We started writing the Women Tech Founders story almost 3 years ago, when female leaders in tech startups tallied less than 3 percent. We’re still a pretty ragtag team of female founders and leaders with babies and businesses and laptops that are burning through the night. And our battle is still totally grassroots. But we are innovators and as with any great tech startup, “we get shit done.”
Tonight, we were excited about the latest chapter of our story: The launch of the inaugural Midwest Women in Tech Awards. The women who were recognized, nominated over the past month, and those not yet on our radar are proof that no one can claim “they can’t find a woman for a panel, or a job, or a leadership role.” We’ve got amazingly talented and driven women among us. So much so that we received more than 12,500 votes during the 12 days of voting. Without further ado, the winners of Women Tech Founders’ first Midwest Women in Tech Awards were:
- Corporate Tech Leader: Pallavi Verma, Accenture
- Investor in Women: Cayla Weisberg, InvestHER Ventures
- Social Impact: Aviva Rosman, BallotReady
- Emerging Startup: Katy Lynch, Codeverse
- Lifestyle: Jamie Migdal, Fetchfind
- Glamtech: Liz Kammel Tilatti, Zipfit Denim
- Health & Biotech: Dima Elissa, VisMed3D
- Talent Development: Shaniqua Davis, Noirefy
- Fintech: Cayetana Polanco, Keyo
- Education: Donna Beasley, KaZoom Kids Books
- Media & Marketing: Marie Hale, @Revenue
- Women Tech Founder FightBelt: Kristi Ross, tastytrade
So many women in Chicago, the Midwest and the world are writing their own stories right now, raising their voices and using technology to scale change during a time in history that offers a unique opportunity.
It’s why we created the Midwest Women in Tech Awards. It’s why Mayor Rahm Emanuel and JB Pritzker were among the men who joined the awards to support us. They get it. Men shouldn’t hold the only platforms that define success. Women need to create platforms on their own terms, through criteria that matter to them – like leadership authenticity, business acumen, grit and integrity. Acknowledgement like these awards equalize the concept of power in tech and leadership and create role models so tomorrow’s girls see themselves as more than what today’s society tells them they can be. To become a member of Women Tech Founders, please join us here.
For additional thoughts from Terri on the awards and the state of women, please read her latest Chicago Woman Magazine article here.