July 30, 2012
Closing the gender gap in technology is only half the battle. For advocates, the other half begins as soon as a woman lands a tech job: making sure her experience is comparable to her male peers’.
The RAISE Project aims to help women get access to awards and grants in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine. They have a database of awards and tips for applying, plus a team dedicated to spreading awareness.
Below, coordinator Sarah Chu explains how RAISE helps women earn the recognition they deserve.
Tech Cocktail: What was the inspiration behind the RAISE Project?
Sarah Chu: Prizes, honors, awards, and other recognition can be crucial to career success. Recognition often comes with grants or monetary honoraria, making possible those breakthroughs that just need a little more research to achieve. In addition, recognition breeds success. The publicity and “bragging rights” that come with an award make someone more likely to be snapped up for promotions, board memberships, further grants, or other advancements. We at RAISE love to see the success stories of women in STEMM whose hard work has been appreciated.
Tech Cocktail: What are some challenges for the RAISE project?
Chu: As an unknown startup, it can be challenging to make your target audiences aware of your presence. We have found that it’s all about the personal touch. Try having a page of field-related jokes or quirky pictures on your website, or get a charismatic intern to manage your Twitter feed.
Tech Cocktail: What’s one quirky fact about your team?
Chu: During our breaks, we at RAISE alternate between reading the latest field policy journals and the National Examiner. I recently ran an obstacle-laden 15k, complete with mud traps and flaming hoops, to benefit both a local tutoring center and, indirectly, my friends, who claimed to have never laughed so hard in their lives.
Image by Brattlie Associates, LLC
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