TechWomen|TechGirls is a forum focused on building a strong community of women enthusiastic about technology and supporting efforts for young women to explore STEM careers. Launched only two years ago, this community of women has become an integral part of the New Hampshire High Tech Council’s outreach and engagement activities. One of the goals of this celebration is to recognize the unique contribution of TechWomen luminaries within New Hampshire.
This week, I had the pleasure of uniting 10 women spanning various GYK Antler departments to attend New Hampshire High Tech Council’s (NHHTC) 2nd Annual TechWomen|TechGirls Luncheon. The event honors three individuals (TechWoman, TechEducator, and TechStudent) who work to advance the role of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) throughout New Hampshire. Along with the honorees, this year’s keynote speaker was Boston Marathon bombing survivor/amputee, Roseann Sdoia.
The event was an inspiration and true learning experience for us all.
Positivity and Perseverance
Roseann’s story was a powerful message about the healing power of positivity and friendship. She not only shared her personal journey, but also the many technology advancements that help people with life-altering injuries create their new norm and get back to being active. She left us with moving insights on a woman’s perspective of going through the prosthetic process. After her extensive search for a provider, the notable lack of female prosthetists really stood out to Roseann and impacted the narrative of her recovery.
Make your own path
Women continue to carve their path in the world of technology. With the overwhelming gender disparity in tech, in many instances we are still working to persevere or pioneer when opportunities do not exist. It was great hearing about the journey of TechWoman of the Year Caleigh MacPherson. She’s now a successful project engineer, but she was also the team leader for the UNH Lunabotics team back in her college days.
Pay it forward
We must provide opportunities for women and girls whenever and wherever possible. The TechStudent honoree, Jillian MacGregor, acknowledged and appreciated the opportunities her mentors have given her. She is now creating opportunities for other girls by organizing all-girl computing camps for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua. Grassroots youth initiatives like this are going to be essential to empowering girls to dominate tech.
The impact of these speeches was palpable throughout the event, prompting meaningful conversations at all of the tables. One of our tech clients, who is in the medical device innovation industry, joined the GYK Antler table for the event. Her experience drove home how our marketing work matters, and how important it is for women to have a voice throughout the marketing process.
As TechEducator of the year honoree, Mihaela Sabin, put it: “Without a woman in the conversation, we might not even be asking the right questions.”
Leslie Witham is the Technology & Innovation Director at GYK Antler.