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!