post featured image

Women Who Code Announces Speakers for 2021 CONNECT Forward Conference

Decorative squiggle, background element
Written by WWCode HQNovember 8, 2021

World’s Largest Community of Diverse Women Engineers to Host Global Event Focused on Technology Careers and Leadership; 

Speakers include Kristi Perreault, Senior Software Engineer at Liberty Mutual Insurance, April Dunnam, Power Platform Advocacy Lead at Microsoft, Leena Bongale, Manager of Data Analytics and Governance at TD Bank, and Jiaqi Liu, Senior Engineering Manager at Github

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 8TH, 2021Women Who Code (WWCode), an international nonprofit dedicated to supporting the success of diverse women in technology, is excited to announce Women Who Code CONNECT Forward. This premier tech industry event is taking place over two days and will bring together a global audience to hear talks from industry leaders, engage in hands-on workshops, and develop their technology careers and leadership skills.

Women Who Code CONNECT Forward is the third event held this year as part of the CONNECT Conference series, which Women Who Code has been producing since 2015. Forward distinguishes itself as a technology conference with a focus on professional development. Technology careers are amongst the highest paid professions and while women are half of the workforce, they only hold 26% of these roles. Representation is worse for Black, Latin, and Asian women who represent about 10% of software engineers.

CONNECT Forward will address this issue by intentionally recruiting a diverse audience of tech industry participants who will be able to engage with leaders in their field, learn strategies for career navigation and advancement, develop leadership skills, build confidence with inspirational talks and engaging workshops, and improve their knowledge of cutting-edge innovations while supporting one another in a global community of industry professionals.  

Noted technology industry professionals from around the world have already been confirmed to speak at Women Who Code CONNECT Forward. These include Kate Hanson, Principal Mobile UX Designer at VF Corporation, Alex Fox, Software Engineer at Warby Parker, Jhansi Reddy, Principal Technical Program Manager at Microsoft, Hina Sakazaki, Software Engineer at Google, and Anam Mahmood, Developer advocate at IBM.

The CONNECT Forward conference is being supported by a number of sponsor companies who believe in the mission of Women Who Code and value diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. These include Accenture, Algorand, Amazon, elastic, IONOS, Jane Street, Microsoft Azure, PagerDuty, PokerStars, UIlicious, VF Corporation, VMware, the Python Software Foundation, and Wix.

“Many members of our community are experiencing transitions in their lives, including their roles and workplaces,” said WWCode Chief Program Officer Shanna Gregory. “We’re supporting those who are seeking and demanding more out of their careers. I’m especially excited about the sessions geared toward technical skill sharing and building your network.”

“A part of the Inclusion & Diversity strategy of our Digital Technology organization is to maximize workforce diversity in partnership with organizations, such as Women Who Code,” said VF Chief Digital Technology Officer, Velia Carboni. “Sponsoring events such as CONNECT Forward is one of the many ways we hope to win in the multicultural marketplace - by building a women candidates' pipeline and providing our women IT professionals a platform to speak on technology, leadership, and innovation.”

Women Who Code has already hosted two major conferences this year with WWCODE CONNECT REIMAGINE in June and WWCode CONNECT India in August both focusing on technology education and discussions of cutting edge innovations. CONNECT Forward is distinguishing itself as an event designed specifically to support and elevate the careers of diverse technologists, and in addition to programming, it is also featuring a resume database and ways to connect directly with companies looking to hire. 

About Women Who Code

Women Who Code (WWCode) is an international nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. WWCode is building a world where women are proportionally representative as technical leaders, executives, founders, VCs, board members, and software engineers. The organization has executed more than 14,000 free events around the world, garnered a membership exceeding 290,000 in 134 countries. Help empower even more women to advance in tech with the training and community they need to succeed by supporting WWCode. Learn more at

Related Posts