Technology is easily seen as a boy’s club, but Telisa Daughtry is dedicated to changing that thought.
She wants to let the world know that you don’t have to be a stereotypically “geeky boy” to be an IT- genius with an itch for automation. She is building the bridge to fill the gap between women and girls and the TECH world with her online community FlyTechnista.
“The purpose of the platform is to help woman and girls become confident creators and innovators of technology. As of right now there is a widening gap in this field, so it was important to me to solve it,” she explained.
Providing resources to women in girls in the categories of education and opportunities, FlyTechnista is a literal door and window to women and girls with an interest in technology. For those as young as five or six years old all through high school, Telisa’s platform is educating girls in a field she loves to shape the new leaders of tomorrow.
Before launching her platform, her passion for technology landed her an opportunity with a prestigious technology company. Due to their lack of businesses wanting to change the poor representation of women in the technology realm, she declined.
Telisa felt it was better to put her own vision to work rather than having to force this topic on her future employers.
“I wanted to do it, but it didn’t have a name at the time. I started to call myself a FlyTechnista because the thought actually came from the thought that you know, you can still be in technology and be fly,” she explained. “I wanted to disrupt that stereotype that women have to dress like dudes or look like slobs to be taken seriously with their technical skills.”
Upon first starting her business, the plan was for FlyTechnista to work as a non-profit organization. But after joining an accelerator program, there was doubt her business would be scalable.
This doubt only made Telisa consider expanding FlyTechnista into a different realm of opportunity, focusing more on the development and empowerment of women and girls in TECH.
“It’s for technical and non-technical levels because we need women and girls to become confident creators and innovators. Steve Jobs wasn’t technical but he was an innovator, and he was the CEO and founder of the most innovative technology company, and he didn’t have any technical skills,” she said.
Being a black woman with an idea to connect technology to women has proven to be a surmountable challenge. Investors have been hesitant to align their dollars with African Americans, and such an issue made Telisa’s process of starting FlyTechnista a little more challenging.
Her dream to help women couldn’t be overshadowed by the negatives, she does not rely on funding on outside investors.
“I really feel that it definitely is a boys club. I pitch my ideas to inventors, mentors, and various people who don’t look like me and because they didn’t look like me or they weren’t a woman they didn’t get it. But even with that you kind of attract your tribe eventually, so the right people do find their way to you,” Telisa said.
With a growing business, Telisa is doing all she can to make her dreams become reality and is determined to help women and girls expand in technology.