Our Mission

The mission of Hack the Gap is to amplify the voices and cultivate talents of underserved people in our community.

WHAT IS HACK THE GAP?

 
 

Who we are

Hack the Gap was started by Jenna Pederson and Kristen Womack to demonstrate that the women in tech problem isn’t exclusively a pipeline problem. We were leading the Twin Cities Geekettes and saw a strong community of technical women ready to work, build, collaborate and shine. Hack the Gap was a natural next step for elevating the amazing local community of technical women in Minnesota.

Instead of being on a team where there is only one or two women--or maybe where you are the only woman on the team--we envisioned a weekend where all of the women in the community could come together and hack together. We wanted to create a space where they would come to build, connect, inspire and be inspired by each other.

But we have bigger ambitions than just closing the gender gap. We see a lot of gaps where privilege exists. We focus on breaking down barriers to amplify the voices and talents of people in underserved minority communities.

The Team

Kristen Womack
Meg VanWagner

Kristen Womack

Co-founder

Kristen is an award-winning product leader, team builder, and technology consultant in Minneapolis. She is a co-founder of Hello Mom, a co-founder of Hack the Gap, and the founder and principal of Night Sky Web Co. Previously, she was the head of the API Developer Program at Best Buy, the Director of Product at LeadPages, co-organizer of Product Tank Twin Cities, Co-ambassador of the Twin Cities Geekettes, and a founding board member of Mpls MadWomen. She is a sought-after writer and speaker on issues ranging from API development to team management, and is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech world. She loves running, yoga and reading.

@kristen_womack

Meg VanWagner

Event Director

Driven by social good and systems change, Meg has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector. She recently moved back to Minneapolis after six years in the Bay Area consulting to nonprofits and designing programs that connect professionals with social change organizations across the country as the National Director of Program Delivery & Design at the Taproot Foundation. When she's not casually changing the world, she's cautiously changing diapers for her 2-year-old son, Lewis, who will hopefully be potty-trained soon. 


Jenna Pederson

Co-founder Emeritus

Jenna Pederson is an engineer, a leader, and a catalyst. She has built and led local and international technical teams. She wears many hats and has experience in a range of technologies and business domains. Co-founder Emeritus of Hack the Gap, founder of 612 Software Foundry, and minne Board Member, Jenna is passionate about creating a welcoming and supportive tech community for everyone. She was previously Co-ambassador of the Twin Cities Geekettes.

@jennapederson