#WeArePioneers: How Wonder Woman Tech 2016 Disrupts the Conference Model

Wonder Women Tech not only disrupted the traditional conference model but innovatively changed the way conferences should be held.

Some of the most powerful and influential women in the technology field were present at Wonder Women Tech’s annual conference held at the Long Beach’s Convention Center on July 15-17, 2016. Healthcare professionals from Molina Healthcare, astronauts from NASA, community leaders from local and international nonprofits, and engineers from Java are just some of the people that gathered to discuss and learn women’s growth in technology. Speakers presented on a wide range of topics including diversity and inclusion in company hiring processes to thinking like an astronaut and Latin@s in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math). Simultaneously, leaders in STEAM ran workshops that covered an even wider range of topics like how to incorporate an inclusive culture in communication, how to live your best life, and how to plan your journey to executive.  

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Avoiding Mass Exodus: Keeping Women in Technology Panel. From left to right: Natasha Awasthi, Principal Business Designer and Sr. Product Manager at Collective Health; Punam Nagpal, Product Manager at Cisco; Heather VanCura, Group Director of Java Community Process at Oracle; Meera Bhatia, VP of Product Management at Stella & Dot Family Brands; and  Maira Benjamin, Director of Engineering at Pandora

 

The non-profit’s mission is to ‘disrupt the conference model’ and create a shift in diversity and inclusion within STEAM industries by offering revolutionary content and impactful discussions that will further the development of women, girls and diversity as innovators. From their registration and mobile app to their innovative guests and workshops, Wonder Women Tech not only disrupted the traditional conference model but innovatively changed the way conferences should be held. They did this by diversifying its speakers, panels and workshops by including underrepresented population of people and talking about tangible changes in the systems that dominate the technology fields. Not only did it show case all the great women and their work in the tech field, but it also talked about fundamental issues of social equality and how to bridge social change with tech innovation.

One valuable take away from the conference was tangible ways men can be allies to women in STEAM industries. Heather VanCura, Group Director of Java Community Process at Oracle, shared with us the Top 10 Ways to Ally for Women in Tech. She says that one important way men can ally for women in tech is for men and women in executive positions to be aware of assignment distribution. She urges that they make sure women and men have equitable projects and distribution of leadership, a clear distribution of “housework” and “real work.”

One of the most unique things about the conference was its #InvestInABoss Pitch Competition where female founders in STEAM got to pitch their ideas to a team of influential people in tech. The winners received assistance to fund their idea, exposure through social media and press, guidance to run their idea, and more. We eagerly wait to hear and see the winners of this year’s competition.

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Attendee Diode de Dios at NASA: Think Like An Astronaut Panel

 

Women in tech and STEAM, consider publishing your work in one of our journals that match your aims and scopes. At JSciMed Central, we value and uphold principles of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and equal representation in published scholarly work. Click here to see the journals we offer: https://www.jscimedcentral.com/journals.php