The Women in Tech Summit (WITS) was originally meant to be a local, one-time event. Instead, over the past decade, it’s grown to an annual series reaching multiple regions around the U.S. with hundreds of attendees — women working in technology, entrepreneurship and engineering all talking technical career development.
In 2020, in light of the pandemic, the org moved to virtual programming, and followed that path with its spring 2021 summit in March.
But for the rest of this year, its leaders announced this week, it’s celebrating its 10th year with a mix of virtual and hybrid events. The announcement comes about two months before the slate of events for its fall 2021 virtual summit, to be held between Oct. 20 and Oct. 22.
“While we were looking forward to holding WITS in person in 2021, things are still uncertain and we don’t want our attendees to miss out on the WITS experience or risk having to cancel or postpone any live events,” organizers wrote in a recent announcement.
WITS will celebrate its decade of community on Oct. 22, during the fall summit, with a limited-capacity in-person event at the Science History Institute. The event will also be streamed.
“Watching our small local event grow into a truly impactful national conference and hearing the stories from the thousands of women who have taken away new skills, connections, friendships, and jobs from participating has been one of the most rewarding and inspiring experiences of my career,” cofounder Gloria Bell said.
The fall 2021 schedule is already available online. The summit will involve workshops, keynote speakers, trend talks and sessions focused within the “innovate yourself” theme. Speakers are tuning in from across the country, with representation from large corporations such as Accenture, Apple and Salesforce as well as local technologists from orgs such as Exyn Technologies and the tech education nonprofit TechGirlz.
The first two days of the three-day conference feature a mix of sessions, while Friday, Oct. 22, is full of hands-on workshops, like “Build a strategy to improve customer experience with bots” and “Inclusive design: A design thinking and digital prototyping workshop.”
The WITS is also putting a call out for speaking proposals from those looking to share experience and expertise with other women in the virtual summit or via monthly WITS Connect series. The call for speaking proposals is open through Oct. 15.
Tickets for the fall summit are $149 for regular attendees or $49 for students. Anyone can donate a ticket, if they choose, and proceeds go to the org’s long-time partner, TechGirlz.
“The ability for the girls to participate in TechShopz at WITS events, for our teens to attend, and for TechGirlz to engage with the WITS community, including gaining new volunteers, continues to be an integral part of TechGirlz’s growth,” said Amy Cliett, TechGirlz director, in a statement. “We are excited to be celebrating 10 years of WITS and looking forward to a long future partnership.”
There are momentous seconds in your career. The ones that make you stop and catch your breath and reflect on what you have built, the impact you have had. A few minutes ago, hitting send on the email announcing this was one of those moments. #womenintech https://t.co/CFnGOYWfyn pic.twitter.com/xreGmd1ITt
— Gloria Bell (@gloriabell) August 17, 2021