Hershey’s CEO on Professional Growth and Women in Business

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When Michele Buck was tapped to run Hershey (HSY, +0.73%) in March 2017, she became the first female CEO in the company’s 123-year history. Fortune included her on our 2017 list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business for the first time. And she is now a member of the elite club of women CEOs running Fortune 500 companies—there are just 32 of them.

So what is the secret to her success? “Hard work,” she tells Fortune. “I grew up in a very humble family,” Buck says. “My mother lived on a farm with no indoor plumbing. My father was the first in his family to graduate from high school and I learned very early, the values and virtues of hard work. I think there is no substitute for hard work.”

Buck certainly has been a hard worker in her 12 years at Hershey and the 17 years before that at Kraft. She says she always accepted tough assignments even though she didn’t feel prepared for them. “The times I learned the most and developed the most are when I took those opportunities that were outside my wheelhouse,” she recalls. “I grew so much as an individual and learned that I had something in me that I didn’t realize before.” She is credited with leading Hershey to make several strategic acquisitions outside its traditional confectionary product, including the purchase of Krave beef jerky.

What is Buck’s advice to working women? “Make an impact in every single assignment that you are given. Look at it as how can I take this to the next level. And be confident in yourself,” she says. “I think women just don’t have as much inherent confidence in themselves. They tend to be harsher critics of themselves than they need to be. So go for it.”

Continue onto Fortune to read the complete article.

Want to Run a Successful Business? Hire More Women

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professional women in business

Silicon Valley has long celebrated failure, encouraging founders to aim big and fail fast, pick themselves up, and try again. In that spirit, there’s one big failure to add to the list: Silicon Valley has failed women, period, and it’s time for the industry to own it. At the current rate, with VCs celebrated for hiring their first (first!) female partners and companies ever so slowly achieving single-digit increases in the number of female engineers and managers, it will take us a generation or more to get to anywhere near 50-50. That is unacceptable. Women not only represent half the population but drive 70 to 80 percent of consumer purchases. If only for the sake of profits, women should not be excluded from the process of imagining and creating new products.

There are a few founders who see the opportunity here. Everyone is looking for a competitive advantage, and some tech leaders have realized that there is an abundance of talent and valuable ideas in the populations that, for the last three decades, have been largely untapped. Looking at their new women-inclusive businesses and work- place cultures can give us some idea of the potential payoffs.

I ran into Dick Costolo in April 2016, 10 months after he had left Twitter, and he was nearly giddy, having just hired another female engineer at his new personal-fitness start-up, Chorus, the fourth company he has co-founded in two decades. From day one, Costolo focused obsessively on making sure he hired as many women as men, even if it took longer to find them. “Once you fall behind, if just two out of 20 engineers are women, it’s impossible to catch up,” Costolo told me. “Any one of these companies, the underlying disease is that it’s 90 percent men,” Costolo says. “Everything, literally everything, is reinforcing the problem.”

Jack Dorsey, who returned to Twitter as CEO when Costolo left, is also taking an innovative approach to improving the environment for women at his other company, Square. New female engineers joining the company are placed on teams that include other women rather than alone with a group of men. The hope is to engender camaraderie and networking and mitigate the “imposter syndrome” that women often experience when they are the only female in a room of male engineers. Still, with a limited number of female engineers, there is a trade-off to this strategy: Some teams will remain all male. It’s an experiment, one that Dorsey believes is worth trying. In the meantime, Square has developed a strong bench of female executives. “It’s not just creating a sense of belonging that’s important,” Dorsey told me, “but also making sure women contribute to decision making.”

And then there’s the most straightforward strategy, that having women in charge will naturally attract more women. Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite, says the company’s gender balance is 50-50 and that this has happened organically perhaps as a result of simply having strong female role models at the top.

Continue onto Inc. to read the complete article.

Meet Janice Bryant Howroyd, the first African American woman to run a $1-billion business

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CEO of Act 1 Group

Janice Bryant Howroyd, 65, is founder and chief executive of Act 1 Group, an employment agency that also provides consulting and business services, including background checks and screening. She’s the first African American woman to operate a company that generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, according to Black Enterprise Magazine. Act 1, which includes other brands such as Agile 1, A-Check Global and AppleOne, has contracts with 17,000 clients in 19 countries.

“If you visit any of our offices,” Howroyd said, “you’ll see that we live by the mantra that ‘the applicant is the center of our universe.’ It’s always been our belief that if you get that applicant in the right job, then they will be the best representation of who we are as a company.”

Early lessons

Growing up in Tarboro, N.C., as one of 11 children, Howroyd had early lessons in team building. Each sibling was assigned an older one to act as a mentor.

“My sister Sandy was my appointed guardian angel,” Howroyd said, “so it was up to her to see that I’d gotten my homework done, my hair was done, and my thoughts and process were in line with what the family wanted. We were very organized.”

Big move

After studying humanities and English at North Carolina A&T, Howroyd faced culture shock when she moved to Los Angeles in 1976 with just $900. Her older sister again provided welcome advice to “settle myself into knowing who I was, learning the power of that and understanding it.”

Brother-in-law Tom provided a temporary job at Billboard and saw entrepreneurial talents in the way Howroyd interacted with clients. Even when she was ill at ease, “I would revert to what I do well, which is strategize. I love to look at a problem, break it apart, find the better potential, knowing when to eliminate what doesn’t need to be there.”

Word of mouth

Howroyd, who didn’t even own a fax machine, opened Act 1 in a small office in Beverly Hills in 1978. She started out by making full-time job placements for companies needing workers, then shifting to temporary placements. Pleased clients were her best advertisements.

“It still matters in business more what someone else says about you than what you say about yourself,” Howroyd said. “You can have the best advertising, but unless someone else certifies what they are saying, you won’t last long. Word of mouth has always been my best referral system.”

Standing out

Early on, Howroyd employed a strategy that allowed her to compete against bigger companies, preparing her prospective hires by training them in what their employers were looking for in new workers.

“It always works best when you can tailor a hire to fit into a company’s philosophy,” Howroyd said. “They walk in better prepared and it’s more likely to be a very good fit for your client.”

Standing up

Whether it was dealing with racist students and teachers in her youth or businesspeople who uttered the most stunningly insensitive remarks, Howroyd said there were times when she was forced to bite her tongue and muddle through and other times when it was clear a stand had to be made, as frightening as that might clearly be.

“In order to be outstanding, sometimes, you’re just going to have to stand out” and not hide, Howroyd said. “My personal business protocol, my life mantra: Never compromise who you are personally to become what you wish to be professionally.”

Continue onto the LA Times to read the complete article.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun(damental) Workplace Rights

LinkedIn
Elizabeth Bradley

Young women professionals entering the workforce have little to no knowledge on how to handle workplace issues such as harassment, discrimination, and the gender wage gap. “Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge could put an entire generation of women at a disadvantage and seriously affect their earning potential,” said Elizabeth Bradley, Partner with Beverly Hills-based civil litigation and trial law firm Rosen Saba LLP.

“Most women are not taught to recognize subtler forms of discrimination that are less obvious than open harassment, but no less pervasive,” Bradley said. “For example, they may not realize that a man getting more promotions and advancement opportunities than his equally qualified female colleague is just as discriminatory as a man being paid more than a woman for doing the same job. They also may not realize that in several states, now including California, prospective employers are not permitted to ask for candidates’ salary history.”

Bradley, who has handled countless discrimination and harassment lawsuits, explains that gender doesn’t have to be the only motivating factor that is taken into account when filing a discrimination lawsuit. She is available to discuss this, as well as:

  • Important workplace rights that many young professional women are unaware of.
  • Ways that women can document harassment and discrimination so that allegations are not dismissed as hearsay, and without jeopardizing their careers.
  • Why the gender wage gap persists, and how women can advocate for higher salaries even if they have been underpaid in the past.
  • Specific industries where these issues are especially prevalent.

For information about the law firm, visit RosenSaba.com

 

The “She” Suite Celebrates International Women’s Day with Women in the C-Suite and in Leading Roles

LinkedIn
International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is quickly approaching, and six leading business women will discuss their journey to the top of the corporate ladder. Gender diversity and inclusion remains a pressing issue across industries and sectors – and by ignoring this issue, companies may be hurting their bottom line.

WHEN
March 8, 2018
7:15 AM – 9:15 AM

WHERE
Washington University in St. Louis – Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall
Snow Way, 1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

WHO
Rebecca Boyer, Chief Financial Officer, KellyMitchell Group, Inc.; EMBA alumna
Andrea Faccio, Chief Marketing Officer, Nestle Purina North America; EMBA alumna
Linda Haberstroh, President, Phoenix Textile Corporation; EMBA alumna
Mary Heger, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Ameren Services Company; EMBA alumna
Deborah Slagle, Senior Vice President, Biologics Technology Cluster, MilliporeSigma; EMBA alumna
Joyce Trimuel, Chief Diversity Officer, CNA Insurance; EMBA alumna

According to a McKinsey study, diversity at the executive level strongly correlates with profitability and value creation. In fact, companies in the top quartile of executive-level gender diversity have a 27% likelihood of outperforming their less diverse peers.

On March 8, Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) will host a special panel discussion celebrating International Women’s Day featuring six business women who demonstrate their value to their companies as leaders every day. They are entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and global leaders representing companies. such as Nestle Purina, Ameren, and more.

One thing they all have in common: their Executive MBA experience from WashU, which is ranked among the top 10 EMBA programs in the country by several noted business publications including Financial Times.

How Being Underestimated Drove These Two Latinas To Publish Lil’ Libros

LinkedIn
two latina entrepreneurs

Have you ever dreamed of going into business with your best friend? Does it stay a dream, or in your mind does it turn into a nightmare? Ariana Stein and Patty Rodriguez, have been best friends since the age of twelve and will happily tell you that adding a business level to their friendship was the best decision they’ve collectively made.

After becoming moms, the duo kickstarted a business partnership with one goal in mind — creating the bilingual children’s book series that every Latina mom would love.

“The books aren’t designed to give lengthy, in-depth history lessons, as they’re only 22 pages long,” explains Ariana. “Instead the goal is to teach the basics, introduce them to culture, and motivate kids to continue learning additional words and languages. The books have always been about starting the bilingual learning journey with subjects that parents feel a connection with.”

Since its launch, Lil’ Libros has steadily become a presence on the shelves of Targets and local bookstores alike. The journey to getting Lil’ Libros on those bookshelves though has not been an easy one.

In her episode of Creating Espacios, Patty stated, “I think there’s so much strength that can be drawn from a bad day” and told a handful of stories of the ups and downs of building a business with her best friend.

But, those small glimpses weren’t enough. Here’s a full look at how Ariana and Patty describe their entrepreneurial success with Lil’ Libros.

Vivian Nunez: How did Lil’ Libros get its start?

Ariana Stein: It was our passion to ensure our children were raised to be bilingual.  Being best friends and knowing each other’s background, both being first generation Latinas, made it easier for us to decide to do this together.

Patty Rodriguez: Ariana and I have known each other since we were 12 years old.  We’ve always tried creating something together. There was a time when we actually worked on a hot dog start-up!  We were probably 18 at the time.  And then there was a time when David Beckham arrived to the states; it was such a big deal back then, we took it as an opportunity to capitalize on it, we ended up making shirts inspired by him!  That didn’t turn as planned, but we did it! I think Ariana’s husband still wears the shirts! So I feel that this was always meant to be.

Stein:  That’s not it! We also started a bilingual entertainment site.  This was actually picking up steam, and going the direction that we wanted it to go, but we weren’t passionate about it.  I think this is why it failed, but everything is a lesson.  Had we not had the hot dog business, shirt business, entertainment website, we wouldn’t have Lil’ Libros.

Nunez: How would each of you define Lil Libros mission?

Stein: Our mission has always been to introduce bilingualism and encourage parents to read to their children at the earliest age by focusing on subjects they are familiar with, and making it as fun and rewarding as possible.

Rodriguez: Each book we are creating is a seed. A seed we hope a parent plants at home with their child. We want parents and children to love to read, to create those moments together.

Nunez: What’s been the biggest entrepreneurial lesson you’ve learned since starting Lil Libros?

Stein:  To be fearless. Not be afraid to ask for anything. The worst thing that you can hear is the word “no.” Rejection can be hurtful and discouraging but this is what makes us stronger. Stronger to succeed and prove everyone that anything is possible.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Dollar General Announces Call for New Vendors

LinkedIn

Suppliers, companies and manufacturers with exciting new products who want to reach millions of consumers and partner with one of America’s fastest-growing retailers that is currently listed #128 on the Fortune 500 list and posted $22 billion in FY 2016 sales, listen up!

Dollar General (NYSE: DG) is encouraging new suppliers and those who have not sold products to the Company within the past 18 months to apply to attend its inaugural Innovation and Supplier Diversity Summit in April 2018. The event aims to pair potential new vendors with respective Dollar General buyers and category managers. Suppliers must sell items in at least one of the following categories to be eligible to attend:

  • Beauty, Personal Care and Over-the-Counter/Wellness
  • General Merchandise/All Non-Food
  • Grocery.

“As part of Dollar General’s continual commitment to provide quality products at everyday low prices to our diverse consumer base, we are thrilled to announce our first Innovation and Supplier Diversity Summit scheduled for this spring,” said Jason Reiser, Dollar General’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “Having the right products to best meet our customers’ needs is a foundational cornerstone at Dollar General. As such, we look forward to meeting with potential new vendors, learning about relevant products for our customers and expanding the number of unique and specialized offerings available in our stores.”

To apply, interested suppliers, companies and manufacturers may submit their product information at www.rangeme.com/dollargeneral from Tuesday, January 30 through end of day on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Selected companies will be subject to a $500 participation fee and notified via email by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) of the time, date and location of their meeting with a member of the Dollar General merchandising team.

Continue onto Business Wire to read the complete article.

How to Promote Increased Inclusivity in the Workplace

LinkedIn
Rochelle Ford

By Rochelle Ford

When it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we often view it from two camps: diversity of thought, and race and ethnicity. Both should achieve the same goal: people bringing their unique perspectives, experiences and knowledge to the table and respectfully engaging with each other.

However, it is often not enough to just hire a diverse group of employees. That is an important first step, but once the right people are hired, it is essential that every team member works to promote a more inclusive environment. Crucial to understanding our own role in this effort is recognizing the most innocuous ways we obstruct inclusivity. After self-evaluation, there are two essential tactics we must take: promoting empathy and combatting microagressions.

Cultivating a work environment based on empathy involves implementing programs and initiatives that will elicit positive engagement from team members at every level. Setting up programs for mentorship and affinity groups is a great way to connect employees with people outside of their usual circle.

Mentor programs that focus specifically on under-represented employee groups, such as women or ethnic minorities, can prove monumental in creating a positive learning environment for both mentors and mentees. Not only does the mentee gain advice from an experienced professional on how to navigate challenges, but the mentor also gains valuable insight into the conversations and resources that may currently be lacking in the company. Mentoring relationships that cross race, gender, age and ethnicity are important for people to learn about each other but also to emphasize solving organizational problems together.

Likewise, affinity programs, or employee resource groups, can also help build a more inclusive workplace by connecting Respectemployees who share a similar identity or cultural background and providing them with an avenue to seek support and career advice. These programs give employees the assurance and comfort of knowing their thoughts and opinions are being heard — whether it’s through regular interactions with a higher executive or connecting with team members from similar backgrounds in a familiar setting. Each program has its purpose, but they all aim to encourage team members to listen and connect with the people around them.

The second key step in successfully promoting inclusivity is learning how to combat microaggressions. They don’t have to be obvious, like blatant racial slurs, to be harmful. These actions can be seemingly small, ranging from verbal remarks that demean an employee’s heritage to language or behavior that exclude the feelings of employees who represent a different group. Executives have the responsibility to implement training programs that educate employees about the damaging effects of unconscious bias and microaggressions.

Employees on the receiving end also have a responsibility to combat this behavior and change the conversation moving forward. Knowing how and when to respond when confronted with microaggressions is critical. According to Jody Gray from the University of Minnesota and the American Library Association, the most important thing to do is take a minute to reflect before responding on an assumption. Asking a person to explain or restate their comment can often serve as a check for them to rephrase it in a more inclusive manner. If a response is needed, focus on the event, not the person—this lowers the likelihood of a defensive tone and can make the other person more receptive. Respond how you want to the other person to act, and avoid sarcastic or condescending tones. Gray suggests using yourself as an example: talking about how you’ve “unlearned” certain behaviors is a good way to get on the same level and can help reframe the conversation in a way that makes it click.

Additionally, if someone witnesses what is seemingly a microaggression toward someone else, the witness needs to follow the same steps but adding in the question of “Why am I offended?” Once that understanding occurs, keep the focus on oneself and not the supposed recipient because that person may not feel offended and may not want or need the witness to “come to the rescue.” Instead, follow the same steps of clarification, focusing on the event, using yourself as an example and creating a possible learning opportunity.

At the end of the day, creating an inclusive environment simply comes down to respect—authentic and mutual respect for your team and the common goal you are working to achieve. It’s important that employees understand and utilize the resources and programs that are in place to foster a workplace based on growth and personal development. From top to bottom, employees at all levels and backgrounds want to feel supported and valued for their different perspectives, and achieving inclusion requires full commitment and patience from all team members in order to succeed. What are other programs or initiatives that have been used in your own workplace that have proven successful in promoting diversity and inclusion?

Condé Nast Chooses a Digital-First Editor to Run Glamour

LinkedIn

When Samantha Barry was growing up in Ireland, she and her family would gather around the television to watch the 6 o’clock news. They also told stories around the dinner table and read a number of newspapers and magazines, including Vogue and old issues of Time.

“Irish people are such storytellers,” Ms. Barry said in a telephone interview on Friday. And, she noted, “The ’80s in Ireland was an interesting time for stories.”

Ms. Barry has continued to tell stories from places as near as New York and as far as Papua New Guinea in a career that has included stops at the BBC and CNN. And so, although she has never worked at a magazine, Ms. Barry had no qualms about the job she is about to undertake: Condé Nast has named her the next editor in chief of Glamour.

When she assumes her post the week of Jan. 15, Ms. Barry — who was most recently the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide — will become the eighth editor of the women’s title since its founding in 1939 and the first person with an exclusively digital and television background to lead a Condé Nast magazine. She will succeed Cindi Leive, 50, who said in September that she was leaving the magazine after 16 years at its helm.

Both Ms. Barry, 36, and the company that hired her are aware that she may be perceived as an atypical choice for the job.

But with her appointment, Condé Nast is signaling, once again, that it is barreling headlong into the digital age — if as much to reach its screen-obsessed consumers as by the financial realities of the magazine industry.

In a statement, Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and Condé Nast’s artistic director, said Ms. Barry was “fearless like so many leaders of the moment.”

“We recognized at once that Sam would be the perfect editor for a new more ambitious era of Glamour’s future,” she said. “We can not wait to see her vision unfold.”

Continue onto the New York Times to read the complete article.

Women of Silicon Valley

LinkedIn

Kesha Williams, Software Engineer for Chick-fil-A, shares her thoughts on the importance of mentoring, coding to young people and a sneak peek into her tech talk topic: What Humans Can Learn From Machines, ahead of her exciting talk at Women of Silicon Valley 2018 on March 21 & 22.

  1. How did you get into software engineering?

When I was a freshman in high school, my father purchased a computer to do the family finances.  Luckily for me, he placed the computer in my playroom.

My free time was spent with a Barbie doll in one hand and a computer manual in the other.

Later on, in my junior year of high school, I attended a summer science enrichment training program that taught me more about computers. My exposure to computers early on in life fostered a lifelong curiosity with technology.

When I enrolled in college, I majored in computer science and mathematics. I started my career with the National Security Agency (NSA) and 23 years later, I am still excited and intrigued by the continuous advances in technology.

  1. What do you enjoy the most about your day-to-day work?

I’m most excited about the opportunities to learn new and exciting technologies. Technology is ever-changing and it advances on an almost daily basis. I’m excited to be at the forefront of where emerging technologies like machine learning and computer vision/facial recognition will take society.

This may sound cliché, but these technologies (especially when combined) have the ability to change the way we live and can even bring ideas from the wildest science fiction movie to life!

  1. How did you get started on mentoring and why do you think it’s important to do it?

Mentoring is important for me because it is a way to give back to the tech community.  I’ve learned a lot during my 23-year journey in tech and the lessons I’ve learned can help others who are on the same path. I mentor girls and young women for two main reasons:

  • I am passionate about increasing the diversity in technology because there is a lack of representation of women and people of color at all levels in most organizations.
  • I enjoy seeing people reach their fullest potential in life and achieve things they never thought possible.

I seek to impact girls and young women at all stages of their journey:

  • Technovation allows me to reach girls between the ages of 10-18.
  • The New York Academy of Sciences allows me to impact young women in college.
  • WEST (Women Entering & Staying in Tech) gives me the opportunity to help women in the early stages of their career.
  1. What advice would you give to technical women who are struggling to achieve their goals in the industry?

My advice to women who are struggling to achieve their goals is first and foremost to always believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for someone else to believe in you.  Also, you can’t allow someone else’s perception of what you are or are not capable of stop you from going after your dreams. I’ve also found in an industry that lacks diversity, it is important to find a community that has other individuals that are like me. I’m very active with Women Who Code Atlanta, and this network has provided me a lot of support.

  1. Could you tell us a bit more about your Hour of Code sessions and the importance of teaching coding to young people?

Computer programming is a fun and lucrative career choice and more people should be made aware of the opportunities available.

I partnered with my local library to offer free Hour of Code sessions to elementary school students on one Saturday out of the month. I wanted to work with kids because the earlier they are exposed to computer programming, the more likely they are to choose it as a career field. This is evident through my own personal journey.

I also have my 10-year-old daughter serve as my teaching assistant. She studies the course materials ahead of time so that she can assist students that need help during the session. This exposes my daughter to technology, volunteerism, and leadership. This whole experience has been a win-win for all parties involved.

  1. What exciting things are you working on right now?

A really cool project that I recently worked on was one involving facial recognition. I led an innovation team of six developers to investigate how computer vision and facial recognition could improve restaurant operations and customer experiences.

My team developed a prototype that recognizes people as they enter a room and then provides a custom welcome message on a monitor that greets the person by name. This project was really cool because it is a first step toward using facial recognition and computer vision on a broader scale.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your tech talk and machines taking on human biases?

I invented a predictive policing machine learning algorithm called, S. A. M. (Suspicious Activity Monitor).  SAM looks at a particular situation (using computer vision) and predicts the likelihood of crime (using machine learning). SAM looks at several attributes about the person and even their current location in order to make a crime prediction.

When creating SAM, I intentionally excluded race as an attribute he considers because I didn’t want him accused of racial profiling.  The decision to exclude race was an “a-ha” moment for me because it showed me that machine learning can actually remove human bias from certain situations; the power of this technology is absolutely mind blowing.

After learning this, I wanted to share what I had learned with the world.  I routinely travel the world speaking and teaching at technical conferences about SAM and the power of machine learning. We must make sure the power of machine learning is used to improve society instead of reinforcing current issues like bias and profiling.

Kesha Williams is a software engineer with over 20 years’ experience specializing in web application development. In addition to being a software engineer with Chick-fil-A, she trains and mentors thousands of software developers in the US, Europe, and Asia while teaching at the University of California. She’s authored courses on Java, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Augmented Reality (AR). She most recently won the Think Different Innovation Award from Chick-fil-A for her work on investigating how emerging technologies can enhance restaurant operations and customer experiences. In her spare time, she leads the Georgia chapter of Technovation, serves as a mentor with the New York Academy of Sciences, and conducts free Hour of Code sessions for children at her local library.


From the creators of the largest global Women in Technology event series, Women of Silicon Valley is returning for two days of empowering keynotes, panel discussions, technical workshops and diversity-focused sessions on March 21 and 22, 2018 in San Francisco.

Learn from inspirational leaders and industry experts, get deep insight into tech trends and business strategies, boost your technical skills and learn how to flourish in the sector… let’s smash that glass ceiling!

The two-day conference will provide deep insight into the tech industry, as well as gender diversity and inclusion, through rich content delivered by experts. Sessions will include:

Inspiring Keynotes

  • Redefining Success: The Third Metric That Can Benefit Your Bottom Line (Arianna Huffington, Founder, The Huffington Post, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global)
  • Climbing The Tech Ladder in Heels: Where Technology & The Human ExperienceConverge (CTO, Estée Lauder Companies)
  • Transitioning From Engineering To Management (Director, Engineering & Product, LinkedIn)

Tech Specific

  • Security Isn’t Sexy – It’s Business(CEO, MKACyber)
  • Thinking at Scale(Software Engineer, WhatsApp)
  • What Humans Can Learn From Machines(Software Engineer, Chick-fil-A Corporate)

Diversity-Focused Sessions

  • C-Suite Level Panel – How To Champion Women in Technology Initiatives
  • Creating A Business Case For Diversity
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment

Technical Workshops 
Topics will include: 

  • Real-World Practices: How To Successfully Implement Open Source Into Workflow & Projects
  • Microservices, Security, Deep Learning Analytics, The Future of Data Science & DevOps
  • JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, WebGL, mobile APIs, Node.js, ECMAScript 6
  • The Digital Apocalypse: The Rise of the Games Industry
  • Building Apps For Windows, Office 365, Edge/IE, SQL Server, Azure, HoloLens, Visual Studio & ASP.NET

 

Take a look at the full conference agenda.

Confirmed speakers currently include:

  • Arianna Huffington, Founder, The Huffington Post, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
  • Chief Technology & Information Officer,Estée Lauder Companies
  • Senior Technology Advisor to the Mayor, City of Los Angeles
  • Chief Data Scientist, Senior Principal Engineer, Office of the CTO, McAfee
  • CMO, VMware
  • Director,KPMG
  • Vice President,Amazon Web Services
  • CTO, SVP Technology, BMC Software
  • Senior Director, Engineering, LinkedIn
  • Senior Director, Products, eBay
  • CMO, GE Ventures
  • Software Engineer, WhatsApp
  • Senior UX Manager, Sony Playstation
  • San Jose Managing Partner,PwC
  • Partner, Microsoft Ventures 
  • UX Researcher, Google
  • Engineering Manager, Facebook

… and many more!

Our audience of 1,000 tech leaders and professionals enables you to engage with an intimate vibrant community, interact with our speakers and build meaningful relationships.

See full speaker list.

Request a brochure for all the info on the conference’s format, speakers and prices.

Meet Danielle Olson: A ‘Gique’ Advancing the Case for STEAM Education

LinkedIn
Danielle Olson

What is a “Gique”? It’s a cross between “geek” and “chic,” a maker and creative problem-solver whose interdisciplinary interests turn STEM into STEAM. Meet Danielle Olson, researcher and PhD student at MIT and proud founder of Gique, a nonprofit that provides transformational, culturally situated STEAM learning for underserved youth.

Olson says being a Gique is about using your passion to embrace change and create your dream job. Olson offered STEMconnector her insights and experience as an engineer, a dancer, a dreamer, and pioneer in STEAM education, as well as research on how the arts are leveling the educational playing field in STEM.

Interview below courtesy of Stemconnector

STEMconnector: How does using the arts impact the STEM talent gap?

Danielle Olson: Fortunately, a new and exciting field of education is emerging where curricula are designed to expose youth to the applications of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics (STEAM) in the real world. STEAM, rather than just STEM, education focuses on student cultivation of the critical, creative, and participatory dispositions key to empowered, authentic engagement in both science and art, along with preparing students to think of ways that they can contribute to society as individuals.

The arts have been treated as a “cherry on top” in recent years. But research demonstrates that an arts education offers critical development opportunities for children, which include cognitive and social growth, long-term memory improvement, stress reduction, and promotion of creativity. In fact, research findings show that if arts were included in science classes, STEM would be more appealing to students, and exposure to experts in these fields could affect career decisions. Gique believes that STEAM education affords students opportunities to envision themselves pursuing their “dream careers,” which they may invent for themselves.

There are three categories that aid in representing various perspectives of art integration: (1) learning “through” and “with” the arts, (2) making connections across knowledge domains, and (3) collaborative engagement across disciplines.

Gique piloted a 9-month-long, out-of-school STEAM Program with students at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, an inner-city in Boston, Massachusetts, in the areas of science, the arts, and entrepreneurship by putting the theoretical framework, which underpins the necessity for STEAM education, into action.

SC: What kinds of lessons do you offer students?

DO: Gique designs and provides free, hands-on educational programs and mentorship to talented youth from diverse circumstances in the Boston area and in California. We create a safe, positive learning community for our students and cultivate their curiosity and self-esteem through two arms of programming:

  • Gique’s Science Can DANCE! Community Programs—provides youth with a way to explore STEAM through creative movement and dance choreography. By taking an integrated approach to breaking down technical concepts, we provide a unique mentorship opportunity for students interested in both arts and science topics.
  • Gique’s Out-of-School Time (OST) STEAM Program—a 9-month-long, weekly after-school program for middle school students to explore their personal interests in STEAM. This program enables students to receive long-term mentorship from innovators from around the world and participate in hands-on workshops and field trips. By the end of the semester, students gain a better understanding of how they can take an idea from concept to reality through innovation with art + design, science, and technology.

In addition to these two programs, Gique has provided a wide variety of educational opportunities to people of all ages in the Boston area for the past four years. We have collaborated with numerous organizations to provide educational programming, including MIT Museum, Harvard Museum of Science & Culture, Artisan’s Asylum, and General Assembly Boston.

SC: How can corporations that support a vibrant STEM workforce get involved in advancing STEAM education?

DO: First, corporations should stand with teachers and parents to fight back against policies that discourage interdisciplinary education. This may include, but is not limited to, policies that result in art, drama, history, and science class time reduction and policies, which discourage teachers from being innovative due to too much focus on standardized testing.

Second, people in power must use their influence to help give underrepresented groups more access to resources that can level the playing field in education. I had access to programs like FIRST Robotics Competition and MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program, which changed my life, thanks to the generosity of donors investing directly in people of color by sponsoring these programs. However, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in these programs if I had to pay for them. That’s why Gique leverages the support of its sponsors to deliver life-changing experiences to students that help them pursue career dreams that they may have deemed impossible.

SC: How is Gique measuring its impact?

DO: We have a structured process in place to design, administer, and analyze quantitative and qualitative measurements, including pre- and post- assessments, audio/video interviews, and external feedback (from program staff/volunteers and parents/guardians).

Specifically, for Gique’s OST STEAM Program, a schema was developed to identify, both broadly and specifically, what students learned and in what context it applies to their lives. Prior to each term, the program leadership developed several goals for student impact, with measurable indicators to assess each goal. Assessment questions were adapted from the Museum of Science Boston’s Engineering is Elementary program assessment model. At the end of the semester, students completed the same assessment for the program leadership to understand what deltas occurred and what the development areas were for program improvement.

While the quantitative data collected often helped to inform strategic decisions and content choices, the qualitative data showed how the program impacted students, parents, volunteers and teachers. Gique wholeheartedly believes that learning experiences should be fun, so asking these qualitative questions were critical to the development and success of the pilot OST STEAM program.

Gaining parent/guardian feedback served to be an excellent indicator of how excited students were about the program.

Visit Gique’s community of leaders and makers at gique.me

Source: stemconnector.com