Community Profile: Austin Women Software Engineers

Community Profile: Austin Women Software Engineers

As part of ATA’s commitment to community education, we chatted with Sara Ines Calderon of Austin Women Software Engineers – AWE!

Sara Ines CalderonTell us a little bit about your organization! What is Austin Women Software Engineers’ mission and vision for the community?

We’re a collective of folks who missed the pre-pandemic community we’d built through meetups. We decided to have a happy hour and see what happened — and it was so fun we kept going. Since we’re not a formal organization (just volunteers doing these events in our spare time) our mission is to create events where folks can get together for social time and community building; as far as vision, most folks would agree that the tech meetup scene never bounced back from the pandemic, so we’re hoping to contribute to that.

What has been one of the most impactful projects you’ve worked on in Austin?

We’ve had two happy hours that have been so wonderful. I was able to catch up with folks I had not seen in literal YEARS! That feeling where you realize, “Oh I know people who I can reach out to for support,” is the biggest impact from having a community in my personal opinion. We have a “ladies tech recruiting” happy hour coming up next week, it took a longer to organize because another thing that didn’t bounce back from the pandemic is companies’ recruiting budgets! RSVP here!

How can the community get involved?

We don’t have a formal website, but we post our events on Eventbrite and LinkedIn, as well as various Slack channels throughout the Austin area. The biggest way folks can volunteer is by spreading the word, and if anyone would like to sponsor our events they can reach out to Sara Ines Calderon on LinkedIn.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Would definitely encourage folks in their own communities to start events and create that community. The anti-DEI wave we see in politics and corporate policy has affected a lot of the larger non-profits and organizations that were previously driving some of the larger meetups. No one else, literally, is going to come along and bring meetups back if we don’t do it ourselves.

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