(ATLANTA, GA–May 11, 2015) – In 2014, women accounted for only 26 percent of the computing workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, when they made up 57 percent of the overall workforce. In addition, recent research identifies women as the lead adopters of technology. These statistics highlight the need for more women in the tech industry. Encouraging women to consider a technology career and examining how to elevate leadership strategies in the digital era are just two of the many topics speakers and honorees will address at the 11th Annual Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference, which commences this week.
The conference will kick off on May 13 with the 2015 Academy of Game Changers Luncheon honoring Game Changers in the digital age. These inspirational women will share their journey to becoming key players in today’s technology industry as they address the conference theme, “New School Leaders in the Digital Era.”
“We are thrilled to have so many dynamic visionaries in the technology realm attend this year’s conference,” said Dr. Jane Smith, Ed.D., executive director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at Spelman. “These speakers and honorees stand boldly at the forefront to create and implement leadership strategies to ensure the advancement of women of color.”
Game Changer Award
Following the luncheon are a series of “Intimate Conversations with Game Changers.” During the workshops, Game Changer honorees will reveal insights, challenges and game-changing decisions that catapulted them to success.
Game Changer Award recipients include:
Sara Buchanan is founder and CEO of Your Talent Bridge, a firm helping organizations recruit college students to join global corporations after graduation. In 2013, she founded My Job Connector, a next generation recruitment social network. She has dedicated more than $15,000 on behalf of Your Talent Bridge to Usher’s New Look Foundation to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and finance.
Marietta Davis is the vice president of US Dynamics at Microsoft. While leading the dynamics business in the U.S. subsidiary, she is responsible for a team of nearly 300 sales, marketing and technical professionals serving Microsoft’s business customers.
Lynette Bell is first vice president and community development manager at SunTrust Bank where she manages the bank’s Community Development program. She is also the geographic team lead for the enterprise of SunTrust. Dedicated to community service, Bell has served as a board member of several Atlanta organizations.
Chevara Orrin is the chief creative catalyst for EQ3 Media where she creates innovative strategies encompassing creative marketing and social evolution. She is best known for co-creating We Are Straight Allies, a national advertising campaign to support LGBT equality. Orrin oversees the company’s strategic and creative vision with more than 20 years of leadership in the arts and education field.
Legacy of Leadership Award
The most successful leaders think strategically. They’ve driven the charge for the advancement of women of color in the digital age. They’re influential, critical thinkers with a drive for excellence in their professional and personal lives; and they embrace the importance of empowerment and service. They are defined by Spelman College as having a legacy of leadership. The Legacy of Leadership Awards Dinner is May 13.
Legacy of Leadership Award recipients include:
Joanne Xu is an application development manager for UPS Supply Chain Solutions where she’s responsible for supply chain B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) integration development, primarily focusing on contract Logistics, transportation, global freight forwarding and international brokerage systems. Xu has more than 20 years of logistics and technology experience with UPS.
Conference Tweet Up
Following the Game Changers luncheon, Spelman invites tweeters to participate in a Tweet Up on Wednesday, May 13 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Tweet Up, led by nationally-recognized advocate Johnetta Elzie, who was recently named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine, will focus on the influence of social media in creating and sustaining social justice movements — locally, nationally and globally. Elzie will be joined by two Spelman student activists, Banah Ghadbian, C’2015, and Zarinah Mustafa, C’2016. Follow along on Twitter via #SpelmanWOCC and/or the handle @SpelmanWOCConf.
Let’s Talk Tech Workshops & Sessions
A sample of the numerous technology-focused workshops and sessions at the conference, May 13-14, include: “Crafting Your Identity in the Digital Era,” “Entrepreneurship: Expanding Opportunities in the Digital Era,” “Getting the Most Out of a Digital Conference” and “Increasing Diversity in Gaming and Digital Entertainment.”
About Spelman Women of Color Conference
Started in 2004, the Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference provides professional and personal development opportunities for emerging and established women leaders. The annual conference brings together many of the world’s most successful leaders to share skills and knowledge to help women succeed in leadership roles. Intergenerational participants range in experience from C-level executives to college students who attend information-packed workshops, participate in valuable networking opportunities, and interact with a wide range of diverse speakers to gain knowledge about what it takes to create and sustain quality leadership. Previous speakers include Carol’s Daughter Founder Lisa Price, journalist Roland S. Martin, actress Nicole Ari Parker, corporate executive Kimberly Davis, media expert Arianna Huffington and White House director Kiran Ahuja.
The 2015 conference will be held May 13-14, 2015, at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta. The two-day event will explore “New School Leaders in the Digital Era” and feature notable leaders in the technology and digital industries.
During the conference, prominent female leaders across all facets of technology and digital industries will share their experiences and knowledge of success in leadership roles. Attendees and experts will delve into this year’s theme, which will examine how to develop and sustain effective leadership strategies via change, innovation and influence. Experts will also address the importance and effects of technology, why leaders must be digitally-fluent and how to excel in today’s high-speed, globally-connected environment.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard University professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.