When you work in tech — particularly if you work remotely — it’s critical to stay connected to your community. In addition to online forums like Stack Overflow and in-person meetups through international organizations like Rails Girls, tech conferences are a surefire way to network with industry peers, socialize with like-minded professionals, and get reinvigorated about tech issues and developments.
In order to give you an idea of what events you need to put on your calendar, we’ve rounded up a list of notable conferences taking place the rest of this year. Keep in mind location and cost when picking out a conference that’s right for you, and try to jump on early bird and student discounts when available. Also, don’t forget to see if your employer will subsidize the cost of any conference you attend — conferences are perfect for making personal connections, but they’re also a crucial way to build skills and continue your tech education.
Advancing Careers of Technical Women
When: May 6, 2021
Price: $195 student/unemployed registration, $495 general registration
The Advancing Careers of Technical Women (Act-W) organizers believe that more women leaders means a better tech industry and a better world (and we agree!), but too many women still cite a lack of female mentors and leaders in their field. The three-day Act-W National Conference uses interactive sessions, one-on-one coaching, a career fair, and networking opportunities to foster tech and leadership skills for women. Act-W offers a steeply discounted rate for students and unemployed attendees.
The Women in Tech Summit: Northeast
Where: Philadelphia, PA
When: April 12–13, 2021
Price: $49 student ticket, Saturday only; $89 student ticket, Friday and Saturday; $109 attendee ticket, Saturday only; $179 attendee ticket, Friday and Saturday
The Women in Tech Summit aims to bring women into the technology industry through tech education and personal connection with other female tech professionals. Philadelphia is the site for this year’s Northeast location, and will feature workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. All profits generated from this and other Women in Tech summits support TechGirlz.org, a non-profit group that introduces middle school girls to the possibility of careers in technology. See listings for additional Women in Tech Summits in other locations below.
The Women in Tech Summit: Midwest
Where: Chicago, IL
When: May 3, 2021
Price: $49 student ticket, $79 early bird ticket, TBA attendee ticket
Under the same umbrella as the Northeast Women in Tech Summit above, this year’s Midwest location is in Chicago. The Midwest Summit will feature speakers like Liz Brown, Co-CEO and Head of Design at WebJunto, Rokeya Jones, Director of Academic Evangelism at Microsoft, and Mary Malone, Principal Engineer at Comcast.
Women Transforming Technology
Where: Palo Alto, CA
Women Transforming Technology was founded by cloud computing company VMWare and is made up of organizations from the tech industry, academia, and non-profit sectors. The purpose of the group is to build community and tackle issues critical to women in tech. WTT’s yearly conference event takes place at the VMWare campus in Palo Alto and features keynote talks from industry leaders, as well as breakout sessions, which in past years have featured smaller talks tailored to attendees’ technical and seniority levels, including sessions for executive leaders, emerging leaders (attendees looking to move into manage roles), and technical sessions (based on developing specific tech skills).
Diversity in Tech
Where: London, England
The Diversity in Tech event is dedicated to bringing inclusion to the forefront of the industry. Diversity in Tech recognizes that people who don’t fit tech’s status quo are often left out of the conversation, and so this event is designed to connect and empower people from marginalized groups. While the Diversity in Tech event covers ground familiar to other tech conferences — networking and education on emerging trends like AI, digital reality, and cybersecurity — it does so in the context of creating authentically diverse and inclusive organizations. Talks will include industry leaders who are committed to improving the landscape of D&I (diversity and inclusion), and offer a special focus on best practices for implementing an inclusive company culture and retaining top talent.
Wonder Women Tech Global Summit
Where: London, England
When: June 8, 2021
Price: £99 full day early bird ticket (available until March 31, 2018)+ £13.86 fee; £149.00 full day ticket + £20.61 fee
Wonder Women Tech’s second London International Conference is taking place during London Tech Week this year. The purpose of this event is to highlight, celebrate, and educate women and other groups underrepresented in STEAM (science, technology, education, art, and math). This year’s focus will be on diversity and inclusion, social innovation, fashion tech, interactive technology, career development, and mentoring. Expect a day full of keynote speakers and panel discussions, which in previous years have included guests like Zuri Hunter, Technical Lead of Black Girls Code, Mona Siddiqui, Chief Data Officer at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and Taneshia Nash Laird, Executive Director at the Arts Council at Princeton.
Where: Dublin, Ireland
When: May 16–17, 2021
Price: €95 student/unemployed/over-65, €150 teacher/academic/government/non-profit, €295 early bird (available until March 31, 2018), €395 regular bird (April 1-June 14, 2018), €450 late bird (after June 15, 2018)
Inspirefest is an international festival centered around education on and the intersection between technology, science, design, and the arts. This year’s event will be tackling those subjects with speakers as varied as Maha Al Balushi, Managing Director at Oman Technology Fund, playwright and performer Heather Massie, and Liza Donnelly, Cartoonist and Writer at the New Yorker and CBS News. Not only does Inspirefest advertise over 60 speakers and more than 3,000 attendees from 38 countries (with a 64 percent/35 percent split between women and men), but Inspirefest tickets include entry into the concurrent Fringe festival, which features live music, spoken word, comedy, and — of course — networking!
Where: Atlanta, GA
The We RISE tech conference is hosted by the Women Who Code Atlanta organization. Committed to showcasing women in technology, the We RISE event features keynote talks from women and allies of all genders as well as panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and a multi-track program for attendees to follow that allows them to attend the talks, panels, and workshops most suited to their specific technical level and interests. This year’s speakers include Jill Wetzler, Director of Engineering at Lyft, Denise Francis, Product Designer at IBM at the Weather Company, and Jenn Green, Operations Education Lead at MailChimp.
The Grace Hopper Celebration
Where: Orlando, FL
When: October 2-4, 2021
Price: $1,150 general registration, $600 academic registration, $450 student registration
Named after computer programming pioneer and United States Navy rear Admiral Grace Hopper, The Grace Hopper Celebration bills itself as the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Previous events have hosted as many as 15,000 attendees from 87 countries and offered over 200 sessions with more than 700 speakers — which means the odds of getting your networking, inspiration, and professional development on at the GHC are exceedingly high.
Women of Color STEM Conference
Where: Detroit, MI
When: October 3–5, 2021
Price: $450 student registration, $1020 general registration (before August 15, 2018), $1200 general registration (from August 16-September 22, 2018), $1400 (after September 22, 2018), $600 Friday only, $625 Saturday only
Women of Color’s STEM Conference has been in operation since 1995, and attendees get to meet and hear from Fortune 500 executives committed to diversity and the advancement of women in the workforce. While many conferences can be speaker heavy, this year’s WOC STEM conference is taking a hands-on centered approach using a new Premium Professional Learning Track. Attendees can choose from options like Career Lab (9.5 hours of workshops over two days that cover core professional leadership competencies), Diversity Management (emerging and experienced leaders both can learn about a wide range of leadership styles and management techniques), and Pre-Professional Seminars (designed to help college students and new professional build workplace skills).
Tech Up For Women
Where: New York, NY
When: November 12, 2021
Price: $275 early bird + $16.12 fee (available until June 7, 2018), $350 + $20.24 fee (after June 7, 2018)
The Tech Up For Women conference is a one-day event focusing on showcasing new technological advances, cybersecurity, and tech products, with the aim of taking the “fear factor” out of technology and empowering women to participate in the tech industry. Along with keynote industry speakers, the event offers skill-based trainers who will give attendees the opportunity to learn about and test new tech products in a relaxed environment.
The Women in Tech Summit: Southeast
Where: Raleigh, NC
When: November 8-9, 2021
Price: $49 student ticket, $79 early bird ticket, TBA attendee ticket
The Women in Tech Summit makes its Southeastern stop in Triangle Park, NC. This year’s lineup has yet to be announced, but last year’s Southeast event in Raleigh-Durham included appearances by LaBrina Loving, Cloud Solution Architect for State and Local Government at Microsoft, Radharani De, Developer at the Washington Post, and Sarah Anderson, Web and Communications Manager at National Archives and Records Administration.