90. Nina Marie Barbuto- Founder & Director of Assemble

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“We have to keep lifting each other and everyone not at the table up until we can really say we see everyone there.”


Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.


There are no typical days. Every day is new and different. Most days are filled with meetings, running our programs, doing the work that makes those programs possible, and building connections with people.


How do you stay passionate in your career?


Always feeling (and knowing) more can be done.


Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?


Nope. My academic background is architecture, with both a B.Arch and a M.Arch. Architecture is also a tech job and uses coding, modeling, and more. Now, I am focused on the learning aspect of Architecture, technology, and art. No matter the age, we are always learning about new forms of art and technology. There will always be a new language or platform to work with.


Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?


Google Calendar and the gsuite also Photoshop/Adobe creative suite. Quickbooks is also an important software.


It’s common knowledge that women often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?


Yes. I internalized it at the time. Now I am handling it by collectively building an inclusive workplace.


What’s your favorite thing about being a woman in tech?


Technology is a human thing. Women and femme identified people have always been creating with technology as well as creating new tech and improvements. Something about being a femme-identified/presenting person in the tech landscape is connecting with other people and helping them to overcome barriers and challenges. We have to keep lifting each other and everyone not at the table up until we can really say we see everyone there.


How have you given back to the WIT community?


I used to run the Carnegie STEM Girls programs at Carnegie Science Center. I helped start the STEM Stars program. At Assemble, we have our Girls Maker Night and Gigi’s Lab Girls, both girl-identified programs focused on STEAM learning and connecting with STEAM professionals.


What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?


Document all the things you work on and give yourself time to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what you would do next time. Also, ask as many questions as you need.


Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year.


I have no idea… I helped write our employee handbook… Is that too nerdy?



Favorite quote:


“Media that can’t be changed is media that is broken.”

-Benjamin Bratton