FRC team 4118, Roaring Riptide has always been a safe space for me. It is where I made my first highschool friends, and the buildspace is where I go when I need cheering up. My teammates and I work to support each other's ideas, projects, concerns and interests. My team is full of people that want nothing more than for their teammates to grow, regardless of background or lifestyle, but that isn’t an atmosphere reached effortlessly. It is something that needs to be encouraged and cultivated in order to grow.
A female teammate recalls, “My first year on the team, two of my friends tried to work with the robot aspects of the team, but the technical lead roles were dominated by males and made it hard for them to get their voices heard on anything technical. This often ended up kinda forcing them to step away from the technical aspect of the team.” When talking to Alumni, they confirmed that it was a combination of strategy and determination to create and maintain the culture we have today. It was their concerns that led us to working towards a family-like atmosphere on our team.
A very big part of that is promoting female leadership in our team. Our largest move to do so was to create an all girls FTC team in 2020. The idea was to create a feeder team for Riptide. Girls could have a dedicated space to learn and gain confidence with engineering. When they felt ready, if they wished to, they could move to working on Riptide. We saw immediate results, with our team's leadership being majority female during the next FTC season, and remaining so up until this season, even as we incorporated all genders into our FTC team. We look forward to encouraging more girls in STEM and building our legacy as a diverse and dynamic team of engineers.
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