LIVINGSTON, NJ — While taking various courses in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Livingston teen Molly Cantillon and Millburn teen Melanie Herbert recognized a gender gap in technology and entrepreneurship that they aspire to fill through an organization they recently established together.
GirlTechBoss, now a recognized 501©3 non-profit organization, was developed from Cantillon and Herbert’s experience competing on the same VEX robotics team and taking technical classes together. Sharing a mission to “empower other girls to pursue STEM and entrepreneur ship,” the two girls started the organization in the summer of 2019 with the vision of creating a platform for girls to learn from and be inspired by.
Since then, they have helped hundreds of girls with interests in STEM and entrepreneurship both online and by providing hands-on resources. With multiple social media pages, a YouTube channel and soon-to-be-released online courses, GirlTechBoss has developed an online platform that girls from all across the world can access and connect with for free.
"Being able to teach these girls something that they normally aren’t exposed to is a very self-rewarding experience in itself," said Cantillon.
In addition to their more than 12,000 views on YouTube and more than 750 followers on social media, the girls have also raised more than $1,000 to help empower the next generation of women and have impacted nearly 500 young women through their initiatives.
Cantillon and Herbert also instruct monthly robotics seminars, hackathons and "STEMprenur" panel talks for a local Girl Scouts troop and recently launched a YouTube series where they interview female STEM entrepreneurs about their experiences in the industry.
Most recently, the co-founders interviewed Bethany Bongiorno, a previous Software Program Director at Apple and now the chief executive officer of her own technology startup called “Humane.”
"It's an amazing experience to be able to talk to and learn from such accomplished women," said Herbert. "It is really inspiring to hear about these women taking risks and spearheading new technologies."
Although an event that they had scheduled in New York City this March had to be postponed due to the pandemic, Cantillon and Herbert said they remain optimistic about their plans and have decided to expand their online platform by offering free virtual courses in Xcode (app development) and Scratch programming.
For more information, visit their website at https://www.girltechboss.com/.