Emily Orosco Nuñez Lisanne van Engelen

Introducing FEMTech

June 2, 2018
This article appeared in Berkeley Engineer magazine, Spring 2018

Even though STEM classes are increasingly popular among undergraduate students, the balance of students is still overwhelmingly male in many of these courses. But FEMTech, Berkeley’s first interdisciplinary tech club for women and underrepresented students, aims to provide support for those interested in the tech world, regardless of their major or experience level. “It’s easy to say ‘It’s not for me, I’m not going to do this,’” said Emily Orosco Nuñez, club vice president and a third-year cognitive science major. “But with a group like FEMTech, it becomes ‘Yes, it’s hard, but keep with it.’ Having a support system is really important.”

FEMTech offers tutoring sessions, robotics workshops, speaker series and professional development workshops; this spring, members launched a DeCal class on web development aimed at students with little to no coding experience. But the group isn’t just for newbies. With about half of its members coming from computer science and engineering majors, the club provides opportunities for engineers and non-engineers alike to collaborate and network. “FEMTech is for all majors,” said Lisanne van Engelen, club president and a third-year electrical engineering and computer sciences student. “We need different ideas from those who are not in traditional tech majors but can still contribute to the tech field.”