Members of the new Jacksonville chapter of Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship enjoy the chapter's first meeting Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Wicked Barley in Jacksonville. l Steven Ponson WJCT News 89.9.Members of the new Jacksonville chapter of Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship enjoy the chapter's first meeting Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Wicked Barley in Jacksonville. l Steven Ponson WJCT News 89.9.
Members of the new Jacksonville chapter of Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship enjoy the chapter's first meeting Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Wicked Barley in Jacksonville. l Steven Ponson WJCT News 89.9.

New group helps women in tech and entrepreneurship

Published on February 22, 2024 at 11:18 am

A new organization has come to Jacksonville to bring much-needed help for female entrepreneurs and women in the tech industry.

The Jacksonville chapter of Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship held its first meeting Tuesday evening, bringing together about 17 women with diverse backgrounds.

Jacksonville Today thanks our sponsors. Become one.

The organization is relatively new to Florida. Raechel Canipe, the founder and CEO, created the organization in 2022 and has developed chapters in Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and now Jacksonville.

“We have been on a resolute mission to resource ambitious women all over the state of Florida with access to community, networking, near peer mentorship and educational opportunities, but without the financial barriers of traditional networking groups,” Canipe said.

Canipe said she created the organization to help women succeed after experiencing many issues during her decade-plus in the tech industry Those issues ranged from lack of representation to cultural issues and sexism.

Article continues below
Jacksonville Today thanks our sponsors. Become one.

“I’ve always expected that these conditions would improve over time, and certainly they have, but not to the extent that we need to see to encourage women’s full participation in spaces like tech and entrepreneurship,” Canipe said.

She said having more women participate can lead to more impactful products and businesses that can benefit a wider range of people in society.

Members of the new chapter feel there was a need for a professional organization like this in Northeast Florida. Camille Wilson, the chapter’s co-chair, said she has been in Jacksonville for 15 years and has never seen any other group that has focused on women in this way.

“There are other communities out there for women, but they aren’t there for the tech side and the tech side is such a lonely world for women,” Wilson said.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women hold 22.9% of jobs in computer, engineering and science in Duval County. Compared to metro areas where Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship has chapters, only Orange County has a lower rate of jobs held by women — 22.3%.

If you are interested in joining the organization’s Jacksonville chapter, you can go to its LinkedIn page. There is a “sign-up” icon at the top.

Lead image: Members of the new Jacksonville chapter of Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship enjoy the chapter’s first meeting Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Wicked Barley in Jacksonville. l Steven Ponson WJCT News 89.9.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.