ACT-W: Achieving Equity

If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” – John F. Kennedy

Throughout our years of bringing career-advancing workshops and engaging talks to technical women and allies at our ACT-W Conferences across the country, we’ve continuously heard stories of barriers that continue to block their success. We also hear from company executives that achieving measurable Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) results can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

By far, one of the most common pain points we hear is that companies and individuals want to do the right thing, but they feel stuck.

That’s why we created ACT-W: Achieving Equity. This summer, we’re bringing together the brightest thinkers–and most importantly–the greatest doers in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help you make change happen.

ACT-W: Achieving Equity is a boutique event that provides action-oriented training and deep discussions to level up diversity initiatives and better enact real, measurable change. Achieving Equity is built for DEI professionals, managers, recruiters, community leaders, and allies–all people actively working to create change in their company or community–and takes an actionable approach to DEI.


Join us on June 26-27th, 2019 in Portland, Oregon!

Register for ACT-W: Achieving Equity

The Achieving Equity Experience

What to Expect

You’ll leave equipped with strategies you can implement right away as well as invaluable tools and best practices proven to make change happen in both large and small organizations. You’ll connect with like-minded industry professionals with a passion for creating thriving, equity-based workplaces.

Most importantly, you’ll feel inspired and re-invigorated to continue creating cultures that embraces inclusivity and diversity at all levels.

Event Offerings

  • Deep discussions on topics such as “Best Practices to Create Intersectional Women ERGs,” and “Is It Getting Better? A View Into the State of University STEM Departments”
  • Specialized workshops that take your knowledge deeper
  • Built-in opportunities to grow your network of supportive and committed professionals
  • Practical actions and strategies to create short and long term culture change
  • Optional DEI Certificate of Completion (1-day, limited space workshop)


Achieving Equity Speakers

Lillian A. Tsai

Lillian A. Tsai

President & Founder - TsaiComms LLC
Susanne Tedrick

Susanne Tedrick

Client Technical Specialist - IBM
Jen O'Ryan, PhD

Jen O’Ryan, PhD

Founder & Principal Consultant - Double Tall Consulting
Shikha Ghosh Gottfried

Shikha Ghosh Gottfried

Programmer/Analyst - 509J School District
Nicki Washington

Nicki Washington

Associate Professor of Computer Science Winthrop University and Author

Trish King

Trish King

CEO, Founder at Trish E King Speaking and Consulting
Christa King

Christa King

CEO & Founder at Fitlandia
Nina Baliga

Nina Baliga

CEO and Co-Founder at hire<div>ersity
Myra Gupta

Myra Gupta

Rewriting the Code Consultant
Sue Harnett

Sue Harnett

Co-Founder, President + Board Chair at Rewriting the Code

Sessions & Workshops

  • Day 1: June 26, 2019


  • Day 2: June 27, 2019


  • This workshop focuses on creating a corporate culture where allyship is not only celebrated, encouraged, and nurtured, but also expected. Most tech employees fall into two categories: those wanting to be better allies (but may not know how) and those with no desire to be. While many workshops focus on better equipping current employees as allies, this workshop also includes how organizations can change the greater computing+tech culture through established relationships with colleges and universities. Creating successful computing+tech allies must begin before graduates enter the workforce. This requires placing DEI expectations on not only current students (prospective employees and interns), but also institutions and departments. Given the affiliate relationships with many universities, there is an opportunity to create better corporate cultures before prospective employees enter the workforce (e.g. affiliates/sponsorship, job fairs, info sessions/workshops, and internships). Leveraging her experiences as an African-American female computer science Ph.D. in both industry and higher education, Dr. Nicki Washington discusses how DEI professionals and managers can not only create and maintain a culture of allyship throughout their organizations, but also leverage their influence to better prepare students and faculty for DEI as an expectation instead of an option.
    Where
    General Room

  • Our understanding of gender is changing, in business and the world. Airlines are preparing to offer alternatives, other than “female / male”, for non-binary passengers. Multiple states now allow gender neutral indicators on driver’s licenses. Personal pronouns, gender neutral honorifics, and non-binary designations on documents are increasingly more common. Inclusion is a soft skill – it’s a differentiator – it’s a necessary component for innovation. It’s also the right thing to do. Many companies are still coming up to speed on what this all means. Meanwhile, the ‘outest’ generation of employees and consumers are entering the marketplace. And everyone’s looking at organizations to do better. This session covers pitfalls and best practices when designing gender equity and inclusion programs for gender variant employees, candidates, or consumers. We’ll talk about the power of language and disrupting old habits. You’ll leave with actionable steps and a new perspective.
    Where
    General Room

  • Looking for better results and engagement from your wellness initiatives? Smart companies realize they need to factor diversity and inclusion with their offerings. Learn how to engage your team to participate in the decision-making process, watch out for one-size-fits-all options to avoid, and ultimately create a culture of wellness that allows each team member to thrive in.
    Where
    General Room

  • Triggers (or "hot buttons") are caused by what we see, hear or smell. Often, they are words, actions and behaviors that cause a physical and/or emotional reaction or response in any given moment. It sends our hearts racing, gets us ruminating about what's going on, we might feel frustrated, fearful, anxious, shameful or panic. Often, we get triggered by things like comments about our race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, age, or ability and many other things outside of our control. When we get triggered or our buttons are pushed, it could also be a result of differences in values, or the result of a negative experience. In the workplace, typical behaviors might include: when someone interrupts another while they're speaking; someone who's chronically late and keeps you waiting; corrects us in front of our colleagues, etc. These behaviors also show up as micro-aggressions or micro-inequities. What we do not often realize is that hot buttons or triggers say more about us than the other person. Therefore, understanding what triggers us is just as important as understanding how we also trigger others. In either case, the result could be a misunderstanding which may spiral downwards into workplace conflict. In this interactive discussion and exercise-filled workshop, you will get a chance to explore what your triggers are, how your body responds physically, emotionally, and biologically, and how to interrupt them to create more inclusion on your team and in your workplace culture. Learning Objectives:
    1. An increased understanding and awareness of what triggers us and what we do that triggers others.
    2. An understanding that our triggers and hot buttons are often influenced by our cultural values.
    3. Take away concrete steps for unpacking and disrupting our triggers in the workplace to create more inclusion.
    Where
    General Room

  • Organizations often create surveys with the intent to gauge the pulse of their workforce. As a engineer who is part of that workforce, I have often felt my input was collected but not really heard, especially when my views/background didn’t seem to align with the majority. In this talk I’d like to explore a missing piece to the feedback loop and why publishing results that only make “majority” opinions visible continue to reinforce the status quo.
    Where
    General Room

  • Professional mentoring programs, when created with mentees’ interests at the touchstone, can help them can gain valuable insights into potential careers, as well as a deep sense of professional growth, belonging and confidence. This session will provide guidance on how program creators/administrators can design meaningful, transformational experiences for mentor and mentee alike. The session will include discussion on designing a mentoring program and determining the program’s objectives, finding the ideal mentors to participate, practices of effective mentors, and developing an effective mentee/mentor matching process to ensure successful mentee outcomes. Learning Objectives:
    1. Understanding the impact mentoring programs can have in professional development
    2. Developing deep empathy for mentee
    3. Energize attendees to seek formal/informal mentoring opportunities, regardless of career stage
    Where
    General Room

  • In the military, people identify you by your patches. A person can make a judgement based on your patches before they have ever spoken to you. We often do the same thing in our day to day life. We display patches that we want people to see, and hide or cover those that we don't. We also apply patches to others based on bias. Patricia King is a veteran and was America's first openly transgender infantry soldier. she has spoken in the Pentagon and in congress about the value of authenticity and breaking down bias. This session will look at how we each choose to wear or hide our patches and the value of authenticity in the workplace.
    Where
    General Room

  • This presentation by CEO and Co-Founder of
    ersity, Nina Baliga, educates technology professionals about mental health concerns among individuals who work in the technology industry. Nina will educate the audience on mental health and neurodiversity, and provide recommendations for companies to follow. Recommendations are intended to make the work environment a more diverse, inclusive place.
    Where
    General Room

  • Data collected from the Rewriting the Code fellows and members have already led to insights from this significant population of college women in tech. The women have shared first-hand experiences from many campuses, insights into their recruiting experience with a variety of companies, facts and impressions from their internships, and ultimately, we’ve learned a great deal about what goes into their selection of an internship of full-time position. The 2019 College Women in Tech Data Initiative has been designed to analyze and interpret data to create key corporate learnings that will benefit companies looking to hire women for technology roles. For example: What aspects of an internship best predict whether an individual will return for a full- time position? What recruiting initiatives are most effective at increasing the number of female hires? What initiatives are best at increasing brand awareness among college women? How does a company’s recruiting process impact a candidate’s perception of the company and final decision to accept the offer? How does the window of time provided to the candidate impact their decision to accept an offer? Companies and recruiters often find it difficult to answer these questions with enough data to provide meaningful insight to their recruiting and retention programs - this session will provide the often excluded student perspective on how to hire and retain diverse, new talent.
    Where
    General Room

Schedule

Wednesday, June 26

8:00 AM: Registration and coffee, breakfast
8:30 AM: DEI Certificate Workshop starts; Welcome and Keynote
9:30 AM: Lightning talks
10:00 AM: Sessions
12:00 PM: Networking Lunch
1:00 PM: Sessions
5:00 PM: DEI Certificate Workshop ends; Hosted Happy Hour

Thursday, June 27

8:30 AM: Check-In & Breakfast
9:00 AM: Keynote
9:30 AM: Sessions
12:00 PM: Networking Lunch
1:00 PM: Sessions
5:00 PM: Closing keynote
5:30 PM: Kickoff Happy Hour for ACT-W National Conference

Who Should Attend

Join us in beautiful Portland, Oregon for ACT-W: Achieving Equity

Portland State University
Smith Memorial Student Union
1825 SW Broadway St.
Portland, Oregon 97201-3256

Register Now!