Tech hosts 20th Women’s Leadership Conference: “Silent no more”

Photo by Lauren Moye

On Saturday, March 10, the 20th annual Georgia Tech Women’s Leadership Conference was held at the Historic Academy of Medicine. Following a year highlighted by the Women’s March, movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp and a record number of women running for office, the theme of the day-long conference was “Silent No More.”

The day started with Neeki Memarzadeh, fourth-year BSMS INTA student and Conference Chair, delivering an opening address speaking on these themes to a sold-out crowd. From there, attendees participated in a variety of workshops, ranging from a presentation by students at Spelman College who spoke on urban sustainability and environmentalism to a conversation with District forty-two State Senator
Elena Parent.

A standout from the morning session was a packed workshop led by Georgia State clinical psychologist Dr. Suzann Lawry and doctoral candidate Becky LeCroix discussing their research on “the impostor phenomenon,” an experience often encountered by high-achieving women and minorities who feel like “phonies” despite their success.

After lunch and a networking fair where participants had an opportunity to connect with conference sponsors, awards were given in recognition of influential women in the Tech community. Dean Jacqueline Jones Royster of the Ivan Allen College was recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Award and Ursula Reynolds, Associate Director of Doctoral Programs in the College of Business was given the Outstanding Staff Award. Two $1,000 scholarships were also awarded, one to undergraduate student Taft Weber-Kilpack and one to graduate student Kate Gunderson.

Following the awards was another standout of the conference, a “Fireside Chat” panel of woman activists in the Atlanta area discussing how to translate social activism into everyday life. The final round of workshops featured Tech’s own Dr. Susanna Morris speaking on understanding and disrupting respectability politics. The conference concluded with a panel of women currently working in the tech industry. Passionate closing remarks were delivered by Conference Vice Chair and Cybersecurity MS student Reagan Johnson.