Ready, Set, Hack: All women hackathon champions diversity in STEM fields

Ready, Set, Hack: All women hackathon champions diversity in STEM fields
Source: (KOLD) (Source: KOLD)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Sunday, the TENWEST Festival came to a close, but many ideas were just getting their start at the University of Arizona.

Post-It notes dotted the walls in a library room. Each, asking questions, or filled with ideas. One had written on it, “What is diversity?” Young women were answering that question, and many more, with modern, technological solutions at the all women’s hackathon.

“As underrepresented people, we want to sort of create this interface and platform to find the resources that they need,” said Victoria Metzler, who was participating in the hackathon.

Her group is working toward designing a website that would bring together mentees and mentors who might be along the same career path, in the same industry or the same gender or ethnicity.

“I’m a Hispanic woman, so I would maybe want another Hispanic woman to help me find my way,” said Metzler.

According to the latest numbers, 67 percent of those in STEM fields are white. Hispanics make up six percent.

“In all of my computer science classes, it’s a boys club. It’s only 90 percent white men,” said Metzler.

The organizers of the event said these numbers are the reason they have this event. For Metzler, the event was a way to get out of her comfort zone and inspire others.

“My little sisters, now, I think know they can go into STEM and excel, especially as young Hispanic women,” said Metzler.

This was the fifth year for the event.

All groups presented on Sunday and took home a prize as this event was a non-competitive hackathon.

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