NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A global nonprofit is now calling Nashville home, and they announced their presence here in a big way last week with their annual conference in their new city. The CEO of Girls in Tech said moving to Nashville was the right move at the right time.

Adriana Gascoigne started Girls in Tech 15 years ago in San Francisco, she was one of very few women in the tech industry at the time and wanted to do something to get other women to join the field.

“So out of about 35 employees, I was actually the only woman and person of color,” said Gascoigne. “So I would go into work every day and look around the room, like there’s really something wrong with this. The lack of diversity was affecting how we were innovating.”

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Girls in Tech took off, with chapters in 55 cities in 42 countries, totaling 130,000 active members. Their goal is to eliminate the gender gap in technology.

“We do everything from coding programs, to large conferences, to our global classroom, which is an online learning platform. And we really are here to support women’s careers, we want them to succeed,” said Gascoigne.

After years in California, a quick visit to Nashville made Gascoigne’s next step clear: they were moving to Tennessee.

“The tech scene is booming here. I know, AWS, Oracle, Meta, they all have offices here and there’s many more. There’s also the Entrepreneurship Center and many other different incubators and accelerators that are popping up. So I think it’s thriving. It’s the right place for us to be now,” said Gascoigne.

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She also said the tech industry has a long way to go, but she’s already seeing progress.

“I see many more women getting majors within tech fields, specifically in computer science and design centered majors, but also women applying to jobs. Women curious about career opportunities in the tech workforce.” With this move to Nashville and the global movement overall, Gasgoine knows they are taking steps in the right direction to lead the way for the next generation of female leaders in technology.

If you are interested in getting involved, Girls in Tech has local events like hack-a-thons, boot camps, a mentorship program, an academy, a job board and so much more. The organization also just announced the 2023 Girls in Tech conference will be held in Nashville again. More information can be found here.