Last month, The Millennium Alliance hosted the Digital Enterprise West Coast Assembly in San Francisco, CA. Alaina Percival, CEO of Women Who Code, attended the Assembly and moderated an incredible discussion on Women in Technology. The global nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers, Women Who Code has grown to serve more than 137,000 women in 20 countries and 60 cities across the globe. Digital Diary had a chance to hear from Alaina first hand about her background, her organization, and the technology industry as a whole.
It’s very clear that every industry is heading towards the digital transformation, if they haven’t made that change already. Why is it important for women to learn to code and be involved in this transformation?
All industries are becoming technology industries, and as this transformation continues, more and more leaders and executives will have to have technical backgrounds.
As CEO of Women Who Code, how did you get involved in this organization and what sparked your passion in the technology industry?
I got involved with Women Who Code as a passion project that I devoted my time to on Mondays and weekends. But then I realized how important it was as an organization, and the impact it could have, so I invested in it as a company.
What drives me to do what I do every day is the impact that it has on the careers of people who are a part of it. For example, the Director in Mexico City whose salary increased by 200% after becoming a WWCode volunteer, or the Director in Toronto who climbed two rungs on the career ladder in under a year after stepping up as a WWCode volunteer. We also had a member who interviewed at SpaceX, and they told her they were interested in her because of her experience with Women Who Code. Those are the stories that really inspire me.
Tell us about the millennial focus at Women Who Code and how organizations can be encouraging this community’s participation?
WWCode has members of all ages, and can be very beneficial to millennials who are in first phase of their career. It’s a way for them to prepare not just for their next promotion, but for the one after that as well.
Why should people care about women entering the tech field?
Businesses with more diversity do better. According studies done by NCWIT groups that have more diversity are able to solve complicated problems better and faster than homogeneous groups, and companies with the highest representation of women in their management teams produce a 34% higher return on investment. But aside from the fact that it makes business sense, it’s also just the right thing to do.
We were really excited that you were able to join us at our Digital Enterprise West Coast Assembly and networking is obviously such a large part of Women Who Code in terms of study groups, conferences, and an overall community building approach. Tell us why you think this type of relationship building is important, just like how The Millennium Alliance was in San Francisco doing the same thing.
Creating a space to connect with other people and other members of the community is great, but showcasing talented and successful people in the industry who happen to be women leaders is the real impact and importance of that event.
About The Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly
As more and more businesses look to digital technology and strategies to transform their business, CIOs know that data and information technology have never been more important. Understanding the convergence of mobile, social, and cloud is the first critical step for organizations looking to create opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
The Millennium Alliance is thrilled to present our bi-annual Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly, put together by the industry, for the industry. Join us in Miami, FL. for a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company maintains its competitive advantage.