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AZ Tech Beat | March 28, 2017

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Girls in Tech Catalyst kicks off with a superhero cape

Girls in Tech Catalyst kicks off with a superhero cape
Tishin Donkersley

If you forgot to wear your superhero cape today, no worries, the Girls in Tech Catalyst conference has got you covered.

Founder and CEO Girls in Tech (GIT) Adriana Gascoigne chose Phoenix as their first conference outside of Silicon Valley because of the thriving tech community found in Arizona.

“We thought Phoenix would be a perfect location to hold this event because there is a huge diverse group of people and talented people here. We are really excited to see this growing tech ecosystem and it’s great to be a part of it,” Gascoigne said.

The Girls in Tech Catalyst conference is a female-focused 3-day program from April 26-28, filled with keynotes, workshops, fireside chats, and more, powered by over 50 influential females from the tech industry. Hot topics include advice on why you didn’t get funded, diversity in tech, design, product development and more. The event is expected to attract well over 350 attendees.

READ: Learn more about Girls in Tech

Gascoigne started GIT in 2007 and has grown the organization to over 47 chapters on six continents with over 22,000 members.

Mayor Greg Stanton, Adriana Gascoigne, Tania Katan - Photo contribution Vianka Villa

Mayor Greg Stanton, Adriana Gascoigne, Tania Katan

 

At the GIT press conference, Mayor Greg Stanton said he hopes conferences like GIT will help retain and attract more talent to Arizona, especially women in the tech industry.

“There are so many talented women leaders at this conference. Currently we don’t have enough diverse communities involved in the tech fields; I think we are doing ok, but we can do better,” Stanton said. “Our vibrancy is at the heart of our city. [We are] grateful for the opportunity to host [Girls in Tech].”

To the readers, Stanton has a message for you, “Whoever is reading this, you need to be a part of that [tech] ecosystem. You have a stake in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. If we are going to compete at the highest levels in Phoenix, every one of us has to be a part of that ecosystem,” he said.

Phoenix has seen an influx of tech companies to the downtown area as well as growth from local companies such as WebPT and co-working space CO+HOOTS.

Stanton said that while many of the buildings in uptown and midtown are not built out for the usual tech company with open floor plans and ping-pong tables – yet – downtown Phoenix offers an active urban lifestyle with culture, a hip vibe, walkability, light rail and more.

Courtesy of Axosoft

Courtesy of Axosoft

Tania Katan, curator of code at Axosoft, announced the company’s “It was never a dress” campaign. Their goal is to break down perception barriers about women in the industry and encourage people to look at the world differently and thus look at women in tech differently.

Their symbol is a radical alteration of the women’s bathroom vector where the dress is transformed into a superhero cape.

“We think women in tech are superheroes,” Katan said.

I can’t wait to get my cape and fly.

There is still time to attend the Girls in Tech Conference! Sign up!

Photo courtesy of @Axosoft