According to Girls Who Code , 74% of young girls express an interest in STEM fields but only 26% of IT jobs are held by women. In our Women in Tech series, we look at what motivates some of our most motivated employees to pursue successful tech careers. From one look at Janan Barge, you might never guess that she leads a fearless team of software engineers who are taking Atlanta's tech scene by storm. On the one hand, she's a woman – and a woman of color, at that. But why? Why do we as a society view Janan's accomplishments as an anomaly rather than the norm? Why aren't there more women of color in tech? Well, that's a complicated answer.
But a big part of that answer is access – and Janan is proof of the employee email database power of access. A 2016 Google report found that black and Hispanic students were 1.5 and 1.7 times more likely to be interested in learning computer science. And while there have been moves to increase computer science offerings in K-12 education, black and Hispanic students are even less likely to have access to these resources. Additionally, more than two-thirds of white students report using computers at home, while only half of black and Hispanic students do. Janan detailed her first impactful experience: being mentored by her middle school computer science teacher. “She knows now that she was my mentor, but then – she didn't. She was just my computer teacher.
And by 'just', I mean she wasn't someone assigned to me or asked to work with me in any way. But she saw my strengths, and instead of me doing my own elective, she allowed me to work with her other classes and be her assistant. So instead of going to gym, art, or home, I just went back to the computer room and worked with the other classes. And by doing that, she just gave me the opportunity to touch a computer more often. CallRail Director of Engineering, Janan Barge Having this access is something Janan never takes for granted and continues to support her in her life's work. She graduated in science, technology and society at Stanford, majoring in computer science. “So I took your traditional computer classes, your communications classes, as well as classes on things like sociology, identity, and race. My honors thesis was actually about the multiracial representation of students in educational software. It's just a nice way of saying, "Do students see themselves in the games they play every day?" For example, in software that teaches them to read, do they see someone who looks like them? »She brings this line of thinking into her daily work here at CallRail, challenging her team to think beyond themselves while building.