Calling all C-Level Executives, here's what Women in Tech East Coast 2019 can do for you!

August 2, 2019 | Georgina Varley

C-Level Executives

Identify how digital transformation can affect your organisation, people, and processes at Women in Tech East Coast 2019


US tech startups have made little progress in producing female C-Suite professionals and board members, according to Silicon Valley Bank's 2019 Women in Technology Leadership report. Of the firms surveyed, half have no women on their leadership teams and only 40% have at least one woman on their board of directors. Moreover, the Financial Times has reported that just 7% of large corporates across the country boast female CEOs.

Despite these worrying statistics, changing the state of play is possible. Female tech entrepreneurs like Sheryl SandbergSusan Wojcicki, and Ginni Rometty are inspiring women across America to climb the career ladder and reach for C-Level roles. If you are reading this, then you are likely one of these women who has managed to achieve success in the face of adversity and have a personal mission to help others reach their career goals.

At this year’s Women in Tech East Coast conference, we aim to empower you with the knowledge to boldly lead. Discover how to build a transformative culture, attracting and retaining talent, understand the full potential of emerging technologies and how they will advance your business, harness the power of networking with high-level women and be inspired by the greatest female minds in the field.

At the epicentre for Boston's female entrepreneurs, you'll find companies such as Elsevier, Avanade, and Cimpress in addition to speakers from Shutterstock, Oracle, Stae, Google, Foursquare, Synopsys and ConsenSys – to name a few! Take a read of our Welcome to Women in Tech East Coast! article to find out more.

Below are sessions specifically designed for female C-Level executives that will allow you to walk away with actionable insights into the tech industry. Don’t just be part of the conversation, drive it — join us at the East Coast's most vibrant women in tech conference this October.


Women in Tech East Coast will take place at the Boston Convention Center, MA on October 24-25 2019

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Take a look at our selection of sessions designed for C-Suite members at Women in Tech East Coast 2019:


Building a Diverse Pipeline – How to Start up D&I Initiatives in your Organization

We are no longer questioning the business value of diversity, it’s a known driver of innovation and growth. We'll discuss how to build the foundations for an effective programme and how to get everyone in your organisation on board.

 

Key takeaways:

  • Securing 'buy-in' from teams and senior stakeholders

  • Deciding on the goals and key areas of concern to target

  • Examining how to measure the success of the initiative


Bridging Communication Between your Tech and Non-tech Teams

In many organizations, the business and technical teams often sit in different parts of the office and only communicate in formal settings. This can lead to problems for both sides and ultimately hinder any potential growth. In this session, attendees will see how we can encourage better collaboration and understanding to drive progress.

Key takeaways:

  • Building a feedback culture across teams for better transparency

  • Understanding the goals and drivers of the different teams

  • Communicating the non-monetary values of technical ideas for the business


Will Flexibility be the Key to the Evolution of Work?

It’s important when considering how work will evolve in the future not to overlook that we are still tackling old problems, on top of the new. That said, the future of work can also sometimes mean using new solutions to tackle these old existing problems. Flexibility isn’t a new ‘perk’ as such, but up to now its been one that is hard to come by in the workplace.

However, flexibility at work is becoming more common and acceptable, largely down to the advances in technology. Working remotely and staying connected is now a global reality – But, still seen as a perk. As we move further forwards into the future of work, will we need to change our attitudes?

 

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the importance of seeing flexibility as a business asset

  • Examining the impacts to bottom line from reduced physical real-estate costs of office spaces

  • Improving employee engagement with better autonomy and freedom as a result of flexibility

  • Realising that flexibility is still something that needs to be ironed out for working parents

East Coast working mum

Creating Your Employee Dream Team

Finding the right people to join you in your start-up venture is difficult, but it’s well worth your time and effort putting in the legwork to find the right people. As a start-up founder who doesn’t have infinite resources for recruitment and training programs, you can still save yourself a lot of grief (and money) by taking charge of the hiring process. Here, we explore and give you the chance to test who your first hires should be to build your ideal strong foundation for your start-up!

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding that YOU are your first hire: The CEO

  • Realising that if you’re a non-coding founder, then you will need to invest in a Front-End Engineer, preferably with experience in UX and design… And then there’ll also be the Back-End Engineer

  • Integrating a Marketing Manager

  • Understanding what it is you're trying to deliver and who will you need to help realise that vision


Modernizing Legacy Systems in your Organization

As the industry evolves at an alarming pace, we're under great pressure to update or completely change our systems. Doing so when we have years of data and processes in place is a huge feat for anyone. In this session, we will look at case studies of implementing large scale digital changes and how adoption was handled and encouraged across organisations.

Key takeaways:

  • Aiding user acceptance of new systems
  • Learning how to identify and rectify unknown dependencies on the legacy systems
  • Planning for workflow issues and implementing realistic timescales for adoption

Thinking Like a Hacker to Identify your Cyber Vulnerabilities 

 

While we try to embrace innovation, the security threats made possible are often at the forefront of business leaders' and consumers' thoughts. In this interactive session we will examine the cybersecurity landscape in 2019 – think like the hackers of today (and ideally tomorrow!), and examine security's evolving nature at the intersection of IoT, privacy, and regulatory environments.

Key takeaways:

  • Learning about future trends as they relate to cybersecurity
  • Understanding the hacker mindset and how this feeds into the future of cybersecurity
  • Understanding how to protect yourself and your business whilst at the helm of the digital frontier


Cybersecurity hacker

How to Successfully Fund your Start-up 

Getting a company off the ground is an uphill battle, but tech-oriented projects tend to carry added expenses. This includes hardware needs, software licensing, and the average salaries of STEM professionals. Often, funding these start-ups can be a challenge, especially early on before any investment or revenue. So, what is the differentiator between success and failure? During this presentation we will consider all this and more:

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the dynamics of the different funding routes

  • Assessing what investors are looking for

  • Analysing how founders can retain control whilst collaborating with funders and driving growth

  • Reviewing the differing legal structures that can help in attracting funding

  • Examining how to manage investor disputes should things go wrong


The Future of Software Development

As abstractions progress and new software languages automate more routine software development work, what will it mean to be a software developer in 10 to 20 years’ time?

Key takeaways:

  • Assessing the likelihood that standardised, repetitive coding work will disappear and be replaced by a vast library of predefined component behaviours, UIs, and data-flow manipulations

  • Considering how future software developers will execute through specialised software applications or platforms

  • Exploring how future AI systems will refine the drafted software design and automate all quality assurance testing, eventually learning their developer’s intent and generate the code themselves

  • Examining how eventually, AI will automate standard bug fixes


Drive your commercial objectives forward by embracing diversity and inclusion

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How to Avoid Unconscious Bias in your Job Specs

Studies have shown that ads across many male-dominated industries (like tech!) include gendered language that deters female candidates from applying! This unconscious bias is often communicated unintentionally in the way ads are written and can negatively impact the diversity of the candidates for the role. The use of gendered language in ads can undermine the implementation of a diverse hiring strategy and affect the way a company’s employer brand is perceived. So, how can you remove unconscious bias from your recruitment process?

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the impact of gender-coded words: ‘’Rockstar’, ‘ninja’, and ‘dominate’ – to name a few!

  • Demonstrate inclusiveness by keeping job requirements to the must-haves

  • Underlining the urgent need to remove jargon from your job ads

  • Calling out your company’s progress and commitment to D&I in attracting the right talent

  • Creating more perks-based thinking in the creation of job ads, especially around parental leave, subsidies, and insurances

Bias in job specs

Matching Emerging Tech to your Business Needs

We discuss common business challenges affecting multiple industries, chart current and emerging ways to address the challenges, and propose a methodology for travelling the scoping and sourcing journey. Attendees will receive insights about where to focus the emerging technologies, how to reconsider the legacy and the possibilities for future change.

Key takeaways:

  • Building a technology roadmap for your organisation

  • Reconciling your current technology with new tech and business needs for smoother transitions

  • Understanding the role data has to play in assisting our decisions when considering using new technology


The Top Business Applications for Natural Language Processing in 2019

Natural language processing (NLP) is a commonly used technology for many businesses. In fact, in an increasingly global marketplace, NLP’s business case is clear, so much so that today NLP is as common as communication itself! So, how can we further capitalise on the potential of NLP in 2019? This presentation will assess where the biggest business potentials lie for NLP in 2019.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the next phase in machine translation – Neural machine translation

  • Assessing NLP’s role in the advancement of chatbots – Where are we and what’s possible?

  • Understanding how NLP can help in the creation of diverse and inclusive recruitment practices

  • Examining NLP’s potential around conversational searching


Start-up Investment Guide – Is My Business Ready for an Investor?

A question most founders will end up asking themselves at some stage is: "Am I ready for angel investor?" It’s a difficult question that doesn’t really have one clear-cut answer, but during this presentation we will consider the essentials that start-ups need to secure angel investment.

Key takeaways:

  • Establishing if your idea is truly innovative and different – Can it potentially disrupt?

  • Accepting as a start-up founder that you are going to need to share equal risk with your investors

  • Demonstrating that you have created a business with the capability to scale

  • Ensuring that your business plan is based in realism to credibly demonstrate growth potential

  • Assessing if you have enough success stories under your belt to start approaching for investment?

Female angel investors

The Ethical Implications of AI for Society – What Do We Need to Be Thinking About?

Today, we find ourselves in a world fast filling with robots. They’re driving our cars, performing our medical procedures, influencing our elections and threatening to take our jobs (according to some). It is obvious we can’t live without them, but the deeper question of how we live with them remains unanswered.

Key takeaways:

  • Does the ethical development and use of AI require regulation?

  • What are the biggest opportunities and risks legally over the coming decade in relation to the development and use of AI?

  • As AI systems become increasingly autonomous in practice, will legal systems need to change in order to reflect and accommodate this autonomy?

  • Does the creation of some form of electronic personhood need to be considered?


Returnship: How Can We Support Men and Women Coming Back after a Break?

As we move into 2020, we are starting to see some in the tech sector embracing 'returnships' over apprenticeships in tackling their labour shortages. But, what are 'returnships', why should we be giving them consideration and how can we support our fellow employees across all levels as we begin embracing this new and inclusive industry answer to the skills gap.

Key takeaways:
 
  • Embracing career-breakers/changers into your recruitment strategies for greater diversity

  • Understanding that 'returnships' expand much farther than women returning after a break to raise children!

  • Examining the pros and cons of 'returnships' over apprenticeships in tackling recruitment and retention

  • Reviewing how to up-skill fast to take advantage of 'returnships'

  • Understanding the resources and opportunities available for returners to the tech workforce 


The Industry of Everything, What to Look out for in the Next Decade

We are getting closer to a reality where everything is connected to everything and this sparks a lot of conversations from ethical implications, to fear of hacks and being "made obsolete". There are a lot of hurdles we need to jump over to create and successfully run a tech-positive world. In this session, we will look at what to expect from the tech landscape of the next decade and what we can do to ensure we're enabling positive, safe growth.

Key takeaways:

  • Assessing what a more connected future will mean at an industry-by-industry level

  • Realising still unseen potential from IoT across industries

  • Understanding AI’s potential for harm as well as good

  • Assessing the opportunities and job roles we expect to be on the rise

Intrigued by the above sessions? Download a brochure to find out more about the conference.


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