Looking for WoC in tech? Look at Tech Intersections
To say there’s a shortage of tech conferences would be a lie. But to say there’s a shortage of tech conferences celebrating women of color wouldn’t be. We spent a recent weekend hanging with hundreds of women of color, all who work in the tech industry, at the first annual Tech Intersections conference.
Melanin was poppin’, we sipped on some tea (thank you, Erica Baker), and we had an entire day to learn from one another via workshops, talks, and networking. While we could go on about the importance of representation and celebrating those from all backgrounds (cough, everything we ever talk about), we’d rather show you. Check out our favorite moments below and if you wish you could have been here, we hope you’ll join us at the 5th San Francisco #LWTSUMMIT to celebrate LGBTQ+ women in tech and our allies this March! We’ll have QWOC meetups, hangouts, and of course, the most diverse speakers you’ve ever seen at a tech conference.
They really had 70+ WOC speakers. In tech. #whatPipelineProblem?
Erica Baker Set It Off
Erica is an OG techie and currently a Senior Engineering Manager at Patreon. She kicked off the event with tales of her adventures in tech, unsupportive managers, company changes, and how she’s finally thriving. We could listen to Erica talk all day, and while some of what she said made us and other wince as the memories of our own experiences flooded in, she’s nothing but real. And for that, we are thankful.
Leah McGowen-Hare is someone we all need in our life!
They may be of your color but they may not be of your kind.
They may be of your kind but they may not be your color.
Build up allies of all kinds.
Currently at Salesforce, Leah closed out the conference with a hilarious and meaningful story of her journey through careers. She emphasized finding yourself and reminded us that we’re all strong in our own ways, and once we figure out what our strengths are, that’s how we’ll make the career of our dreams.
There was a half-day workshop JUST FOR ALLIES!
Because being an ally is harder than slapping on a hashtag or showing up in a space. The workshop featured a skills training, how to fight hate speech, and a discussion between attendees and facilitators.
We were introduced to so many WoC in tech we’d never heard of!
Like Dr. Christianna Taylor, who inspired us all to be our own explorers. Also, she had us at ‘space’.
Speaker gifts included superhero capes and Legos!
Because 1. you’re never too old for Legos and 2. we’ve made it this far, we are superheroes.
Even the signage was positive and reinforcing!
We noticed everything from gender neutral bathrooms to positive posts on gender identities, being your authentic self, and general praise.
There were different conference tracks for different interests!
We were overwhelmed in the best way possible about all of the conference options. There were sessions for breaking into tech, business, community building, data analysis, developer skills, technological impacts, self-care, and user experience. We bounced between them all and we’re so glad we did.
At the end of the event we were so inspired and ready to take on the world, together. We’re counting down till Tech Intersections #2 and in the meantime, hoping our summit can reflect some of what we learned. If you don’t already have a ticket, secure one here and join us March 1st — 3rd for the 5th Annual and Anniversary Lesbians Who Tech and Allies Summit.