The DFW Alliance of Technology and Women sent a message last week to hundreds of tech and community leaders: To get more women into tech jobs and world-changing leadership positions requires “collective courage” to drive positive change. DFW*ATW’s 19th Annual Executive Leadership Forum was aimed at cracking that code.
The forum brought nearly 300 tech and community leaders together in an idea-packed virtual event brimming with top talent—urging them to “connect their brains to their brilliance.”
The DFW*ATW is a nonprofit on a mission to empower women leaders in technology and grow the pipeline of girls entering tech fields. To achieve this, the group has created leadership and educational programs aimed at elevating women technologists across North Texas.
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Shanthi Rajaram, President of DFW*ATW and CEO & founder of Frisco-based Amazech Solutions, kicked off the event by sharing some stats on women in tech:
- Only 20 percent of engineering graduates are women; 40 percent of these either quit or never enter the profession
- 50 percent of women said they had experienced gender discrimination at work, compared to only 19 percent of men
- Only 11 percent of CIOs in the U.S. are women
Those aren’t just facts—they’re big challenges. And they show why DFW*ATW is determined to change the tech landscape for women.
Participants buzzed across eight virtual “floors”
The forum’s audience was a lively group, bumping into each other on any of eight different “floors” and frequently utilizing the chat function—especially when a speaker spoke their truths.
Here’s our take on last week’s event:
Keynote: ‘Cultivating Courage’
Danyel Surrency Jones—founder and principal business strategist of Danyel Surrency Jones Consulting and co-founder and CEO of Dallas-based POWERHANDZ, a product tech company that designs solutions for athletic training and rehabilitation—delivered the keynote.
Jones began by asking the virtual audience to take a deep breath—and reflect on the last time we were courageous.
“Courage comes from the Latin word ‘core,’ meaning heart, and refers to the ability for us to follow and lead with our heart.” Jones said. “Sometimes we get the word courageous confused with …….