guests and speakers were.

hbavendormateThe recent Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association event in Atlanta was well attended.

Women in Technology International (WITI)
With a global membership of 2 million, “WITI’s mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity.” I had a hard time finding information relating to the activities of the Atlanta chapter, which leads me to think the time is ripe for my colleagues in technology to step up and get involved.

Women in Bio (WIB)
While not technically related to healthcare IT, the biotech sector certainly overlaps it, and so the Women in Bio organization is one to take note of. The Atlanta chapter was founded in 2012, making it one of the newer associations. According to its website, “WIB-Atlanta provides women a space to interact, and exchange information and ideas through a wide range of social gatherings and educational workshops.” Its membership base includes women

WIB-Atlanta provides women a space to interact and exchange information and ideas, through a wide range of social gatherings, educational workshops and community outreach opportunities. Its membership base includes researchers, sales, law professionals, business, technology transfer specialists, supportive staff, policy experts, doctors, medical/science communicators, educators and other experts.

In addition to organizations like these, I am a big fan of online communities, especially the one my healthcare IT colleagues (male and female!) and I have helped to foster around the #HITchicks hashtag on Twitter. If you’d like to learn more, check out recaps of recent #HITchicks tweet chats by clicking here.

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