Today, I would like to introduce you to Natasha George, a young engineer that is inspiring and empowering many girls that dream to have a career in technology. I know Natasha personally, and I am always touched by her positive energy and her fun and loving personality. I am sure you will enjoy learning about her work with ChickTeck and if you feel inspired, please share it with your friends!

Hello Natasha! Could you tell us a little bit about you?

natasha-headshotI consider myself a TCK – which stands for third culture kid. This essentially means that I grew up outside of the country that my parents are from, for some part of my life. I was born in Kuwait and lived there for 11 years after which we moved to Singapore for a few years and then to Bangalore, India where I went to high school. Looking back, I realize now, how much these moves have had an impact on the person I am today; I find myself fascinated by people, where they come from, their social mannerisms and am able to appreciate and understand their backgrounds. After high school, I decided to try to “live the American dream” and moved to Boston for college. 9 years later, I’m still here, working at a battery startup as the lead cell engineer. When I’m not at work, I love cooking (pretending I’m on the TV show “Chopped”), boxing, being a Big Sister/mentor to a middle school girl and volunteering as the Program Director of ChickTech Boston.

 What is ChickTech?

ChickTech is a nonprofit dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing STEM-based careers. We just partnered with Wayfair and are planning the launch of the ChickTech High School program. The kickoff weekend is February 10th, 2017, where we will host a 100 girls, empower and support them to feel a sense of community, run workshops throughout the weekend and at the end, host a tech show where their friends and family can visit to see the projects that the girls worked on. We are SO excited!

 Why did you decide to join it? What inspires you?

In college, I realized how women represented such a small population of the engineering class. I studied Mechanical Engineering and seeing maybe 2 or 3 other girls in a class of 30-40 was just shocking to me. After college, I realized that this translates directly to the workforce and that is when I decided that part of the issue could be solved up front – if there are more women available to be hired into tech positions, then hopefully, more will end up in the workforce. So, I found ChickTech and loved the fact that we target high school girls. ChickTech hopes to provide a sense of community for girls that may not have mentors, role models or resources to feel supported to achieve their dreams. My hope is that our daughters, the women of the future, can sit at a table in a tech firm, and not be a minority.

How can people get involved?

There are several ways! We are currently trying to recruit workshop volunteers to help run our High School program and volunteers for event logistics. You don’t have to have a background in science or be a woman to volunteer! You just have to be passionate about our cause and about empowering women! Please email and we will follow up with you.

What message would you send to girls thinking of going to STEM ?

Don’t ever stop believing in YOUR dreams because you can be whatever you want to be. Don’t be intimidated by the number of boys in your classroom because in there, it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl – your goal should be to learn and to be the best.

 Chicktech Boston:

One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. – Michelle Obama