Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Advice from 5 powerful women in Philly tech

PACT honored women-led companies and female tech executives at its foundation breakfast this year. Here's some of the knowledge they dropped.

At the 2016 PACT Foundation breakfast.

(Courtesy photo)

For the second year in a row, PACT honored women in tech for its annual PACT Foundation gathering.
Last year, part of the proceeds from the Foundation Luncheon went to AWE Ventures, the crowdfunded investment fund for women-led companies, and TechGirlz, the youth education nonprofit run by Tracey Welson-Rossman.
This year, the group featured a slate of powerful women in technology. (Part of the proceeds again went to AWE Ventures.) Roughly 300 people attended, said PACT CEO Dean Miller.
“It was truly a celebration of female leadership in the world of technology,” Miller wrote to us. “We had a wonderful set of speakers/panelists led by Jennifer Morgan, President of SAP, and the audience was especially diverse (primarily gender) with the women entrepreneurs and executives making up the majority of the audience.”
PACT, the trade organization that runs two major Philly tech conferences (IMPACT and Phorum), is an institutional leader in the Philly tech scene, so its leadership on this issue is important. In 2014, we reported that just two IMPACT speakers out of 38 were women. Last year, that number rose to 10 out of 50 speakers, including, full disclosure, this reporter. We’re looking forward to seeing PACT make more strides in this space. One possible way to do that: feature women alongside men instead of hosting a specific event to celebrate women.


Here’s some wisdom from the women honored at the PACT Foundation Breakfast, as per PACT spokeswoman Amanda Nardi. We were especially struck by Morgan’s quote, when speaking about a leader’s responsibility to build a diverse team: “When you ask the question, you create awareness,” she said. “This is contagious.”
“You have to create visibility. You cannot depend on someone else for career advancements.” — Denice M. Hasty, Senior Vice President, Business Marketing and Product Management, Comcast Cable
“Learn how to listen more and talk less.” — Lisa McCann, Principal, Vanguard
“Traits necessary for success: Intellect, confidence and the ability to influence.” — Adele Oliva, cofounder and partner, 1315 Capital
“We are more aware of implicit bias but the follow-through is difficult.” — Jayatri Das, Chief Bioscientist, Franklin Institute


Companies: PACT
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