As time moves forward, we are seeing more and more diverse platforms take center stage at tech conferences. Well, here is another. Tech Intersections, a tech conference for Womxn of Color in Computing, is an affordable conference for underrepresented womxn of color in technology to come together, share ideas, and learn from each other’s successes, challenges, and experiences. “Womxn” is inclusive of femme/feminine-identifying gender-queer, trans women, and cis-women. The conference will be held at Mills College on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, and will feature the voices of more than 60 womxn of color.
It was founded by Maira Benjamin, Tiffany Price, Ellen Spertus, and Idalin Bobé, and addresses the needs of underrepresented womxn of color who rarely see a fair and accurate representation of their identities in the workplace, especially in higher ranking positions.
So why the need for this? Existing technology conferences, even those specifically designed for women, often have few underrepresented women in attendance and as speakers, especially as experts on technical topics. Additionally, technology conferences are typically unaffordable, creating a financial barrier to those interested in entering — and growing within — the industry. Tech Intersections addresses these concerns by offering subsidized tickets to individuals who would otherwise miss this unique event.
“This conference is important to womxn of color because we want to come together to claim our rightful place as pioneers in the technology and computing industry,” said Idalin Bobé, founder of TechActivist.Org and co-organizer of the Tech Intersections Conference.
In addition to providing a home for underrepresented womxn of color, the conference has created the Ally Skills workshop for those who do not identify, but are committed to becoming better allies. The Interactive Ally Skills training will be led by Kim Tran and Willie Jackson of ReadySet Consulting, an Oakland-based firm led by Y-Vonne Hutchinson.
According to a recent release, the 2019 Tech Intersections conference will host over 250 womxn of color and offer 40 sessions, including keynote sessions by Sara Echohawk Pawnee, CEO of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the CyberCode Twins, America and Penelope Lopez. Sessions range from technical workshops on open source technology, virtual reality, application security, product design to panel discussions covering topics on how to raise your first million in venture capital, career skills, social impact, and more.
“Mills College is proud to be a platinum sponsor and host of this new conference as part of our ongoing commitment to address the need for diversity in the technology sector,” said Mills President Elizabeth L. Hillman, noting that Mills was the first women’s college to offer a computer science major (way back in 1974).
The conference takes place on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy, Mills College: 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, California
The organization is also offering a sliding fee schedule for those who may not be able to afford it, but still want to attend. For more information, click here.