Earlier this year, Joni Trythall retweeted something about a new tech conference, ELA Conf, to empower women to pursue leadership roles. There was just something (re: ) about the conference that got me excited, and suddenly I found myself emailing the conference (not even realizing that Joni was on the other end):
On May 7, I became on co-organizer of ELA Conf alongside Joni, LeeAnn, and Dominique.
We spent the next several months connecting every other week on Google Hangouts and soon every day on Slack. We researched, planned, tweeted, emailed, networked, emoji’d, and stayed up late. Soon the website had ticket sales, a call for proposals, speakers, sponsors, a venue, and at long last, an agenda!
Over the weekend, we had the conference and it was a huge success. Our attendees were excited and eager to learn, and our speakers were fearless and eager to share their stories.
Photos by Nhu Nguyen.
Several attendees wrote about their own experiences at ELA Conf, and I really think you should read them:
- Where are the women in tech? Right here. And they’re organized and taking over.
- The Sisterhood of the ELA Conf
- Getting Started Speaking Workshop at ELA Conf
- My Love Letter to ELA Conf
- How these 3 women found their place in the tech scene
- The ELA Conf
- My first non-tech talk at ElaConf
- A Look Back on ELA Conf
By the end of the conference, we had a community. To keep it going, we opened our ELA Conf Slack where we have channels for jobs, mentorships, talk proposals, community, and more. A place where we can talk about what’s ahead, but also what’s going on with our lives.
A part of me hopes that we’re actually making it harder for these women to think about leaving tech or even executing on it. After all, your friends are all here at ELA Conf, we’re listening, and we want you to succeed.
ELA Conf is one of the things that I’m most proud and honored to have worked on, and I can’t believe that I got to be a part of it just from sending one little email.