Spotlighting Women at SXSW on International Women’s Day

Beauty Woman Silhouette with Hands in High holding a Rose for Women's Day, Vector IllustrationWomen@Austin has put together a list of events of interest to women at South by Southwest this year.

On International Women’s Day, it seems like a good time to share these resources and some more Silicon Hills News highlighted.

Jan Ryan, head of Women@Austin, put together a list of events and emailed them to members of the Women@Austin group to put a spotlight on women in technology at SXSW Interactive, the nation’s largest technology conference.

Diversity and inclusion are big topics at this year’s SXSW and many panels are devoted to them. It’s also a huge topic of discussion in the technology industry. That’s because less than three percent of venture capital goes to companies run by women, according to a 2014 report on women entrepreneurs by Babson College.

And even though women make up half the population and more than half the workforce, they are underrepresented in technology jobs.

“Just 12 percent of engineers are women, and the number of women in computing has fallen from 35 percent in 1990 to just 26 percent today,” according to a 2015 report by the American Association of University Women.

SXSW offers a great opportunity in which to talk about these issues and to explore more opportunities for women in technology.

Among the events Women@Austin spotlighted, was a gathering at the Dell Lounge, an interactive venue at Brass House at 115 San Jacinto Blvd. on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The event focuses on Women in Tech, Policy and Entrepreneurship and features Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Susan Brooks and Karen Quintos, Dell Chief Marketing Officer. They will discuss the role of public policy in empowering women entrepreneurs.

The following events were highlighted by Ryan of Women@Austin for SXSW:

Funding is always a big issue for any entrepreneur. On Friday, a panel on “Is the Venture World a Meritocracy” will take place in Salon D at the Hilton at 12:30 p.m. The featured speakers include Elizabeth Gore with Dell, Sara Brand with True Wealth Innovations and Lisa Lambert with Intel.

Jan Ryan, director of Women@Austin, courtesy photo

Jan Ryan, director of Women@Austin, courtesy photo

Entrepreneuring Austin Women on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in the Austin Chamber Offices at the Hilton. The panel features Kerry Rupp with True Wealth Ventures, Jan Ryan with Women@Austin, Laura Bosworth with TeVido Biodevices and Amy Millman with Springboard.

Take No Sh*t: Thrive as an XX in an XY World, Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Featuring Heather Brunner with WP Engine, Aaron Burcell with Vevo, Julie Huls with Austin Technology Council and Sara Spivey with BazaarVoice.

Lessons from Top Companies from Women Technologists, Monday at 12:30 p.m. , featuring Inhi Cho with IBM Analytics, Julian S Green with the Anita Borg Institute, Nancy Lee with Google and Shelly Swanback with Accenture Digital.

Afternoon Tea for Women in Tech put on by UK Trade & Investment at the Great Britain House on Monday at 2:00 p.m. Featuring Heather Brunner with WP Engine, Sara Brand with True Wealth Innovations and Nadya Powell with Sunshine, discussing female leadership in technology.

In addition, the following events might also be of interest to female entrepreneurs and everyone interested in diversity and how to be more inclusive.

On Sunday, Galvanize, Tech Inclusion and the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings initiative have come together to create a day long event featuring panel conversations, solo talks and networking opportunities on inclusion. Featured speakers include Megan Smith CTO of the U.S., Tracy Chou from Pinterest and Wayne Sutton co-founder of Tech Inclusion.

The Power of Perception: Media and Women in Tech on Sunday at 12:30 in Salon F of the Hilton. This discussion features Connie Guglielmo, editor in chief of CNET News, Elizabeth Ames, senior vice president of the Anita Borg Institute and Isis Anchalee, software engineer.

How to Recruit for Diversity and Achieve Inclusion on Monday in Salon 6
at the JW Marriott at 110 E 2nd St from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. This talk is by Ashley Doyal and Gina Helfrich, co-founders of recruitHER.

Helfrich also did this post on Medium listing even more diversity events and mixers taking place this week and throughout SXSW.

And an extra special bonus is the talk by First Lady Michelle Obama at SXSW Music on Wednesday to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today. SXSW will release the details of her talk soon.

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