WiTH Lends a Hand to Codetalk, STEM Advantage for Giving Tuesday

For the Nov. 30 Giving Tuesday event, the annual, global generosity movement, Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH) is passing along 100% of donations to a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, including the Codetalk web technology vocational program at St. Joseph Center in Venice, California.

The announcement comes shortly after the success of WiTH’s SoCal Women’s Leadership Summit, which brought together thought leaders in technology and management to discuss the changing landscape of leadership, diversity, accessibility and more.

Codetalk is a digital web technology job training program for low income, underemployed and underserved women. In an intensive and rigorous 16-week program it provides the skills, tools, training, professional development and support so that its graduates can pursue entry-level positions in the technology sector.

It aims to transform the income potential of low income and underserved women by promoting financial stability through training for employment in a technology field. Codetalk’s mission is to change the trajectory of its graduates.

“WiTH’s generous and meaningful support has left an indelible mark on Codetalk,” according to Sharon Plunkett, Codetalk director. “Donations have allowed us to support students through difficult times, ensuring they didn’t drop out of the program for reasons related to financial hardship,” she said. “The financial support also enabled us to buy hotspots during the pandemic so that we could continue with remote work through virtual sessions.”

Plunkett added: “More than that, WiTH members have given their invaluable time and shared their expertise with our students.” Resumes, career tips and “navigating a job search” were all “made relatable and accessible by WiTH members sharing themselves with Codetalk students,” she explained. “Every Codetalk student has benefitted enormously from WiTH and the program itself is galvanized by WiTH’s contributions.”

For STEM Advantage — a nonprofit organization providing STEM career opportunities to students at California State University — the donations via WiTH couldn’t be more appreciated.

“[We’re] honored to be a partner of Women in Technology: Hollywood. WiTH provides outstanding role models, mentors, and inspiration for women and underrepresented communities in our STEM Advantage program,” the group said. “If they can see it, they can be it! Plus, thanks to the generosity of the WiTH Foundation, grants fund scholarships for our first-generation college students from low-income families to earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field and graduate with less student debt.”

Here’s a look at the other STEM programs benefiting from WiTH and Giving Tuesday:

  • DIY Girls is a nonprofit that encourages young girls to become interested in science and technology. Since 2012, the program has served over 2,000 girls from grades 4-12, helping them develop skills as engineers and designers. DIY Girls works with partner schools throughout the Northeast Valley to create new science and technology programs. They have also organized workshops and events for hundreds of women throughout Los Angeles, where they have had the opportunity to learn new skills and connect with tech leaders.
  • PepUp Tech gives motivated, underserved students the access, skills, mentors and confidence needed to begin careers in tech and help diversify the industry.
  • STEAM:CODERS inspires underrepresented and underserved students and their families through STEM, in preparation for academic and career opportunities.

“Giving back has been an opportunity for all of us to shine together. When we remain together and focused, when we continue to show kindness and compassion, we can provide a sense of belonging to all underrepresented communities,” said Christina Aguilera, WiTH foundation president.

For those interested in helping contribute, WiTH has set up a social media fundraising how-to page that allows users to adopt the WiTH Foundation in personal Facebook fundraiser, and includes resources to kick-off individual fundraisers.

To donate directly to the WiTH Foundation, click here.

WiTH is an organization that serves as a catalyst for the advancement of women in entertainment technology, and includes representatives from women’s organizations at Amazon Studios, Discovery, Google, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Opus United and Pharmavite.

Founded in March 2014, WiTH facilitates cross-studio women’s group communications and addresses pressing issues specific to women technology executives in Hollywood, covering leadership, business and technology skills development, mentorship, negotiation, career development, vision, management, community engagement, empowerment, self-confidence and work/life balance.