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This year, use Women’s History Month to challenge yourself to reach out, try new things and empower others. That’s the goal of CompTIA’s Advancing Women in Technology (AWIT) Community’s Women’s History Month Challenge, which we’ve outlined here as a weekly schedule unfolding over the full four weeks of March starting Monday, March 6.
“We’re challenging people to take a meaningful step in areas we’re always talking about – mentoring, diversity and the wage gap,” said Cathy Alper, AWIT’s community manager. “We’re focused on these areas for 2017 and we’re challenging people to get talking and turn some of their ideas into reality.”
“Each week builds on the one prior; to get people’s feet wet at first and dare them to be brave later on,” Alper said. “This Women’s History Month Challenge is a way to start taking little steps toward a larger goal of building company culture that supports diversity and inclusiveness.”
The challenges are designed to be simple gestures that either start a conversation or build up the people around you — like validating someone’s suggestion in a meeting.
Each week of the Women’s History Month Challenge has a theme and a handful of activities to do each week meant to take a deeper dive into some of the themes AWIT is highlighting this year.
Here’s a breakdown of each week’s themes and some suggestions for how to get involved. “Take them literally or find a related activity that suits you,” Alper said. Take screenshots or take pictures on your challenge adventures — AWIT will post them on its Facebook page.
“We’ll be posting suggestions throughout the month, and hope people will take up the challenge and share their progress online,” she added. Use the hashtag #AWITChallenge and tag @AWIT on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Week 1 (March 6 to 10): Mentoring
Mentoring is important to bringing bright new people into the industry. Use this week to consider how you might connect with someone and tell them the good news about technology or reflect on someone who helped you get started in tech.
“This year at AMM, we’re working on building a directory of women and girls in technology organizations,” Alper said. “Join us as we discuss ways we can extend our reach and have a greater impact with representatives from potential alliance organizations.”
Week 2 (March 13 to 17): The Wage Gap
Google how the gender wake gap affects you and you might be surprised that a disparity in income between men and women has ill effects on everyone.
Week 3 (March 20 to 24): Diversity
Diverse cultures don’t happen by accident, so use this week to learn how to consciously create and nurture these ideas in your workplace.
Week 4 (March 27 to 31): Big Steps
Here’s the week to really step it up. Talk with co-workers about ways to improve the workplace and say a special thank you to a woman who has helped in your career.
Throughout the month, AWIT will post challenge suggestions on its Facebook page, LinkedIn Group and Twitter accounts, which are good ways to connect virtually with other AWIT members. “The challenge is about getting people moving,” Alper said. “We talk a lot about diversity and inclusion and we’re hoping these small steps will lead to giant leaps.”