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New DMV conference aims to connect women innovators and developers

Women in Tech DC is part of a global event series whose director said provides crucial spaces for these underrepresented technologists and founders.

Women in Tech has been hosted in cities including Boston, San Francisco and London. (Courtesy Women in Tech World Series)

This story is a part of’s Thriving Tech Communities Month. See the full 2024 editorial calendar.

A global conference series celebrating and connecting women in technology comes to the DC metro area for the first time later this month.

Women in Tech DC, part of a global series of conferences focused on women working in technology, takes place in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at the National Harbor in Maryland on May 15 and 16. Women in Tech, which had its first event in London in 2016, has had conferences in other US cities like Boston and San Francisco. There are also flagship conferences in London and Amsterdam.

This is the first iteration of the conference in the DMV. Michaela Jeffery-Morrison, the founder and managing director of the Women in Tech World Series, told she wanted to create this collection of conferences to celebrate women in the field and break down barriers.

“When you’re putting on a platform to inspire and connect and foster collaboration, amazing things happen,” Jeffery-Morrison said.

The conference’s premise directly speaks to the underrepresentation of women in tech professions overall. According to the National Center for Women and Technology, a nonprofit organization using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to produce an annual scorecard on women in STEM, women represent about half of the US population but only 27 percent of its computing workforce.

Blue line graph showing changes in women employed in computing professions

The NCWIT Scorecard’s tracking of women in computing professions over the years. (Courtesy)

The conference program includes several different presentations at the conference, with many sessions focused on artificial intelligence. This relates to the conference’s overall theme: “Digital X Human.”

Pursuant to that focus, numerous sessions will focus on how digital and physical worlds influence and shape each other. AI is a significant factor in this conversation, which is why so many sessions cover it, Jeffery-Morrison said.

Overall, she wants people to focus on how different technologies can be used to create a better future.

The conference also includes a career advice hub where attendees can get personalized feedback and practice their elevator pitches for recruiters. And, of course, there will be tons of networking opportunities.

Women in Tech DC additionally features workshops centered around leadership and entrepreneurship, which Jeffery-Morrison said she’s looking forward to as a founder herself.

More than 70 speakers are slated for the conference, including leaders from Capital One, Microsoft, Bloomberg and the federal government. Debbie Sallis, the executive director at the Cyber Guild; Ann Dunkin, the CIO of the US Department of Energy; and Yolanda Tate, the president of Blacks in Technology’s Virginia chapter, are among those presenting or speaking.

Spaces like this two-day conference are clearly important for women in the tech — specifically for empowerment and inspiration, Jeffery-Morrison said.

“It’s extremely powerful when a CTO who happens to be a woman stands up onstage in front of my audience,” she said. “She doesn’t have to necessarily do motivational speech.”

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Series: Thriving Tech Communities Month

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