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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Women & Technology Conference Creates Opportunities for Education and Networking

great crowd shot WTCWomen from around the state and region attended the 2014 Women & Technology Conference, held Oct. 16-17 in Wheeling. The event highlighted the challenges and opportunities for women working in and with STEM fields and technology, and featured speeches by women leaders, informative panels and educational workshops.

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, captivated the gathering at the opening luncheon with her powerful message of science and exploration.  She encouraged women to find “mentors in the moment,” and observed that anyone can be a mentor, adding that “they don’t have to look like us.”

Dr. Sullivan said her life has embraced “toys, travel and adventure,” and offered her top tips for success.  Read more about Dr. Sullivan’s address here.

The conference attracted nearly 100 participants and also featured keynote speeches from Nikki Bowman, President and Publisher of New South Media and WVU Provost Joyce McConnell.

WVU Provost, Joyce McConnell (center), flanked by students from WVU.

WVU Provost, Joyce McConnell (third from right) flanked by students from WVU.

During a special presentation on October 16, SBA’s mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Natalia Olson-Urtecho, presented a director’s choice award for Woman-Owned Small Business Champion to Nikki Bowman, President and Publisher of New South Media.  Read about Nikki Bowman’s address to the conference here.

West Virginia University Provost Joyce McConnell encouraged attendees to overcome fears and become comfortable with taking risks.  She made the point that women aren’t new to technology, but noted that historically their contributions were in the private sphere as “domestic engineers.”  Now women are in the public sphere of technology and should be encouraged to claim their place and build relationships to advance.  She discussed the difference between mentors and sponsors, noting that sponsors “will pick up the phone and help someone out.”

TechConnect is very grateful to the conference sponsors who made this event possible, including the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts; West Virginia University Office of Research and Economic Development; Marshall University Research Corp.; West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; West Virginia NASA Space Grant Consortium; BrickStreet Insurance; American Electric Power; WesBanco.

For an in-depth overview of the event, please see these articles from the Wheeling Intelligencer/News Register and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Pictures from the conference are posted on TechConnectWV’s Facebook page and website.  Check out the twitter feed here. #wvwomentech

2014 Event Sponsors: