M&E Journal: WiTH Hit Its Stride During the Pandemic
While many organizations struggled during the pandemic, Women in Technology: Hollywood (WiTH) only became stronger, adding nearly two dozen events to help better serve our community and the industry.
And it brought us closer together, put us all on an equal playing ground, and made our message even more effective, because we were able to reach out remotely and increase our collaboration within the broader media and entertainment sector.
Collectively, this group of individuals proved they are fearless leaders, that are determined to make a difference. Even during unprecedented times, the individuals of WiTH continued to support our communities by giving their time selflessly. And giving back has proved an opportunity for all of us to shine together.
By respecting and celebrating differences, we are creating a space where people will thrive and bring each of their unique geniuses. When we are developing environments where people feel safe, their curiosity to explore new and emerging technologies fuels paths of learning, innovation, and change.
The opportunities are endless.
Beyond our outreach to charities and communities, WiTH continues to grow as a go-to community for women working at major studios, creating a hub for the technologically-minded to come together, network, contribute, and pass on what they’ve learned to the next generations.
WiTH is a place where you can have an impact on the community, go to schools and work with kids, help your peers with professional development, mentor a new college graduate or first-time employee.
From grade school to college, WiTH is involved in helping to develop STEM training and education. Beyond schools, we help support training, networking and the development of established professionals, all helping to feed the hunger for talent among all the major media companies.
We facilitate a pipeline of young people who need jobs and, between our jobs board, our mentoring program and our community outreach, we bring a spotlight on what they offer to employers.
We’re proud of the diverse conversations that can happen among those in WiTH. The conversations about how your data journey is going, where your workflow is evolving to, what’s possibly missing from your resume, and what the industry at large needs to be doing better to tap all of this diverse talent.
And we provide our membership opportunities to personally get engaged with the charities they’re supporting. They volunteer their time, their expertise, and their insights into their respective professions.
Networking connections, coaching through interviewing, help with brainstorming on how you’re going to position yourself. The general encouragement that the WiTH’s members offer each other makes a big difference for a lot of people.
DOING WHAT WE DO BEST
Each year WiTH raises tens of thousands for charities, and beginning with the HITS Spring event in May, running through the SoCal Women’s Leadership Summit in November, the WiTH Foundation’s annual drive will be looking to meet its goal of $75,000 raised for organizations that reflect the values of WiTH: diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging.
Those organizations include:
* STEM Advantage, a nonprofit organization providing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career opportunities to California State University students, the largest and most diverse public university system in the nation with over 50 percent student body comprised of people of color.
* Codetalk, a digital web technology job training pro- gram for low income, underemployed and underserved women. In an intensive and rigorous 16-week program we provide the skills, tools, training, professional development, and support so that our graduates can pursue entry level positions in the technology sector.
Interested in science and technology. Since 2012, the program has served more than 2,000 girls from grades 4-12, helping them develop skills as engineering and designers.
* PepUp Tech, which gives motivated, underserved students the access, skills, mentors, and confidence needed to begin careers in tech and help diversify the industry.
* STEAM:CODERS, which inspires underrepresented and underserved students and their families through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), in preparation for academic and career opportunities.
As a 501c charitable organization, one that delivers year after year on its goals and promises, WiTH has, in good times and bad, benefited the charities we’ve chosen.
And these groups not only have ties with the media and entertainment industry, but also create a sense of belonging, foster curiosity and innovation, and share our values of bringing people together to do things that make a difference.
For this second half of 2022, we ask the industry to join us in helping WiTH continue doing what it does best.