[Original post from Nov. 2, 2018 at Rupa’s Blog]
Finally, after almost ten years of being in the proverbial "shadows" while the press, media and industry raged about the "pipeline" problem and focused solely on recruiting/hiring and massive marketing campaigns geared towards such things, I am seeing glimmers of realization from the press and some industry stalwarts, that the "retention" issue might be a serious problem (56+% dropout rate?).
And that all the progress on the recruitment initiatives are going to be futile without a bigger and much more serious commitment to retention initiatives from the tech industry. It is much harder to move the retention needle than the recruitment needle.
So, two weeks ago, I tendered my resignation at my full time job, flew to speak at an open source conference in Scotland (opensourcesummit.eu) and returned to US soil earlier this week with serious jet lag.
Nov. 1 was my first day as full time staff at CodeChix as CEO & Founder.
No, I'm not getting paid anything. Yet. Bootstrapping it is - just like all good startups :).
Given that all sister non-profits in the "Diversity and Inclusion" space are doing rather splendidly as far as funding is concerned, I am confident I can get to a point in the next few months given our track record and reputation where we will have enough resources so I can get paid and build CodeChix to the next level as a global organization with serious impact to move the needle in the retention space for women engineers and technologists. And hire some wicked-good product managers and engineers to catapult us. And build a board to match our ambition and trajectory.
We are poised for growth, to challenge the status quo and to help the tech industry disrupt itself to become the leaders and role models with regard to retaining women engineers and technologists.
We need everyone's blessings and help with fundraising (DevPulseCon sponsorship, individual donations) in the next few months so we can achieve our goals.
If you are passionate about our cause, have the time and energy to dedicate to volunteering for us to move the needle on retention, please reach out to me (rupa at codechix dot org). We are seeking high-calibre individuals with a variety of backgrounds (Product Managers, Engineering Managers, Retired engineers, Finance, Legal, Marketing, PR etc.) in order to tackle the difficult problems in this space.
Stay tuned to codechix.org, @codechix and @devpulsecon on Twitter as we launch our campaigns. If you can donate and get matching funds through your company, please help us (codechix.org/donate). And please do share in your network - it is the only way we can grow our impact and make a difference.
And we are expecting DevPulseCon 2019 to be a landmark conference as we catapult ourselves to lead the retention space.
May the code be with you.
@akkakk & @rdachere
First fundraising for CodeChix at ShesGeeky 2014 by auctioning a couple of telescopes that Akkana had built. Raised $70 !!