The Tech Up for Women Conference, the annual forum designed to inform its audience about empowerment opportunities for women in all walks of business, was held as a virtual event this week, but it packed as formidable an informational punch as if it had been conducted in person, for attendees who tuned in.
Tech Up executives Dawn Pratt, Cecilia Hatton and Kathy Murray (our guest last week on a Dealerscope Insider Talk previewing the Conference) welcomed those tuning into this “big tent” event. “The only constant in life is change,” offered Pratt, citing the dramatically shifting national and global dynamics that shaped 2020. “Our core mission is to help people embrace change and empower women, through technology, to move with the changes.”
Among the many highlights of the convention were the Tech Up Power Talks – succinct presentations focusing on a broad scope of topics.
One Power Talk presenter, former Pfizer executive Sabina Ewing. emphasized that there was no better time than this COVID pandemic period to “‘tech up’ in information tech [IT].” She encouraged viewers to get up to speed by developing and increasing their “digital vocabulary” in IT to enhance their value, and to learn how technology is being used “in your space, whatever your space is.” Ewing also observed that companies who hadn’t invested in IT prior to COVID are “struggling more.” And she said that individuals who don’t “tech up” in IT will be left behind. She noted IT’s rising prominence as a career option. “The ‘guy in the rear with the gear’ is very yester-century,” she said, citing Labor Department stats which project that computer jobs will hit the four million mark by 2028 – but only 19 percent of those jobs can be filled by those receiving computer degrees today.
Khadija Mustafa of Microsoft presented on the opportunities and challenges posed with the rise of influence on business of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Where isn’t AI being applied?” she posed to viewers. “AI offers amazing opportunities, even for non-technical people,” she noted, saying how it can foster inclusion among many different professional walks of life. “This space needs ethicists, lawyers – many skill sets are needed to shape how society will use AI,” she said, adding that AI’s rise is creating “the perfect time to reinvent yourself.”
The vice president of Technology Development and 5G Labs for Verizon, Sanyogita Shamsunder, provided viewers with a 5G primer, detailing the potential of this technology and the many benefits it will bring. She provided easily relatable comparisons of 5G with 4G, using as the measure of its speed the time it takes to download a movie: 15 seconds, versus six minutes with 4G. The technology, she pointed out, also offers significant improvements in reducing network latency. Additionally, she said, U.S. carriers are building out hybrid networks that will make possible “different flavors” of 5G in terms of the levels of capabilities and services available. “There is more to come in the next three years,” she said.
For more information about this organization and its many activities, visit the website at www.techupforwomen.com.
(Photo: Pexels/Markus Spiske)