Women For Technical Talks (W4TT) is a community by a group of women with an ambition, “give visibility to female talent by helping women in STEM develop community leadership and public speaking skills to increase their participation as speakers of technical talks.” Data Platform, M365 Apps & Services MVP Yolanda Cuesta, Data Platform MVP Inés Pascual, and the technical community experts Marcela Bordolini, Cristina Tarabini-Castellani Ciordia, and Paula Gutiérrez are core organizers of this community and have been engaging with 1,000 community members through online meetups. As a great story of women empowerment, we introduced their 3rd conference last year: Spanish Tech Community Fights Gender Gap
Since then, the community has continued to empower the women in STEM, which has led to impactful participation in the 4th edition of the Anfitrionas Conference, which took place in November 2022.
One of the MVP organizers, Yolanda, explains that the biggest difference from the previous conference was the event format. It was a 2-day conference delivered in two formats. The first day was a virtual conference with 25 sessions across five tracks: Data, AI, development, security, and motivational topics, and the second day was their first in-person format conducted across two tracks: Data/AI and motivational topics.
This conference provided interaction opportunities, in particular, attendees in Day 2 had a fantastic face-to-face conversation for the first time since this community was launched in December 2019 just before the pandemic. Yolanda explains, “The in-person connection makes a real difference and reinforces connection. It opened a door to a richer sharing opportunity between all participants, such as the informal talks in-between sessions. It was very fulfilling to know more about participants and speakers felt about their first experience with our group, get to know about their professional progression and exposure to community.”
Another organizer of W4TT, Cristina Tarabini, says she feels W4TT is a small family that loves welcoming new guests. In her community engagements for nearly three years to date, she met a lot of women in the technology sector and learned from their experiences. “After hosting many virtual monthly meetings and three online events, I have no doubt that the differentiating factor in this 4th event was seeing each other in person, and it made this conference very special. I have learned something from all of them, we also have shared our experiences online with many of them, and the simple fact is shaking their hands and hugging them is wonderful.”
Diverse speakers’ perspectives give attendees greater insights. This conference featured influential female speakers including MVPs. For example, M365 Apps & Services MVP in Spain, Rocío Romero, inspired attendees through her session of how to integrate Power BI with Power Platform. What makes W4TT awesome is that they have been making efforts to find new speakers at every edition. According to the Community Program Manager in Spain, Cristina Gonzalez Herrero, W4TT conference has approximately 10 new speakers at every edition and provides a great opportunity for their first public speaking.
Additionally, it was not only for the attendees in Spain but also for the Spanish speaking community leaders in the world, and almost half of all speakers joined this conference were from LATAM. AI MVP in Bolivia, Carla Vanesa Mamani Chavez, who has been also awarded as Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador for her leadership in building a strong technical community at her University, has now become a regular speaker to this conference and shared her knowledge of Power Virtual Agents in her session.
W4TT is now well-recognized by local IT companies for their positive impact on Women in tech. More companies have been showing a genuine commitment to gender equality and offering sponsorship to support the W4TT-led events and conferences. In addition to financial support and event promotion, they encourage their female employees to be a part of the events as a speaker and a volunteer staff.
W4TT’s journey to empower women in tech industry will continue in 2023. Yolanda shares her expectation for further engagements, “Our group was proven to get more and more session proposals at each conference edition and is looking forward to organizing the next conference edition in June 2023.”
To learn more about W4TT’s efforts at this conference, you can watch the videos on YouTube and check out their updates on Twitter.