Upcoming Women Impact Tech conference hopes to increase female leadership in tech

Women Impact Tech
Paula Bratcher Ratliff, President of Women Impact Tech, said her organization's upcoming conference in Chicago is centered around trying get more women into positions of leadership within the tech industry. Photo credit Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Women Impact Tech is hosting a major industry conference in Chicago this week, which will focus on increasing female leadership within the tech industry.

Paula Bratcher Ratliff, the President of Women Impact Tech, said she’s seen an evolution regarding women’s interest in getting into the tech industry. Ratliff said those strides, though, have been limited.

“You haven’t seen women leadership roles advance in technology as much as we would like,” she said.

Ratliff said that's exactly the point of her organization's conference this week, which is expected to bring over 1,000 female leaders to Chicago.

“The last 10 years, we’ve really only seen about a 2% improvement in women leaders within technology,” she said. “Statistically, we’re making strides in technical roles for women across the board, so that number has improved pretty significantly.”

Tech is still a “boys club,” Ratliff said, and that must change.

“I think the last number was 16% of women in more senior level roles in technology, and then it’s even worse when you get into leadership,” Ratliff said. “Currently women hold about 10% of the leadership roles in technology, and then when you get into startups, where less than 5% … are owned by women.”

Ratliff added that women making advances in tech says a lot about the challenges facing women across the country.

“I’ve never been more proud to represent the tech industry, seeing how they came forward to represent women … and personally invest for women and women’s health, rights, and issues,” she said.

Women Impact Tech’s Accelerate 2022 Conference will begin on Monday.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images