Professional Development
Career development / Events / Women in tech

A Baltimore mini-conference aims to address pay disparities for Black women

The BLK Women Equal Pay Day Conference, organized by Fem Equity in collaboration with GET Cities and designed for Black women who are prepared to advance or transition in their careers, is scheduled to take place on Sept. 22.

Adeola Ajani. (Courtesy photo)

Adeola Ajani is no stranger to advocating for change. As the cofounder and CEO of 2023 RealLIST Startups honorable mention Fem Equity, she and her team have developed a software platform and app providing real-time data and resources on sexist and racist pay gaps.

Trying to overcome the unique challenges faced by femme founders in the tech industry, she stayed on brand in developing Fem Equity’s inaugural BLK Women Equal Pay Day Conference on Friday, Sept. 22 at John Hopkins University’s FastForward U.

Ajani isn’t walking this path alone. Supporting the conference is GET Cities, an initiative dedicated to expediting the representation and leadership of women in tech. Christina L. Glancy, GET Cities’ DC manager, highlighted the organization’s commitment to women and their careers in a press release.

“GET Cities is dedicated to supporting impactful actions that make a tangible difference in the lives of underestimated people,” Glancy said. “As we proudly partner with Fem Equity on the BLK Women Equal Pay Day Conference, we aim to bridge the gap and empower Black and brown women in their careers and their journey towards success in the tech industry and beyond.”

The one-day event is tailored for Black women and other women of color that are early in their careers and poised for growth or transition. The program will feature a diverse range of workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities, geared toward providing a supportive environment for women.

“This experience is designed to support and expand your network, challenge your comfort zone on your possibilities, and make you aware of opportunities you didn’t know were in reach,” said Ajani. “BLK Women Equal Pay Day Conference is a space where Black and brown women have a seat at the table and are encouraged to speak up and gain the resources needed to soar because I know we are limitless and we need more spaces to showcase that.”

In 2022, Black women earned only 67 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. The BLK Women Equal Pay Day Conference aims to address this disparity by offering panel discussions that tackle this and related issues. Ajani moderates a session called “Navigating the Fortune 500 Ladder,” which features Natahcia Scott, head of property operations and growth strategy at Capital One, and Kristina Sicard, senior banking consultant at JP Morgan Chase. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers within Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem, including 2023 RealLIST Connector My-Azia Johnson from Impact Hub Baltimore and Venture For America’s Baltimore Director Erica Myers. The event will also feature Bashirat Are, former organizer of the Baltimore Black Techies Meetup, leading a panel titled “Human Resource Talk.”

The keynote speaker for the BLK Women Equal Pay Day Conference 2023 was revealed in an email newsletter sent out by Fem Equity on Monday morning. Dana Peterson Moore, chief equity officer for the City of Baltimore, will be addressing the conference with remarks scheduled for approximately 11:50 a.m., according to a schedule Ajani emailed Note that the schedule and sessions are subject to change. After these discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session.

Doors open at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Last chance tickets are available

Companies: Fem Equity / GET Cities / Impact Hub Baltimore / Capital One / FastForward / Venture for America / City of Baltimore / JPMorgan Chase

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