This year Arise Design celebrated International Women’s Day in a very special way! We had the pleasure of attending the very first annual San Diego Tech Women’s Summit.

As one of the few ‘woman owned’ creative agencies in San Diego, it was an honor to take part of the conversation and ignite a movement that empowers women in tech.

On May 7, Athena, California’s premier advocate for women in the STEM workforce, hosted the very first annual San Diego Tech Women’s Summit at Qualcomm campus.

Athena is a local active member of the UN Global Compact - their mission to empower 1 million women in STEM by 2030, is fueled by its 50 leadership development and mentoring programs, its digital library and its local and global advocacy partners.

The Tech Women's Summit's purpose is to ignite, highlight, and celebrate the resources, knowledge, and leadership of women within the San Diego Tech Community.

We don’t know about you, but when it comes to leveling up San Diego’s diverse ecosystem and magnify our voice in support for STEM women. WE ARE HERE FOR IT!

SDTWS delivered an exceptional program. Aside from the amazing speakers, they set up a  resource fair that showcased many of our favorite organizations. Oh yes, we’re about to name drop…

Girls in Tech
LatinaGeeks
Women Who Code
TechSesh
Designing Women
StartupSanDiego

They also had some topnotch sponsors:

Qualcomm
Playstation
Intuit
Notch8
LearnAcademy
DLA Piper
Cox Business
Experian
STELLA

4 Key takeaways from the San Diego Tech Women’s Summit:

1. Collaboration is KEY. The summit was a perfect example of what collaboration looks like. It was a powerful showcase of tech champions sharing San Diego Resources and available tools to gain practical insight on overcoming obstacles and accelerating your tech career goals.
"Remind people of your function and impact. The more times you can talk about who you are and what you do, you're elevating yourself."

2. Your network is your net worth. Build meaningful communities and help each other without expectation.
"Embrace your awkwardness and be brave." - Jessica Naziri, CEO TechSesh



3. Be brave, make your own opportunities. We are fortunate in San Diego to have so many resources and local community groups that seek to advance women in tech!
"Think about what you can do to make a difference for women everywhere” - Vicki Mealer, Chief Diversity Officer Qualcomm

4. Don't be afraid to lead dialogues. Remind people of your function and impact while you push for change in the workplace.
"The culture and consciousness of professional women in the workforce today is under immense reexamination and together we need to take charge and lead that national dialogue." - Holly Smithson, CEO Athena

After the summit we felt inspired, empowered, and energized. However, there is still lots of work to be done...

Have you heard about San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC for short)? EDC's mission is to maximize San Diego's economic prosperity and global competitiveness.

How do they do it?

  • Work directly with nearly 200+ companies
  • Lead program and initiatives to grow our economy across multiple segments including talent attraction and retention, regional marketing and more.

According to EDC's research - San Diego is #2 lowest female workforce participation. And #8/13 in share of females in STEM. This is not good!

It is crucial that we continue the conversation on equality outside of SDTWS and push for change in the workplace.

San Diego is becoming a hub of innovation and technology, we are fortunate to have so many resources and local community groups that seek to advance women in tech! 

To all the badass women out there, we hope everyone celebrated #InternationalWomensDay the way it deserves to be celebrated. On behalf of the Arise Design team, we wish you all a Happy Women's History month!

Thank you to the organizers and volunteers for putting on such an epic Summit. See you next year!

Photo credit: San Diego Tech Women's Summit