Hackster’s 2016 survey of people from 104 countries discovered that under 6% of hardware developers are women – an amount that’s as distressing as it is surprising. Women are running companies, making cool projects, and designing hardware in ways that are both exciting and cutting-edge, but there’s still a divide between how the field is portrayed and all the impressive things women in hardware are doing.
To help bridge that gap, Adafruit and Hackster have collaborated on Women in Hardware: The Interview Series with sponsorship from Qualcomm, Autodesk and Microsoft.
Check out hackster.io’s Women in Hardware community page too! – hackster.io/womeninhardware
What is WiH?
WiH is a video interview series covering some of the most inspiring women pioneering the hardware industry. From groundbreaking entrepreneurs, to engineers at the tops of their fields, we want to highlight the women who are inventing, innovating, and changing hardware for the better.
Rather than focusing on the lack of diversity and difficult experiences that these women have faced, we are calling attention to their amazing work with the hope of encouraging future generations to get involved.
This is what real women working in the hardware space want to talk about: design, business, prototyping, creating. Through this series we want to show how rewarding a career in hardware can be – for any person, of any gender.
Why should you care?
It’s proven that more diverse teams lead to better problem solving, critical thinking, and creative innovation. Every company in the tech industry wants to move forward – why wouldn’t you want the best team to get you there?
We want to motivate other industry players to act as change agents and take initiative in creating more equal opportunities for women in tech.
Join in the discussion. Listen in on our guest speakers and educate yourselves on the topic so you can actively advocate for change in your own company and the world.
Episode 1: Ayah Bdeir, Founder & CEO of littleBits and Limor Fried, founder and lead engineer of Adafruit.
For the premiere episode of the series, join Ayah & Limor in an engaging conversation with topics ranging from life in NYC, product development processes, open source hardware and more. Hear the advice they would give to themselves looking back to when they started their careers and what they hope to see in the future.
littleBits™ is on a mission to Democratize Hardware by empowering everyone—of any gender, age or technical background—to Create Inventions, large and small, with its innovative platform of easy-to-use Electronic Building Blocks. Our Bits™ snap together with magnets to allow anyone to build, invent, and prototype with electronics independent of age, gender and technical background. From classrooms to homes, littleBits is driving excitement for invention-based learning through design challenges and in-classroom curriculum. The company is also dedicated to successfully bridging the gender gap with its gender-neutral platform, inspiring young girls and young boys to unleash their creativity and embrace STEAM (Science, Technology, Art and Mathematics) through the invention cycle. littleBits is used by more than 14,000 educators across the world as an engaging tool for making STEAM more accessible to all students and preparing them for the jobs that haven’t been invented yet.
The company was founded in 2011 by MIT graduate, TED Senior Fellow and cofounder of the Open Hardware Summit, Ayah Bdeir, and has grown to be a global leader in hardware. Bdeir was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, one of one of Inc.’s “35 Under 35” and “Entrepreneurs to Watch,” one of Entrepreneur’s “10 Leaders to Watch,” one of Popular Mechanics’ “25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream,” and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. The littleBits platform includes more than 9 kits and 68 interoperable modules with millions of products sold in over 60 countries around the world. The littleBits invention app takes inventing to new levels with thousands of additional invention ideas and challenges. littleBits products have won more than 70 tech and education awards including an acquisition into the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) permanent collection, IDEA Gold Award, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Popular Science Best of Toy Fair, Good Housekeeping’s Best Toy Award and Makerfaire Educator’s Choice and Editor’s Choice Awards.
Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT hacker & engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has grown to over 100+ employees in the heart of NYC with a 50,000+ sq ft. factory. Adafruit has expanded offerings to include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going into the Adafruit store. Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine, awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the year, and was on the cover of Make: Vol. 57. Ladyada was a founding member of the NYC Industrial Business Advisory Council. Adafruit is ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 “fastest growing private companies”. Adafruit is featured in Google’s Economic Impact Report. Limor was named a WHITEHOUSE CHAMPION OF CHANGE in 2016. Adafruit is a 100% woman owned company.
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