The fifth annual Tech Up For Women conference, which was held online last month, featured panels on how women can use tech for their current or future careers. In addition to women in the tech field speaking about their experiences in the industry, the conference also provided learning sessions on technology and networking opportunities.
Before the event began, attendees received a warm welcome from the women behind the Tech Up For Women team: Dawn Pratt, Cecilia Hatton, and Kathy Murray. The event kicked off with Donetta Campbell from the Social Architects, a public relations agency, and she spoke about social media and how it is a powerful resource in the tech industry.
“The secret to building your brand on social media is to appear authentically and connect to the community around the virtual water cooler,” said Campbell. “Social media is like a team-building exercise”.
Campbell went on to say that companies now have the power of social media to elevate their brands and spread awareness, giving them multiple opportunities to grow. She mentioned when companies like and share each other’s posts on social media it doesn’t go unnoticed, and it encourages people to be generous with others and to not be afraid to interact because it could lead to future connections. Liking and sharing posts or looking up specific hashtags can help connect you to an online community that share the same interests. She used the #techupforwomen as an example and said that by using or searching the hashtag can bring anyone to posts about the conference or help them find women who have spoken at or attended the conference before. This makes it easier to find a community that will engage with your tech related posts.
Diversity in technological innovations is important and in the panel “Enabling Smarter Tech For All,” Marshae Mansfield and Emily Ketchen from Lenovo touched on this matter. Ketchen spoke about the Lenovo Think Reality A6 smart glasses, which were developed with the help of diverse test groups. This means its product was tested on people from different races so it wouldn’t have problems when someone with a darker skintone tried to use it. Another product, Lenovo Voice, was tested by people with different tones of voice, speech impediments, and accents as well so the device would have no problems when trying to understand its users.
“Better business and innovation results when tech is accessible to all, “said Ketchen. The factor of being inclusive is something that businesses should strive for if they wish for success.
The world of tech is constantly changing and growing at a rapid pace, but one issue people neglect is security. Dr. Alissa Abdullah (Dr. Jay), Chief of Security at Mastercard, educated attendees on what signs to look for to avoid scammers. She explained that different types of scams are everywhere through phone calls, texts, and emails.
“Don’t answer to unknown numbers because then they will know there’s a person on the other line and the number of unknown calls and texts will increase,” said Dr. Jay. She advised that even when receiving phishing emails, unsubscribing is bad because that is another indicator that a person is on the other end. All companies need to educate their employees to avoid scams since cyber attacks and security breaches can happen to anyone.
The amount of information shared during Tech Up For Women was inspiring and all the speakers encouraged women to not be afraid of working in the tech field.
“The pandemic has been hard on women because they had to drop out of the workforce due to taking care of their children at home and COVID,” said Jessica Jensen, CMO of Indeed. The future of technology can’t excel without diversity and inclusion so women should take a leap of faith and see where a career in technology could lead them. Barbara Humpton from Siemens USA said, “Our tech is only as powerful as the people behind it.” The conference ended by encouraging women to join the male-dominated tech industry because tech is made for everyone.