#WITSPHL is the Women In Tech Summit – Philadelphia. Today’s event was sold out months in advance!
I had the honor of speaking again at the Women In Tech Summit, founded by the amazing Gloria Bell and Tracey Welson-Rossman. It is difficult to find the words for this blog to explain how amazing these women are.
The Women In Tech Conference is one of a series of events that inspire, educate and connect women in the technology industry. The goal of the events is to support the community of women currently working in technology and to help pave the way for women who want to enter the industry. It is the only women in technology conference that provides a combination of deep-dive, hands-on tech workshops as well as information and discussions about careers in technology and how to pursue them. All profits support TechGirlz.org. This is exciting for me because we are currently working on rolling out TechGirlz into the Great Valley School District. I am so proud of the first high school student that is paving the way.
The Women In Tech Conferences started in 2011. I have tried hard to be available to present in some form every year and show my support. I just found this post from the 2012 event that I had never seen before – Vicki I am sorry but this made my cry with joy!
Now back to the Women In Tech Conference today. It started this morning at 8:30 am on a snowy (yes snowy) Saturday in April when I watched the funniest keynote presentation from Eloise Young. She is the Chief Information Officer of the Philadelphia Gas Works. Her presentation was so funny and it took me for a walk down memory lane…… being called out in the middle of the night to fix cics/cobol/DBII on a IBM3090. She made me feel like this was yesterday. She is a mom too and she described finding that family balance and the extra work she had to put in to achieve this but made no excuses or had any regrets.
Next at 10:00 am we heard from the amazing Cecily Kellogg. I love her honesty and appreciated her panel’s candor. The panel was called Shifting Careers: Changing Gears or Changing Lanes. Cecily was awesome as usual as the moderator. Seema Thomas made me proud to be a SAP alumni, giving other SAP employees credit for all their support in developing her career. Beah Burger-Lenehan had amazing lessons learned and Katy Thorbahn was a most inspirational panel presenter who said exactly what I needed to hear today.
At 11:40 am it was our panel called, How to Get Your Startup Off the Ground and Attract Investors.
It was moderated by Ellen Weber who serves as the Executive Director of Temple University’s Fox School of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship. She is also the Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures. She was nicely complemented by Nisa Amoils an angel investor, adviser and former entrepreneur and a member of New York Angels.
I was nervous to be seated between Yasmine Mustafa the CEO of ROAR for Good, a B-corp aimed at helping protect women using smart jewelry and education. She is also the co-leader of Girl Develop It Philadelphia, a non-profit organization aimed at lessening the gender gap in technology. In addition, she sits on the board of Coded by Kids, that helps inner city youth learn how to code. Seated to my right was Nikki Johnson- Huston who is a frequent speaker on how she overcame a life of poverty and homelessness to become a successful attorney. In 2015 she launched “Donafy”, a micro-philanthropy iPhone app that allows citizens to locate and donate to nearby non-profit organizations that help people in need of emergency housing, food, medical care, mental health, job training and Legal Services. The app also allows citizens an opportunity to notify a non-profit organization that a homeless person at that location is in need of services.
I know all the panel members hope that it was a useful session.
Sadly because of the snow I had to leave early but managed to catch the beginning of Lois Bruckner’s presentation, another speaker that makes me proud to be a SAP alumni. Her topic was The Internet of Things but I was right to leave take a look at the drive home!