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Trojan Tribune

The Student News Site of Soddy Daisy High School

82° Soddy-Daisy, TN

Trojan Tribune

Trojan Tribune

Women Supporting Women In Tech

Co-founder of Gig City Girls, Michelle Bettis, brings in three successful SDHS alumni to share their stories of being influential women in STEM
Pictured+Left+to+Right%3A%0AAnna+Fisher%2C+Michelle+Bettis%2C+%26+Jessica+Gann
Emma Tolley
Pictured Left to Right: Anna Fisher, Michelle Bettis, & Jessica Gann

Women are struggling to level the playing field after years of underrepresentation in the field of technology. According to Jessica Hubbert from Exploding Topics, “Women currently hold only 26.7% of tech-related jobs.” There has been a recent push for women in STEM in the recent years because they deserve equal opportunities in the workplace.

Michelle Bettis, co-founder of Gig City Girls and employee of Hamilton County Schools, arrived to celebrate Soddy Daisy High School Alumni Trudy Harper, Anna Fisher, and Jessica Gann for their successes being pioneers for women in STEM.

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, Bettis along with Gig City Girls decided to bring back a handful of women who have graduated from Hamilton County and gone on the be influential women in their careers. They are meant to be a beacon of hope for all future women in STEM.

Gig City Girls is a recent organization meant to provide much needed funding, materials, and mentors to young women hoping to go into IT. “Gig City Girls gives female students the opportunity to learn critical skills in coding, robotics, and STEM by providing teachers and mentors with easy to use lessons and activities that engage students at every level!”

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Trudy Harper:

Trudy Harper (Emma Tolley)

Trudy Harper is a 1979 graduate of Soddy Daisy High School. She also attended Soddy Daisy Junior High and Soddy Elementary Schools. Ms. Harper earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University. She received a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. She is now a retired President of Tenaska Power Services Co, one of the largest deregulated energy companies in the nation.

“Studying electrical engineering was tough – and I was as tough for the men as it was for me. It’s important to realize that a challenging field of study should result in a rewarding career, no matter your gender. STEM fields all involve problem-solving, and those skills will be valuable no matter what career you ultimately select. My engineering education gave my career a great start, and from there I could move into management, ultimately becoming the President of a start-up company that grew to over a billion dollars a year in revenue.” – Trudy Harper

Anna Fisher:

Anna Fisher (Emma Tolley)

Anna Fisher is a 1998 graduate of Soddy Daisy HIgh School. Ms. Fisher also attended Soddy Daisy Middle School and Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, Ms. Fisher is the Manager of the Ash and Groundwater permitting group with TVA. As part of her responsibilities in this role, she and her group oversee TVA’s ash landfills, by monitoring and reporting on groundwater around landfills.

“I truly fell in love with Math in high school Algebra. I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to be independent and self-sufficient. I was often the only girl in my college classes. However, the word is out: girls are smart and driven! Don’t be intimidated by boys in this field, embrace all the different people and help each other.” – Anna Fisher

Jessica Gann:

Jessica Gann (Emma Tolley)

Jessica Gann is a graduate of Soddy Daisy High School. She is a Certified Internet Webmaster and works as an IT Manager of Planning for a local power producer.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein

“This quote is significant to me because, in computer science, it really does task you with being creative and using your imagination in conjunction with your knowledge. In information technology, there is always more than one way to accomplish the goal, so it allows you to use your imagination and be creative to get there! Never a dull moment!” – Jessica Gann

Each of these women have made a name for themselves in a male-dominated field, and came back to their home of Soddy Daisy High School to inspire future women in tech to follow in the footsteps. They got the opportunity to discover the improvements of coding and computer science classes in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tech Academy.

Michelle Bettis concluded, “For all graduates I would just encourage them to be open-minded about what career they might be interested in. here are lots of positions in coding and IT and computer science that are very helpful and I think that that’s something that girls need to really hear.”

 

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About the Contributor
Emma Tolley
Emma Tolley, Co-Editor/Reporter
Emma Tolley is a second year journalist and news editor for the Soddy Daisy High School Newspaper. She is an active member of the SDHS Marching Trojans and woodwind captain of the band. She is also involved in many school related programs such as National Honors Society, Beta Club, and one of the managers of Common Grounds.
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