Women and other gender minorities in the workforce, especially in the tech industry, often write emails with a lack of confidence or an overcompensation of apologies. As a result, they often diminish and undermine their well-deserved achievements, which further creates a gender divide in the workforce. We wanted to bridge this gap by creating a project that would help women and other gender minorities feel more confident as they write.

What it does

vera is a chrome extension that checks for commonly used words and phrases that indicate uncertainty or a lack of confidence. Examples of such phrases include "sorry", "maybe", "I think", "I was wondering", and more. When such phrases are detected while a user is typing, vera highlights these phrases and offers suggestions and advice on how to write more confidently when the user hovers over these highlights with their mouse. This extension is mostly targeted towards gender minorities who may have trouble being confident in the workforce due to the underrepresentation they face.

How we built it

We built this chrome extension using JavaScript! The manifest.json file ensures that the extension can be loaded onto chrome. The JavaScript file handles the functionalities of the extension such as searching for commonly used phrases indicating uncertainty within text that is actively being edited, highlighting such phrases if they appear, and giving advice and suggestions when the mouse hovers over any of the highlighted phrases.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into was figuring out how chrome extensions work! Since we did not have any experience with building chrome extensions, we had to take some time to research how they work!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud that we managed to create a working chrome extension within such a short time frame and with no prior experience in creating chrome extensions! Additionally, we're proud of the stunning logo that was completely and originally designed by Ava. We're also proud that we created a project to help gender minorities write confidently and feel empowered.

What we learned

We learned that time management, communication, and collaboration are key to success!

What's next for vera

Next steps for vera would include a cleaner popup that appears when the mouse hovers over highlighted text, catching more phrases and words that indicate uncertainty and a lack of confidence, and perhaps including links to educational resources to further the discussion on empowerment for gender minorities.

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