IGNITE Worldwide is a 501(c)3 nonprofit STEM education organization that aims to change gender and racial equity in STEM, and is delighted to announce the educational success of its staff attendance at the 2023 NCWIT Summit, Elevating Conversations for Change. This dynamic hybrid event aimed to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the tech industry. The event, held from 5/18 to 5/19, brought together a diverse range of industry professionals, community leaders, and thought influencers to engage in meaningful discussions and encouraged action toward creating a more inclusive future. “The opportunity to attend the 2023 NCWIT Summit virtually provided an unparalleled experience to engage with women in tech to share, discuss, and strategize on how to advance DEIA within our own organizations,” Cheri Jensen, IGNITE Worldwide Marketing and Communications Director.
The NCWIT Summit was a collaborative effort, drawing support and participation from numerous individuals and organizations committed to championing DEI initiatives. “I loved beaming in on a community of people committed to diversity in tech who are willing to ask hard questions and engage in challenging conversations,” commented Lauren Johnson, IGNITE Worldwide Program Director. Attendees experienced a series of impactful sessions, interactive workshops, and a wide-range of speakers who engaged with attendees to educate, inspire, and drive positive change in their respective spheres of influence.
Highlights of the event included a keynote address Ijeoma Oluo, who is a speaker and #1 NYT Best-Selling author. Misty Adams, IGNITE Worldwide Development Coordinator commented, “[Ijeoma Oluo] sentiments around having real discussions about racism and intersectionality in America left a long-lasting impression on how real change can happen.” These thoughts were echoed by Amber Zertuche, IGNITE Worldwide Program Director, “Her statements about white supremacy being the culture that we all live in, and her encouragement for workplaces to look at where they are now, reiterated the importance of this work for IGNITE and all other organizations.”
“It has been inspiring to see the impact this experience has made on the IGNITE staff, and I am grateful for the education this event provided. I am looking forward to continuing the conversations started and facilitating more opportunities like this for the IGNITE team,” stated Cathi Rodgveller, IGNITE Worldwide CEO & Founder.
IGNITE Worldwide staff participated in the event to further foster a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion that extends throughout the organization and the IGNITE Program. The event served as one of many ongoing initiatives and projects that will further promote inclusivity within IGNITE Worldwide and its mission. “Experiencing the NCWIT Summit was a refreshing look at the role of patriarchal culture in the tech field through the lens of ‘viral masculinity.’ It was interesting to shift focus from established norms to thinking about how those norms are spread in order to find effective ways to recognize and counteract sexism and the societal polarization it generates,” Danielle Long, IGNITE Worldwide Program Coordinator. As part of its long-term DEI strategy, IGNITE Worldwide actively engages in both educational events such as the NCWIT Summit and focused training. Katherine Corr, IGNITE Marketing Coordinator shared, “The learning experience provided by the NCWIT Summit reiterated to me the imperative nature of this work, and I left the experience with a sense of urgency for continued DEIA in both my work and personal life.”
About IGNITE Worldwide
IGNITE Worldwide is a 501(c)3 nonprofit STEM education organization that aims to change gender and racial equity in STEM permanently and systematically. We work directly with teachers during the school day to provide programming that promotes gender equity and representation in STEM academics and careers. Through our award-winning program, IGNITE provides engaging, hands-on events that connect students with STEM professionals from industry leaders from around the world. Learn more at www.igniteworldwide.org.