Diversity & Inclusion
Women in tech

DCFemTech has a new leadership team

The four members of the leadership team have a diverse mix of experience. It marks the first time the grassroots group has transitioned leadership after a formal selection process.

Shannon Turner speaks at a DCFemTech event. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

After putting out the call to the community over the summer, DCFemTech has a new leadership team in place.

The members of the four-person team will take on the work to run the group, which was created in 2014 to provide support and amplify the work of women-in-technology groups in the DMV. That includes organizing events like Tour de Code and the DCFemTech Awards, as well as ensuring the mission and charting a course for the future. Each member will serve a one-year term.

The leadership team for 2018-19 includes:

  • Anika Gupta, who works as a digital product manager in media, and is new to DCFemTech.
  • Ally Palanzi, who has been with DCFemTech since 2014, contributing to website development and organizing events. She works at Nava.
  • Shannon Turner, the founder of Hear Me Code, which offers free, beginner-friendly coding classes for women in D.C.
  • Zuri Hunter, who taught herself Ruby on Rails while studying at Howard University, and went on to get involved with local chapters of Women Who Code and Black Girls Code.

The process was the first time that the organization went through a formal recruitment process for leaders, said cofounder Shana Glenzer, who will remain in an advisory role along with fellow cofounder Stephanie Nguyen. The leaders were chosen after the organization received applications from a diverse group of women, from longtime members to others who had never been to a meeting before. It resulted in a team that has a mix of experience as organizers, mentors and technologists.

“While DCFemTech leadership is growing, our mission will remain unaltered,” Glenzer said. That’s to “connect women who are in technical roles with each other so they can help to build tech and design careers.”

As the organizer of an initiative looking to help women in tech, Turner has been involved in the organization since the beginning.

“One of the great things about D.C. is just the sheer amount of talent that’s here. To me DCFemTech really does its best work by bringing that talent together,” Turner said.

One of the first events will be Inspire, which is designed to celebrate successes of women. Turner said she is also interested in creating smaller social events to create more connection.

Hunter said the team members are digging into how they can provide resources and opportunities to help other organizations grow. She said the individual members have also looked to take on specific functions. Many of the events and other pieces of the organization are already in place. Now the leadership team can do more.

“We want to broadcast even more, amplifying even more on what we do to help the entire unit,” Hunter said.

Companies: DCFemTech

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