Digital Women provides a support system for women in technical majors


Digital Women club meeting wraps up after prepping for the engineering career fair.

Celeste Ki

Members of Digital Women build websites, HTML and Twitter bots. They also build skills, friendships and career development for women in technical fields at Iowa State.

Digital Women is a student organization started in 2007 and was created primarily due to the low number of women in technical fields. Digital Women serves to help women majoring in computer science, software engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering and management information systems to be able to interact with other women in their classes. Their mission statement is to help promote, encourage and retain women in technical fields.

The organization offers a variety of activities, according to vice president Megan Bailey. They offer career fair preparation such as mock interviews and resume tips, have companies come in to talk and host social events to help build friendships.

“You might not get to meet other girls within your classes so we definitely want girls to be able to meet each other in a more fun setting,” said club president Sydney Ehlinger.

They also offer hands-on activities like coding, website building and data science workshops. Sara Mace, treasurer of Digital Women, stated each semester they have a soldering workshop to help expand their skills in the industry.

Digital Women also began offering a mentoring program last semester in which underclassmen are paired up with upperclassmen. According to undergraduate advisor Ashley Dvorsky, this allows the women to have a role model. Last semester they had over 20 pairs, and 12 more signed up for this semester.

“The mentor program has really been beneficial to me,” Bailey said. “I came in as a transfer student and got paired up with Ashley who helped me pick classes and helped me around ISU.”

In addition to what they do, every year they send 10 women to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world’s largest gathering of female technologists. Christine Hicaro, secretary of Digital Women, attended her freshman year.

“I had a great experience and came back with nine really close friends who all shared the same major,” Hicaro said.

“The impact I’ve been able to lead, knowing that I had a really rough first couple of semesters as a software engineer, is my favorite part of Digital Women,” Dvorsky said. “What we’re doing here as an organization helps incoming women to not feel so isolated.”

On April 6, Digital Women will be hosting their second annual Code Camp, which is a 24-hour female-focused hackathon. Students will be placed into teams, paired with mentors or people in the technical industry, and given a certain amount of time to complete a project. Food, drinks, prizes and a positive environment will be provided. Experience is not necessary, and additional information will be released soon.