Last week, MemSQL hosted 20 young women from the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program. Over the course of 7 weeks, the group visits some of the Bay Area’s hottest tech companies to gain exposure to the tech industry. These aspiring female engineers, programmers, and future tech leaders are a part of a greater movement to bridge the gender divide in tech workplaces.

Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 dedicated to inspiring young women to pursue education and careers in STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. They are building the largest pipeline of female engineers in the United States, and their rapid expansion since genesis reinforces their mission. Beginning with just 20 girls in New York, today Girls Who Code is going strong with 10,000 girls across 42 states.

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These 10-11th graders with excited eyes and curious minds came to MemSQL looking for a taste of what it is like to work for a technology startup. They got to experience the combination of a challenging technical product and fun culture that characterizes our company. The girls had a full day beginning with a company introduction by Ankur Goyal, Vice President of Engineering, and ending with an extensive Q&A panel composed of MemSQL engineers.

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The unstructured time the young women had while at MemSQL provided important opportunities to speak and network with employees across engineering, marketing, sales, human resources, and operations for broader exposure to the kinds of teams and roles that constitute a startup. The girls also took breaks from digesting product demonstrations by playing a quick game of ping pong, enjoying a moment with the dogs in the office, or grabbing a snack from the dining area. Each moment the young women experienced reflected the real quotidian routines of the employees of MemSQL and demonstrated what it truly is like to work in the tech industry.

The Q&A panel, comprised of eight employees across engineering and business teams, encouraged the young women to display their avid curiosity and hunger to learn about working in the tech world. They asked about challenges the women of MemSQL have experienced as women working in technology, the best ways to prepare for interviews for tech jobs, how MemSQL employees wound up where they are today, and why they love working for a small startup instead of a larger corporation. Each panel member spoke about their personal experiences in the industry, providing a glimpse into a possible future for these young women. In the end, the girls walked away with deep insight into the inner workings of a San Francisco technology startup, and the knowledge that many open doors await them in their future careers.

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