About Us

ChickTech: High School Participants

ChickTech: High School participants working on building and programming a computer at Free Geek in Portland. Photo by Beth Shea Palmer.

Our Vision

ChickTech is a multi-generational community of women and girls helping each other to become technology creators.

Our Mission

ChickTech is dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers.

Activities

We facilitate hands-on technology-centric events to empower, support, and increase the confidence of women and girls.  Through our events, we build community, empower participants to see themselves as leaders, and provide networking and mentoring opportunities in the rapidly growing high tech industry.

Key Events & Programs

  1. ChickTech: High School
  2. ChickTech: Career
  3. Joint Program with CodeScouts
  4. ChickTech: Mentors
  5. ChickTech: Internships

Meet ChickTech

Opportunities

As a completely volunteer-run non-profit, we are always searching for partners who would like to get involved through donations of expertise, volunteer time, in-kind, funding, or just by helping to get the word out.

  • Visit our Partner page for more information.

Are you interested in bringing ChickTech to your area?  We are compiling extensive research on why our methods get and keep girls and women on the path to a successful and rewarding high tech career.

Fiscal Sponsor

ChickTech’s fiscal sponsor is the TechStart Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  As such, all donations are tax deductible.  TechStart promotes wider access to technology education for K-12 students in order to strengthen the skills they need to thrive in the global economy.

Leadership Team

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley

Founder and Program Manager

Janice is owner and principal of Embla Consulting, a marketing and business consulting firm for small businesses.  She is also co-founder of trovi, a seed-stage tech startup located in Portland, Oregon.  Janice has a BS in Computer Engineering from Oregon State University and an MBA from Willamette University.  She believes strongly that the diversity and strengths that women can bring will push high tech to even more impressive heights.  Her inspiration for creating ChickTech came from her own experiences in computer engineering and the realization that the percentage of women in engineering isn’t going to get higher by itself. LinkedIn

Joni Carlson

Curriculum Advisor

Joni has 24 years of teaching experience in many different areas. She is a credentialed teacher for biology, chemistry, physics, math and integrated science for both middle and high school. She was a mentor for six years for a FIRST Robotics team in California, and a sponsor for an engineering club for eight years. Joni is excited to bring her vast experience to the table to help create engaging workshops for ChickTech participants.

Jennifer Davidson

Program Manager and Designing Experience Workshop Leader

Jennifer is a Computer Science PhD student at Oregon State University. Her research focus is in human-computer interaction, specifically involving older adults in the design and development of open source software. Aside from research, she enjoys doing outreach with women in technology. She is a Systers member and helps with ChickTech. In March 2012, she spoke on a panel at an ACM-W event addressing questions about her educational experiences. The event was held for any woman who might be interested in pursuing computer science. In her free time, she’s a live music goer, beer enthusiast and road tripper. You can find her on twitter @jewifer. LinkedIn

Ashley Huffman

Marketing and Media Coordinator

Ashley is an education and technology evangelist located in Toronto, ON Canada. She specializes in market penetration, branding and online integrity. Her love for technology has taken her across the world as an advocate. Ashley began her career as a Senior Editor at Shanghai Daily, the city’s largest newspaper, and as a web safety writer and speaker. She has also spent time in Silicon Valley where she helped build an educational software company; acting as the project and marketing manager. With an incurable appetite for all things geek, Ashley created a chick focused technology website called ChickTech.com (the inspiration behind the name ChickTech.org). Her goal is to share the stories of positive female role models who are making a difference in the world by setting a good example.

Stephanie Wallick

Venue Coordinator/High School Outreach Coordinator

Stephanie is currently working towards a degree in Electrical Engineering at Portland State University. She previously earned a BS in Microbiology from Oregon State University and a JD from Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. She worked as a lab technician and a judicial clerk before discovering that her true passion is engineering and technology. In her spare time she likes to bake, knit, ski, and work with other passionate and creative women to inspire and increase the next generation of female engineers and scientists.

Beth Shea Palmer

Communications Coordinator

Beth is a Project Manager at eROI, a digital marketing agency in Portland, OR; immediatley prior, she executive produced an ecommerce startup. She has a background in digital and print journalism, formerly a reporter for Chicago Tribune Magazine, a news editor for AOL, and a research reporter at Advertising Age. She has a B.A. in Journalism: Reporting on Health, Science and the Environment, from Columbia College Chicago. She’s passionate about ChickTech’s mission. That, paired with her love for social media, tech, writing and documenting, led her to become involved in ChickTech as a communications coordinator, helping facilitate press coverage for the organization, and updating the ChickTech blog and social media sites. LinkedIn

Carol Porto

Operations Manager

Carol has worked for twenty years in software product development in both major corporate and smaller software companies.  Her credentials include a MS in Computing Science and Engineering and a BS in mathematics.  While working in the field at the same time she was extensively involved in Portland grassroots community organizing, outreach and organization management.  Carol brings an intensity of focus and joie de vivre, empowering and enhancing the experience of those around her to stimulate involvement and commitment. Her philosophy is that women need to help other women enter the workplace and once there, fight for the advancement of women and make it better for everyone.

Renée Rutz

Project Manager

Renee comes from a technology background with experience in the software development world of Microsoft and Corporate IT at Russell Investments. She has a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Systems and an MA in Organizational Communications. She was a charter member of the Microsoft diversity group “Hoppers” (named in honor of Grace Murray Hopper) which was founded to air the concerns of technical women. Her involvement in ChickTech brings her full circle to encouraging girls and women in technology. Renee likes coordinating, communicating, and generally getting stuff done for ChickTech, as well as working with this great group of women. LinkedIn