Lessons in diversity: How PDX Women in Tech overhauled board recruitment

The organization I lead, PDX Women in Tech (PDXWIT), is a nonprofit located in Portland, Oregon, with nearly 10,000 active members. Our goal is simple: Encourage and empower those who have been historically excluded from tech to join and stay in the industry.

In 2012, our founder Megan Bigelow discovered she was making over 30% less than a man working in the same position. He had been at the company for a shorter time than she had; in fact, she was on the hiring committee for the position and had trained him when he was hired. When she discovered what he was being paid and began to learn more about the structural inequities women in the tech industry face, she realized she had to do something. She formed a community group so women working in tech could support one another and feel less isolated in an industry heavily dominated by men. Fairly quickly, the community she formed grew exponentially and eventually became a nonprofit organization with a board of directors, bylaws and typical governance. 

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