Hi, Could you introduce yourself?
I'm Audrey Pe, 19 years old and the founder and executive director of WiTech (Women in Technology). Born and raised in the Philippines, I'm wrapping up my gap year before entering Stanford University this fall.
What are you working on?
Lately, I've been working on establishing partnerships for WiTech. It's been a lot of calls and cold emails during this lockdown. When I'm not doing that, I'm usually speaking at an online conference about how I founded WiTech and the challenges of leading a nonprofit as a teenager.
Could you tell us the story of WiTech?
WiTech is a youth-led nonprofit organization that aims to educate, inspire, and empower youth to break gender barriers and use tech to make a difference in society. I founded WiTech when I was 15 after experiencing a lack of support from my peers and teachers upon expressing my interest in tech. Four years later, we hosted the first women in tech conference for and by students in the Philippines and taught over 100 students how to code through our women in tech teach program.
What are your goals?
At WiTech, we work towards closing the gender and accessibility gaps in tech. This means we aspire for a future where all youth--regardless of their gender or socioeconomic status--have access to tech and the potential to use it for social good.
Do you have a mentor?
I have multiple mentors for different facets of my life! I really admire the women in tech that we feature on the WiTech blog and I get support from my Global Teen Leader mentor as well.
Do you mentor anyone?
Yes, I do! Outside of work calls, I make time to do 3-5 calls per week with youth who reach out to me via email or social media. We talk about college applications, starting a nonprofit, etc.
What could society do to better to foster female talent?
Removing gender stereotypes is one step that could help foster lots of female talent in STEM specifically. This will take time because it requires educating ourselves and those around us about gender stereotypes and microaggressions. Oftentimes, conversations wherein we correct others about sexist behaviour are difficult but necessary in the fight for gender equality.
Who do you follow? what blogs do you read?
I absolutely admire women like Michelle Obama and Reshma Saujani--both strong and powerful women of colour who inspired me to start my own initiative! I don't follow any specific blogs but enjoy reading publications like the Guardian and the Atlantic.
What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you’re doing?
To keep updated with my work and adventures as an incoming college freshman, you can follow me @audreyisabelpe on Instagram and Twitter!