For four years, a conference focused on bringing women in technology together has been growing in Philadelphia. This fall, the Women in Tech Summit will begin heading to other East Coast cities.
The first summit outside of Philly will be held at the University of Baltimore on Sept. 26. The daylong session is part of Baltimore Innovation Week.
The summit comes at a time of considerable energy around expanding access and inclusivity in Baltimore’s tech industry, which ranked 12th nationwide for women in the tech workforce in a recent SmartAsset report.
Throughout the year, Baltimore has events organized by groups like the Baltimore Women in Computing meetup, the local Girl Develop It chapter and Bmore on Rails, with its women’s workshop in February. National organization EdTechWomen also has roots in Baltimore through cofounder Margaret Roth.
Women in Tech Summit Operations Director Gloria Bell said Baltimore’s growing tech scene and the fact that the most recent Philly event had a number of attendees who made the trip from Baltimore helped draw the organization to Charm City.
“With the proximity to Philadelphia and Baltimore’s central location, it felt like a natural place to start the expansion,” Bell said.
The Sept. 26 keynote will be delivered by Kelly Hoey, founder of Women Innovate Mobile, a startup accelerator focused on “gender-diverse founding teams.” Other speakers include U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, who is running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski in D.C., Anne Balduzzi and ETC President Deb Tillett. Organizers are still looking for speakers, though here’s a partial lineup.
The summit was initially founded by Tracey Welson-Rossman, founder of the nonprofit TechGirlz. Proceeds from the event benefit the organization. The most recent event in Philly sold out with 325 attendees, and had a wait list of 250 people.
Along with Baltimore, the Women in Tech Summit is also heading to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2016.
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