Philly Tech Sistas: How one woman aims to bridge the diversity equity, inclusion gap in the tech industry – WPVI-TV

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Ashley Turner, who once was a longtime audio engineer in the theater industry, was in search of a career change.

Turner always had an interest in coding and website building, but her long work hours made it difficult to find the time to pursue.

“I tried to think of what sort of transferable skills I had that I could use to transition out of theater arts,” said Turner. “So I grew an interest in learning how to code and build websites.”

After taking programming classes and attending local tech events, Turner felt isolated as she tried to enter this industry.

“The issue was I often was the only person that looked like me,” Turner said. “There weren’t a lot of people of color, and there definitely weren’t a lot of women of color, so I often felt isolated.”

Turner would later transition out of theater arts and land a job at Swarthmore College in their I.T. department as an AV specialist, where she now serves as an academic technologist.

She soon came across a group called ‘Philly Tech Sistas’ which is an organization aimed at helping women of color gain technical and professional skills to work, thrive, and move up in the tech industry.

“It was always what I wanted to have while I was looking to gain new skills and transfer careers,” said Turner.

While the organization started in 2014, Philly Tech Sistas was just a casual group of women who also felt isolated while exploring new career