Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Why 175 women in tech took over the Washington Post last weekend

DC Web Women held its third annual Code(Her) Conference on Saturday. Here's a look at the happenings.

Mary Scotton keynotes the third annual Code(her) Conference.

(Photo via DC Web Women's Twitter)

Diversity is not the answer, said Mary Scotton at the third annual Code(Her) Conference. Inclusion is.
“How can we make sure everyone is included?” asked Scotton, a New Jersey-based evangelist for Salesforce who gave the conference’s keynote.
For the third year in a row, one of D.C.’s largest tech organizations for women brought together leaders in content strategy, UX/UI design and product management to share tools of the trade. On Saturday, DC Web Women and its 175 conference attendees took over the brand new Washington Post (who served as the event’s sponsor) offices on K Street for the Code(Her) Conference.
While women may run the world (thanks Beyonce), in the world of tech, women are still hard at work hacking the male-dominated space in order to achieve full immersion and inclusion.
That’s why events like Code(Her) exist: not only to bring women (and men) together to discuss these important issues, but to enhance skills and encourage non-traditional tech folks to pursue positions that they otherwise would not. And unlike many tech conferences that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend and that primarily focus on panel discussions with big thought leaders, the Code(Her) Conference is designed to empower attendees with new tools and techniques that they can immediately put into practice. With two-hour workshop blocks covering topics such as digital strategy, UX/UI design, application development for mobile and web and project management, the conference also featured keynote speakers at the opening, middle of closing of the conference.
We met three women who shared their excitement for attending Code(Her) and why they believe it’s important for women to success in the tech industry.

We talked to Scotton before her keynote.
“In my closing keynote, I’ll be discussing the skills I’ve learned in product design to grow the developer community and tips that others can use to grow their communities and make them more inclusive,” she said.

Regine Gilbert is a UX designer for Ralph Lauren and came from New York City to serve as a Code(Her) workshop presenter.
“I love speaking about user experience and accessibility,” Gilbert said.
During her workshop she shared her love for both and expressed why it is critical for us to all be mindful of others as we design and create both online and off.

Kristie George is a graphic designer for Edison Electric Institute and was excited to attend Code(Her) for a number of reasons. She wanted to meet some of the people she followed on Twitter and catch up with her friends in tech, but also to learn new skills.
“I took the workshop that discussed merging content strategy with UX, and the biggest thing I’ll walk away with is challenging myself to try new things,” she said.
And the day wouldn’t be complete without chatting with one of the women behind all of the Code(Her) magic, president of DC Web Women Sibyl Edwards.
Describing the conference as “exhilarating,” Edwards mentioned that DC Web Women was strategic in its partnership with The Washington Post.
“The Washington Post’s engineering and human resources departments were really excited about collaborating with us because of their commitment to diversity and eagerness to share new opportunities with our community,” Edwards said. “I’m already mulling over #CodeHer17, and how we can continue the Code(Her) experience outside of the conference, so stay tuned!”

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