Meetings

Massachusetts Tech Group Eyes Way to Put Women Out Front

By / Oct 27, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new partnership between the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and the meeting industry startup Innovation Women hopes to create visibility opportunities for women in the state’s technology field—specifically at events.

The talent is there; the challenge is ensuring that people know it.

A new strategic partnership between two technology groups will ensure that female tech entrepreneurs in Massachusetts get a chance to show off their knowledge to the world in an area where they’ve often struggled to find a place—in speaking roles at technology events.

It’s a problem that the industry has struggled to solve. Last September, for example, Apple drew positive attention for having a large number of women on the stage at its most recent product event; but the company also drew cries of sexism for a demo in which an Adobe employee Photoshopped a smile onto a female model’s face.

The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) is in a position to help improve this state of affairs. The group will work with the “visibility bureau” Innovation Women to create speaking opportunities for members. The council will pay the $100 fee for its members to create a profile on the Innovation Women website.

Speaking to BetaBoston, Innovation Women Cofounder Bobbie Carlton said that the goal is to help ensure that women get equal footing on event stages.

“[Women] need more opportunities to be seen as a thought leader, as an expert, to be able to tell their story,” Carlton explained.

In a news release, MassTLC CEO Tom Hopcroft stressed that the emphasis on diversity is not just about improving success rates for current CEOs but also about attracting diverse talent in future generations.

“If we are to compete and win in the global race to lead the next major technological wave, we cannot afford to leave what amounts to over 50,000 capable workers on the sidelines,” Hopcroft explained. “We need to inspire girls at an early age, provide women and men the flexibility to balance work and family life, and most importantly, shine a spotlight on the many successful women who are, today, role models in our industry. We are proud to be partnering with Innovation Women to do just that.”

The move is a coup for Innovation Women, itself a Massachusetts startup. The company launched this past May.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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