It’s been almost a full year since we launched the Chic Geek and it’s hard to believe what we’ve accomplished. So far, we’ve partnered with Ladies Learning Code to bring basic coding workshops to Calgary, and we’ve hosted speaker events, dinner gatherings, code parties, book clubs and documentary screenings. It’s also been a valuable learning experience in leadership, teamwork and support, constantly refining and reevaluating the way we add value to the broader tech and startup ecosystems. Looking back, I can’t believe how fast the year has gone by. It’s been a year of great accomplishments and a lot of hard work. But what about 2014? As we start to look ahead to the New Year, how does it shape up?
Inspired by our very first event, The IT Factor, we’re following up with a series of mini-events. The Speak Geek Series will feature amazing women in tech and startups who have great stories to tell and lessons to share. Each event will be characterized by short presentations or panels from featured speakers and will follow-up with in-depth, round-table discussions so participants have a chance to ask questions and engage with speakers on a personal level. We want to showcase great role-models and leaders in our community. This is an event about building relationships, expanding your network and meeting some really amazing women.
One thing that we’ve consistently heard from women in tech is that many of us are looking for a mentor: someone who can help to guide us in our careers and help us build on our skills. Heather Tovey, our Mentorship Lead, has been developing a custom mentorship program that’s unique to our audience. We learned that the most important thing to you in a mentor/mentee relationship was a personal connection. We’ve designed our program to help you find that. We’ve already contacted the first group of mentors and mentees who were selected for the first round, and we’ll be having our first meeting in early January. Check back in Fall 2014 for the second round!
We had a great time at the She++ Documentary Screening and received a lot of positive feedback about it. It was an opportunity for women to share their voices on a topic and learn from their peers. Plus, there was popcorn! So we’ve turned this one-time event into a series that will run 4 times a year. We’ll kick off with a documentary on startups, business or women in technology and finish off with in-depth discussions on the topic at hand. Chic Geek Movie Nights have been designed to inspire minds, encourage action and bring the community together behind one common cause: more women in tech.
Our partnership with Ladies Learning Code has been going strong, but did you know they also have a branch called Girls Learning Code? Right now, they only operate in Toronto, but we’ll be bringing them to Calgary in early 2014! These are coding classes for youth age 8-17! We’ll be covering fun topics like game design, animation and even basic HTML & CSS! It’s called Girls Learning Code, but boys are welcome too! Learn more about Girls Learning Code!
The Chic Geek is a community-driven organization, and that means that new programs usually happen when our chic geeks step up and make things happen. If you have an idea for a new program or event, or something that could make what we do even better, please get in touch (http://www.thechicgeek.ca/contact).
The Chic Geek is always growing, and we’ve come a long way in 2013. Thank you to everyone who was a part of our first year in the Calgary community, and thank you to all of our mentors and volunteers for making it possible!
And don’t forget that if you’re looking for updates on our events and programs, you can subscribe to our newsletter for a monthly check-in.
Written by Kylie Toh
Kylie Started the Chic Geek because she wanted to see more women celebrate technology and discover their inner nerd. With a background in public relations and branding, and a passion for startups, Kylie guides the strategic vision of the Chic Geek. Connect with Kylie on Twitter