HCA Healthcare Heroes: Sasha Pickett Gives Girls a Boost in IT

Business woman standing in front of school

“You can’t be what you can’t see.” So, Sasha Pickett, manager of digital services for HCA Healthcare’s Information Technology and Services (IT&S), launched a local movement to diversify, and ultimately, change the face of technology. In 2013, with the green light from HCA Healthcare’s Chief Information Officer Marty Paslick, she founded IT Girls – a mentoring program that pairs women in technology at our Nashville-based headquarters with young ladies at John Overton High School.

The three-year effort to raise girls’ awareness of career opportunities in technology has led to nearly 500 budding female techies in Middle Tennessee. And Pickett – the force behind IT Girls – has recruited nearly 50 HCA Healthcare IT&S women to serve as mentors for, what was initially opened to freshmen girls only, but since has expanded to sophomores and juniors at Overton High.

“Information technology deserves a workforce assembled of and driven by the best talent in today’s market – that includes women,” the 11-year IT&S staffer said. “My goal is to encourage these young women, like I do with my three daughters, that you can do anything you want in this world. There are many rewarding careers in IT, and just because you may not have seen a woman in that role, does not mean it is out of reach.”

Pickett and other mentors use dedicated volunteer hours for IT Girls through HCA Healthcare’s year-round Caring for the Community effort, which encourages corporate employees to give back to the community, and by doing so, become eligible for mini-grants to their charity of choice. In three years, the IT&S mentors, including Pickett, who won HCA Healthcare’s top community service award in 2015, have logged over 1,200 volunteer hours at Overton High.

The IT Girls program started at the Metro-Nashville public school, but the story doesn’t end there. During this academic year, Pickett organized a “Day in the Life” event for the school’s sophomore IT Girls at HCA Healthcare. The girls spent a half-day on the corporate campus, job shadowing IT&S employees in web design, programming and networking.

“The girls benefit from meeting with their mentors at Overton,” Pickett said, “but a trip to HCA Healthcare gives them a glimpse into the professional world and inspires them when they actually see that there are girls in IT.”

Because “you can’t be what you can’t see.”

We’re proud to present the newest HCA Healthcare Hero – Sasha Pickett, for her work with IT Girls and the Nashville tech community.

HCA Healthcare internal audience can view the video here

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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