Finding Meaning (Grieving the Loss of PDXWIT)

Finding Meaning (Grieving the Loss of PDXWIT)

Guest blog post from Jana Hodgins, Program Manager at Xsolla

Trying to find community can be hard.

As a woman in tech and gaming, it’s essential for me to integrate with others who share my experience. One organization in particular, Portland Women In Tech (PDXWIT), consistently created spaces to help me battle imposter syndrome and have a voice in the complex problem solving for product, infrastructure, and development.

When the organization suddenly closed earlier this year, I was in denial. I felt lost and disheartened by being unable to help others find the same empowerment and safety I had found. And when I began bargaining, contemplating how we could organize the group based solely on volunteers, I remembered how grief can present itself in unexpected ways.

As many folks in our industries are laid off suddenly without a safety net, and rejections during months of unemployment take its toll, we must give ourselves permission to grieve from these losses. In the later stages of grief, with processing, we can come to terms with acceptance and finding meaning in the loss. A connection with others can give us the greatest meaning.

There is a sudden gap in the tech community in the greater Portland area. Thankfully, the Technology Association of Oregon is hosted a Womxn in Tech: A Workshop & Community Building Event on June 13th 5pm at Mineral, part of Mitratech at 100 SW Market Street.  

Womxn in Tech: A Workshop & Community Building Event on June 13th at Mineral, part of Mitratech

This event helped to create space for many different organizations supporting the tech space to meet curious folks who are looking for their next opportunity for belonging. And that belonging may be an intersectional solution, leveraging more than one group to provide the validation and comfort of shared experiences in tech. TAO currently has six additional subgroups - AI/data, Founders, Cybersecurity, HR/culture, Pride, Tech in Color - and the following groups were in attendance at the June 13th event:

Blacks in Tech

Chick Tech


Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Society for Information Management

Women in Cybersecurity

Girls Who Code

Women in Science

Woman in Big Data

Since it takes everyone a little time to warm up to a new group, an interactive workshop was led at the event all participants and groups connect with each other

to set an intention for 2024, led by Michelle Salvado, Executive Coach and Advisor.

I hope to see all participants and groups connect with each other to see what we can build together

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