Last week, the National Council of Negro Women Inc. hosted its inaugural GirlTech at its national headquarters located at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., in Washington, D.C.
Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D., the organization’s seventh president and chairwoman of the board, opened and closed GirlTech with powerful remarks that not only addressed the importance of “herstory” recognizing the presence of Black women in the field of technology, but also the importance of ensuring that the tech industry is a diverse and inclusive environment for women of African descent.
The theme of diversity and inclusion in technology resonated throughout the event’s program. Specifically, GirlTech featured an inspiring keynote address by Walker’s Legacy CEO and founder Natalie Madeira Cofield, and two substantive panels on cybersecurity and data privacy and telehealth/telemedicine. A discussion on careers in tech policy and ways to get involved, along with a networking reception were also key attractions at the first-ever event.
Additionally, in advocating for an increase in access to opportunities for women of African descent, several institutions of higher learning were in attendance, including the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the T. Howard Foundation, and the George Washington University. Recruiters from these institutions were present to provide interested students and young professionals with information on educational and internship opportunities.
When the numbers were calculated, the event was a major success, reaching over 2800 participants with a large number of participants streaming the event on Facebook Live.
In addition to the Council’s curation of its Millennial Entrepreneur webinars, GirlTech emphasizes the organization’s focus on the future.