Women Who Code, FTW: How This Non-Profit Empowers Teamwork With Trello

Illustration of women coding at 2 computer monitors

Even though digital tools and software are now the lifeblood of nearly every industry, the tools that are best equipped to work for a variety of teams are rarely built by teams with a variety of people.

To put this into perspective, here are some telling stats from 2017:

  1. Women make up 57% of the professional occupations in the US workforce.

  2. Women make up 51% of the population.

  3. Only 30% of the overall tech industry is women.

  4. Women leave the tech industry at a rate that is 56% higher than any other sector.

Flipping these figures are how organizations like Women Who Code are finally shaking up this narrative.

Women Who Code is the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to helping women excel in technology professions. The Women Who Code community shines at:

  • Empowering women with skills for professional advancement 💪

  • Providing coding resources 💻

  • Creating opportunities for networking and mentorship 🤝

  • Educating companies to better hire, retain, and promote women 👸🏽

“We know that women leave [the tech industry] faster than men, and faster than they leave other industries,” says Joey Rosenberg, Women Who Code’s Global Leadership Director. “We're all about reversing those trends. Our members tell us that when they find [our] community, they get the courage and inspiration they need to keep going so that they can achieve their career goals.”

With the help of 195 incredible volunteer leaders, Women Who Code guides women to achieve their career goals and stay in the tech industry long-term. To coordinate all their volunteers, Joey and the Team at Women Who Code have turned to Trello to help manage their global volunteers and events and to account for every detail.

Managing The Spreadsheet Monster

Before Trello, the Partnership Team at Women Who Code was using what Joey oh-so-lovingly described as “a big massive nightmare of a spreadsheet.”

Image of women who code hackathon

Work was immensely difficult to track and it was easy for data to get lost in a deep sea of columns and rows. Factor in the logistics of multiple teams working remotely (in San Francisco, Atlanta, Kenya, Portland, and even a traveling RV!) and you had the ultimate recipe for a panic attack. Needless to say, there were a lot of missed assignments and decreased productivity while everyone struggled to stay on the same page.

Joey points out how being able to simplify her team’s to-do’s in Trello is critical to bringing everyone onto the same page. “You've outlined the process, so you don't have to go back and say, ‘Hey, remember to do this, hey, remember to do that.’ It's already all laid out. In fact, I'm sitting here thinking there are three more things I should probably be managing with Trello as I'm saying all this out loud.”

In addition to creating an easy-as-pie workflow, Trello allows the Partnership Team to collaborate with ease. “When we're working through spreadsheets...it doesn't feel collaborative. When you move [data] into Trello, you can see it clearly. A team member could be sitting in a different state working on something, and I can see that it's on her board without having to pick up the phone.“

Killing the complicated flood of documents that creep up on teams is how Trello continues to organize the teams at Women Who Code—with no “nightmare spreadsheet” in sight.

"When we're working through spreadsheets...it doesn't feel collaborative. When you move [data] into Trello, you can see it clearly. A team member could be sitting in a different state working on something, and I can see that it's on her board without having to pick up the phone."

- Joey Rosenberg, Global Leadership Director, Women Who Code

“Next Stop: Automation Station!”

With a whopping 60 active networks around the globe, the Women Who Code Team has a “secret sauce” to managing all their volunteers and partnerships. Joey’s team is constantly flooded with emails of people looking to partner (popular much?) and it’s vital that they swiftly sort through all those messages to find the absolute best companies and volunteers to help carry out their mission.

Enter Trello—helping to simplify that massive workflow.

Here’s how it works: when a company wants to partner with Women Who Code, they first fill out a Google Form. The info from the form is then spit onto its final home on a Trello board. Finally, each lead is analyzed with an eagle eye by the Partnership Team asking a series of questions such as: Does the company want a formalized partnership? Do they want to connect with a local network in their city?

Image of woman coding

By designing a well-oiled machine for all incoming requests, the Women Who Code team has eliminated the core of their stress: emails.

🚫No more follow-up emails.

🚫No more data-sharing emails.

🚫No more complicated workflows.

✅More streamlined process right inside their Trello boards.

“[Trello is] great for simplifying complex processes. As a manager, I can chunk [processes] down into bite-sized pieces for my team and then delegate that out, but still keep a bird's-eye view,” says Joey.

When you multiply the Partnership Team’s automation process across a whopping 60 cities, the time saved is invaluable. That speed, in turn, gets companies and volunteers quickly connected and ready to make an impact on women’s lives and technology as a whole.

Teamwork Is Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Image of women who code volunteers working together at a laptop

Joey estimates that most of the work surrounding their growth and launches (about 98%) is volunteer-led. Women Who Code excels at grassroots collabs: The nonprofit recently asked 50 new cities to create WWC networks, and expects 20 to launch already this year.

How long does it take to launch in a new city? Well, creating a network means: building a new, local team, curating company partnerships, planning events, coordinating all communications, and generally staying sane throughout the entire process.

For most, this would take years. For Women Who Code, this takes 6 months—tops.

That tight time crunch means the Partnership Team uses Trello to manage the launch process.

Spending time setting up Trello boards for all 50 cities during the launch process saves time in the long run. Instead of losing track of who is working on what or chasing down the ever-elusive email chain, everything is in one easy-to-search set of Trello boards.

WWCWomen Who Code, London Chapter at an Atlassian Customer Event

With Trello, streamlining Women Who Code’s crucial volunteer and network building process has been as painless as ever. The first step to a more equitable future for women in the tech sector means an easier way to manage it all.

A better process means Women Who Code can better support, advocate, and create opportunities. In other words: eliminate the barriers preventing women from thriving.


Next: How Do Developers Get Their Start? Trello's Success Stories

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