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There’s No Ambition Gap: Truth About Women in Tech

Here are the problems with how closing the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is often approached:

We tell girls to simply be more ambitious. But from all of the girls and women I interact with, I don’t see an ambition gap.

We tell women that if they just act more like men, they’ll get more funding for their startups. But we ignore the fact that if they were a man pitching, they wouldn’t have to simultaneously navigate around being asked on a date in the middle of their pitch.

We ask women to speak at conferences and when we still have a roster of mostly men, we can at least say we tried. But we never work to truly understand why women are more likely to say “no” in the first place.

This session is about challenging our assumptions and putting a different truth on the table, based on my current experience leading NY Tech Meetup, the largest Meetup in the world, and my past experience leading a Girl Scout council supporting 15,000 girls.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why should we still be having conversations about women in tech?
  2. What is the current data about women in STEM and, even more importantly, what do we know about why the data is the way it is?
  3. What assumptions are we making about women in technology that we need to look at differently?
  4. Why do women turn down requests to speak at significant conferences and events at a higher rate then men?
  5. How is the conversation about women in tech driving broader conversations about the current reality of work and the economy?



Jessica Lawrence, Managing Director, NY Tech Meetup

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