WoMakersCode Conference Empowers Tech Women
Published Nov 29 2023 07:00 AM 1,269 Views

Cynthia Zanoni, a Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, founded the non-profit organization WoMakersCode in 2015 with the goal of enhancing the skills and promoting the employment of women in the tech industry. In October, they held the hybrid conference 'Encontro de Mulheres e Carreira em Tecnologia(Women in Tech Conf) in Brazil. This conference, held over three days, captivated many female technologists, primarily targeting mid-level and senior-level women, by providing opportunities to learn both hard and soft skills. More than 200 professionals from diverse occupations and industries, including software development, security, and IT consulting, attended the event in person, and over 2,000 participated online.

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This year's conference featured a total of 34 speakers, including technology leaders from major local companies. These speakers, who are experts in their respective fields, delivered talks on AI, data analysis, software development, and tools, as well as shared their experiences and ideas about professional career development with the participants.


The organizer, Cynthia, explained the latest technology information in a session on GitHub Copilot and also served as a moderator in a panel titled ' Painel: Inteligência Artificial e futuro do trabalho na tecnologia' (Panel: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work in Technology), which offered insights from experts on AI and the future of work. This embodied the conference's goal of delivering a diverse range of topics to a diverse group of participants. “Our event made sense for women from diverse backgrounds, showcasing that to stand out in the job market, it is important to be a versatile professional and stay aligned with the industry's trends,” says Cynthia, highlighting the significance of the conference.


Female Microsoft MVPs active in Brazil also participated as speakers at this conference. As community leaders, they conveyed their technical knowledge, shared their own experiences and insights to stimulate discussions, and supported women in the technology industry.

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Kamila Santos, who is a Developer Technology MVP and serves on the board of an NGO and as the organizer of this conference, reflected on her joy, saying, “I met several incredible professionals and was able to inspire more women to start and develop their careers in technology”. Also, Thamirys Gameiro, a Developer Technology MVP, was one of the speakers and described this event experience saying “it was amazing to see so many women gathered who are already working in the technology field, exchanging experiences, and feeling the female power in the field”.


Karine Lago, who has received the MVP award in both the Data Platform and M365 categories, also participated as a speaker at this conference. She provided a technical explanation on utilizing and analyzing data using Power BI and on leveraging image data with Azure Cognitive Services. Furthermore, as a woman who has been a presence in the fields of Power BI and data analytics for over 10 years, she also embraced the role of encouraging female participants to adopt her own determination, passion, and strength. Reflecting on what she learned from this opportunity, she noted, “I learned that I don't need to work hard to inspire women,” emphasizing that her usual activities such as sharing knowledge and demonstrating courage and willpower serve as good examples for those who want to start something new, continue learning, or lead in a field they are interested in.


Cynthia, the organizer, revealed the positive impact that MVP contributions bring to the conference. “Collaborating with MVPs significantly enhances the event's value by bringing in industry-leading expertise, practical insights, and innovative solutions. Their contributions not only enrich the content and discussions but also inspire and motivate attendees to explore new possibilities. The collaboration fosters a strong network of support and encourages continuous learning and growth within the community”.


Cynthia also mentioned that through interactions with participants at the conference, she gained valuable insights into the importance of nurturing a collaborative and inclusive environment for sharing knowledge and developing skills, and innovative approaches to addressing the challenges they face. In Brazil, where the percentage of women in the tech industry is less than 30%, she learned about the importance of maintaining motivation when faced with challenges by establishing a technical community network. This raises expectations for the further expansion of a community that supports women technologists in Brazil in the future.


As mentioned above, the three MVPs who contributed to this conference in their respective roles all expressed a proactive desire to support women who want to excel in the tech industry using the power of Microsoft technologies. Kamila mentioned specific areas of technology, saying “I will continue to conduct classes and lectures inside and outside the NGO and talk mainly about GitHub, VS Code, and how this knowledge and tools can help them in the market.” Furthermore, Karine, who has long demonstrated her presence in the male-dominated field of data analysis, emphasized her continued support for women by undertaking strong and in-depth work to show her passion for this theme, stating “I demonstrate that other women can also become role models by being an example myself.” And from Thamirys, we received a very simple yet powerful message: “Whenever I can, I support women communities in my region”.


Some MVPs from other regions are also interested in hosting such events, and thus, future collaborations may lead to conferences targeting new audiences. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming events.

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