Behind The Scenes: My Internship Experience

Throughout the past month and a half I have had the privilege of interning with Hack the Gap. I have gotten to know the two women behind Hack the Gap: Jenna Pederson and Kristen Womack. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with them on a professional level. Before I met them one morning I was doing some research on Hack the Gap. I came across this video and for the rest of the day, the song, Lizzo and Caroline Smith’s Let ‘Em Say, was blaring through my headphones. I had never felt so empowered. I knew that despite my heavy workload I had to take on this internship.

The first time I met Jenna and Kristen, I was incredibly nervous. I was a mere college student about to meet two people who, through the internet, seemed cooler than I was. When I arrived early for our first meeting it took me about ten minutes or so of sitting across from Jenna to realize that she was who I was looking for. Despite the minor hiccup of arriving early, the meeting was successful (no surprise there!).  I connected with their mission to promote and nurture women and minorities in technology here in the Twin Cities.

I’ve learned through this experience that it’s important to be choosy when planning an event of this nature. Jenna and Kristen make sure that the companies that support Hack the Gap really believe in fostering women and minorities in technology. They live Hack the Gap’s mission to amplify the voices and cultivate talents of underserved people in our community.

What always interests me in entrepreneurial endeavors is the moment when the founders decide that they need to take action. What takes a person from identifying a problem to actually deciding to do something about the problem? For Jenna and Kristen this moment came after being on one too many diversity panels. They decided that instead of continuing to talk about women and diversity in technology, they were going to start doing something about it.

The passion that Jenna and Kristen exhibit continues to amaze me. At some point during every meeting we discuss the subject of companies talking the talk but not walking the walk when it comes to diversity initiatives. Jenna and Kristen are doing something about the issue of diversity in tech. It is inspiring to work with people who are so passionate about creating change.

I cannot wait to see all of the hard work being done for this event come to fruition. If you want to get inspired and help hack the diversity gap, join us at Hack the Gap 2017!

Kira Taylor is a current senior at the Carlson School of Management and a current intern with Hack the Gap. Connect with her on LinkedIn

Behind the Scenes: An Unknown Marketplace

For the last couple of years, we have been programming tech events for women in Minneapolis. It’s lot of work. But the reward is truly the joy of watching it all come together. The inspiration we feel from the community and the connections attendees make at the event makes it worth all the labor. It's kind of unreal how inspired we feel being in a part of this community and what an honor to be a catalyst of it all.

All-women Hackathon Returns to Minneapolis

Hack the Gap returns in May, 2016 in partnership with Clockwork

Press Release

Minneapolis, MN - March 15, 2016 - Hack the Gap announced the date of the 2nd annual all-women hackathon to be held May 14-15, 2016 at Clockwork in Northeast, Minneapolis. The hackathon is aimed at creating a high-energy weekend where women from all backgrounds and experience levels can enjoy an accessible, approachable, positive experience. While it's normal to feel intimidated upon arrival at a weekend-long tech event, 2015 participants reported leaving feeling excited, empowered, and connected after building a project in less than 48hrs with a newly-founded team.

The women will pitch their ideas, work with new technologies, write code, hack hardware, and present their project to the community by the end of the weekend. Mentors and judges, who are thoughtfully selected from the community to have experience, be encouraging and helpful, will offer feedback to the participants.

Hack the Gap has partnered with Clockwork, the event’s exclusive venue and food sponsor. Clockwork CEO, Nancy Lyons, is a renowned national speaker on addressing the gender gap in technology and other fields. Meghan Wilker, COO of Clockwork and champion of this partnership, is a Minneapolis powerhouse and The (Real) Power 50 award winner. Hack the Gap is honored to have the support of these two women at the helm of the Clockwork leadership team.

At last year’s event, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges stopped by to say a few words to the group, and later tweeted: “Hack the Gap is the total awesome package of women and tech and apps and cool stuff. So fun.”

Ultimately, Hack the Gap's mission is to create a safe space for women to explore their technical abilities, to create community among the participants, and to learn. “Many women spoke with me about what the event gave them. For some, it was a new group of people they met and bonded with, for others it was a skill they learned, and several spoke of the confidence they left with after the weekend,” says Kristen Womack, co-founder of Hack the Gap.

To get involved with this year's Hack the Gap or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit 

About Hack the Gap

Hack the Gap is an organization that is hacking the diversity gap, one hackathon at a time. Their mission is to amplify the voices and cultivate talents of underserved people in the community by giving the them a safe space to hack and a stage to show what they have built. To learn more about Hack the Gap:

About Clockwork

Clockwork is an interactive design and technology agency in Minneapolis renowned for transformative business solutions. As a values-driven company, they are committed to supporting, promoting, and spotlighting organizations championing inclusivity and diversity.Learn more about what we do: