Capable young women from across the Valley will be gathering at Axosoft’s Headquarters in North Scottsdale this weekend, July 18 and 19th, for the Inaugural #ItWasNeverADress STEAM Conference.
We’re excited to announce that Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will be kicking off the conference with Axosoft CEO Lawdan Shojaee. Miss Gilbert Lauren McBurnett, Miss Phoenix Kaitlin Vortherms, and Miss Understood Tania Katan will also be giving opening remarks. We have great speakers lined up for the two days; check out the full list of speakers.
Conference partner, CodaKid will be leading a 2.5 hour codathon. “CodaKid is thrilled to have been invited to lead the girls coding workshop for the #ItWasNeverADress STEAM Conference,” said David Dodge, CodaKid Founder and CEO.
“When we first sat down with Lawdan Shojaee and her team and began discussing the gender gap in tech, we knew that we had found a community partner that shared our vision to bring tech education to girls. I have been amazed to watch how quickly Lawdan and her team took a discussion about our workshop and have developed into a comprehensive event that combines tech education and mentoring.”
CodaKid believes that bridging the gender divide in tech is best accomplished early. That’s why they begin programs for girls as early as age six. Establishing the connection between coding and creativity is an essential part of their curricula, and they’ve found that young girls thrive when they engage them with creative expression and problem-solving. CodaKid’s team is dedicated to giving back to the community and their partnership with our #ItWasNeverADress campaign is the first of many girls coding workshops they plan to lead.
With over 1M unfilled coding jobs anticipated by 2020 and only a 25% female participation rate in the tech job sector, the stakes are more important than ever.
Our other conference partner, Girls in Tech, is the largest global organization in the sector, focused on recognizing women’s contributions to technology and promoting women in the workforce. With over 47 active chapters and approximately 22,000 members, the organization provides Global Classroom courses, coding and design boot camps, confidence-building and product development, entrepreneurial and leadership programming, business pitch competitions, hackathons, networking events, conferences, and sponsors young girls in high school and middle school to participate in STEAM workshops.
Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, was happy to support our conference after our extensive involvement in the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference earlier this year. She stated,
“Now more than ever, we’re focused on the future development of high-impact programming and curriculum to further enhance women’s professional aspirations in technology.”
Our conference sponsors also align with this mission. Osborn Maledon is thrilled to sponsor the first #ItWasNeverADress STEAM Conference! They told us, “Our attorneys work daily with entrepreneurs and educators in Arizona, as well as throughout the country.
Programs like this encourage and empower all of our children to dream big and never give up.
We hope that the conference will lead to attendees eventually founding their own companies or educational organizations, and anticipate that someday soon we will represent former attendees in achieving these dreams. We are happy to put on our own superhero capes to help out grass-roots, community programs like the STEAM Conference and look forward to supporting the positive change the results from it.”
General Dynamics Mission Systems said, “We’re excited to sponsor the #ItWasNeverADress STEAM Conference, supporting the development of the next generation of women leaders. It is never too soon to start exposing young women to the tools, mentors and resources to help ignite and sustain their interest in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
Since 80% of our high performing workforce is engineers, we are always looking to create ways to spark the interest of young people in STEAM careers.
The creativity and innovation of #ItWasNeverADress aligns with our company mission and ethos to develop innovative solutions to keep our country and our warfighters safe on land, underwater, in the air, in space and in cyberspace. As a Top 50 Employer for Women Engineers (Reader’s Choice Magazine 2015), we hope to see some of you as interns, and then as members of our team, bringing the innovation and collaboration you learn here to solving our customers’ tough problems.”
We are so appreciative of companies like Osborn Maledon and General Dynamics Mission Systems who have stepped up in a big way to support our conference. We would also like to thank Maricopa Corporate College, Allbound and KEO Marketing for their generous sponsorships and support!
Our in-kind sponsors: Giftcard Zen, Coplex, Arizona Technology Council, Northern Arizona center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, CBS, Digital Royalty, ASM, Super Chunk, Dilly’s Deli and Pita Jungle have all come together to show their support for advancing women in tech. Thanks to all of these generous sponsorships we are able to make this a totally free event with amazing speakers, hands-on workshops, and impressive backpacks filled with gifts from our sponsors.
Stay tuned for photos, videos, and more information after the conference!
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