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DC daily roundup: What sexism looks like for women in tech; Maryland tech ICON awardees; $38K for a racist job post

Plus the Pentagon's prep for space warfare.

World War II Memorial. (National Park Service/X)

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Maryland’s top innovators honored

The Maryland Tech Council’s ICON Awards spotlighted global giants like AstraZeneca, local startups like IonQ and a host of other tech and life sciences figures in North Bethesda last week. More than 500 people gathered for the event.

Winners hailed from throughout the state, including the DC suburbs, Baltimore and Frederick. The awards especially recognized excellence in government contracting and life sciences technology, including biotech and pharmaceuticals.

“This year’s ICON Award winners and nominees have taken excellence in their fields to a new level,” said Kelly Schulz, the CEO of the organizing statewide trade association, in an announcement.

➡️ Get the details on the awardees in my latest article here.

Gender bias and pay gaps still persist

Women working in tech still deal with labels like “bossy” and are often paid less than their male counterparts, attendees and speakers attested to at this month’s Women in Tech DC conference.

About 600 people attended the conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at the National Harbor, including leaders from the US Chamber of Commerce and the regional banking giant Capital One. Despite the headway women made in the industry, many still deal with “more subtle” bias, as described by one attendee.

“Women have the credentials and often outperform their male peers,” said Nicole Maaguo, the founder of the women-focused professional coaching firm Ambition Unboxed. “Despite excelling, women are often expected to do more with less, not given direct reports at the same rate, dismissed as thought leaders and overlooked for leadership roles.”

➡️ Learn more of what speakers and attendees had to say here.

News Incubator: What else to know today

• Fairfax County launched a clean energy plan four years ago to install solar panels throughout the area. That initiative stalled due to pricey requirements imposed by Dominion Energy. [Washington Post]

• The Ashburn IT firm Arthur Grand Technologies Inc. will pay more than $38,000 in penalties after a Justice Department investigation found a recruiter with the company posted a position for white, U.S.-born citizens only on Indeed. [Washington Biz Journal]

• The Pentagon is continuing to prepare for the possibility of space warfare, and speaking more openly about possible weapons used by other countries. [Wall Street Journal]

• The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched a new program that tests if different AI tech will be “valid, reliable, safe, secure, private and fair” once it’s being used. [NIST]

• Miriam Vogel, the CEO of the DC-based nonprofit EqualAI, argues for the importance of greater AI literacy. [TechCrunch]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents its Technology CFO Awards, an annual recognition of the regional industry’s finance executives, on June 3. [Details here]

• DC Tech Meetup is hosting an event focused on health tech startups, including discussions and demos, on June 5. [Details here]

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