The Girls’ Lounge Empowers Girls in Tech and Tackles Diversity at SXSW
The Girls’ Lounge popped up at SXSW with AOL supporting and partnering to empower girls in tech and discuss diversity and gender equality in the work place. Saturday started with #BUILTBYGIRLS in The Girls’ Lounge. The #BBG team hosted Tech Boss 101, a coaching session for high school girls with an interest in tech-powered careers. There were 40+ local girls in The Girls’ Lounge who spent the first hour listening to a panel led by #BBG ambassadors, two of the 18-year-old Girls Who Fund interns from last summer, who shared tips for networking and finding a tech internship.
The second hour focused on bringing in professional women to help the girls practice their networking skills, and work with them to set concrete goals to aim for the tech-powered career of their dreams. Marta Martinez, MAKERS Founder Dyllan McGee, HuffPost Rise Host Cat Greenleaf, Aimee Rawlins from CNNMoney, Sarah Bordo, director of “A Brave Heart” – Lizzie Velasquez’s movie, The Girl Scouts of America team, among many others participated in the empowering event. Saturday evening, AOL co-hosted the Advertising Club of NY’s Redefining Bravery: Diversity panel in The Girls’ Lounge. Moderated by AOL’s David Shing, the panel featured Jason Crain, Co-Founder & COO, PARTPIC, Laura Jordan Bambach, Creative Partner, Mr. President, and Cat Greenleaf, host of Talk Stoop & HuffPost Rise. Each panelists shared their story on what diversity means to them, and how they had experienced it in their careers. With over 70 people in attendance, the conversation drove home the importance a diverse work force not only in terms of race and gender, but also thought and skill set.
Sunday of SXSWi, ended with AOL’s Marta Martinez on The Girls’ Lounge, Power Conversation: The F Word: What Does Feminism Mean To You?
Other panelists included:
• Meredith Levien, CRO, The New York Times (moderator)
• Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Girls’ Lounge
• Jeff Lucas, Head of Sales & Marketing, Viacom Media Networks
• Lara Balazs, SVP Head of North America Marketing, Visa
• Denise Karkos, CMO, TDAmeritrade
• Madelyn Sheldon, Principal, Marketing and Advertising Manager, Amazon
• Farrah Bezner, Head of New Business Ventures, Mondelez
• Maureen Dowd, New York Times Columnist
The panel convo focused on reinventing the word “Feminism” and the power of diversity and gender equality in the workplace. “Speak up, but not just for yourself,” Marta said at the close of the panel.