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“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.” – IWD

Women In Cloud IWD2021 Summit
#CollectivePower In Action

Imagine a post-pandemic world where women are struggling for jobs, recognition, and for a spot in the industry? Well, we are already there! The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a large number of women out of the workforce and dented years of effort to achieve equity and equality for women in the industry. 

The 2021 International Women’s Day-themed #ChooseToChallenge was dedicated to overcoming the overwhelming issues women continue to face in today’s world enhanced by the onset of a global pandemic. Following the theme of IWD, Women in Cloud’s two-day celebrations focused on providing digital experiences that help participants gain the skills, knowledge, and access they need to challenge the current environment and statistics around economic inclusion for women in technology. 

The summit was a call-to-action to avert a brewing global crisis for women in the upcoming years as a direct impact of the current pandemic. The Co-founder and President of Women in Cloud, Chaitra Vedullapalli spoke about the detrimental trifecta hampering the creation of infinite economic access for women in technology. She highlighted the following trifecta and called upon the industry thought leaders, experts and corporations to build strategic partnerships to eliminate a possible crisis; 

  1. Lack of Leadership Representation: Though female participation in the labor force has increased and the number of women in executive-level roles has risen, growth has been painfully slow. The percentage of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies has climbed from zero in 1995 to only 4.8 percent in 2018. Just one in eight start-up CEOs are women and the most highly compensated executive roles continue to be dominated by men. Overall, women technologists make up 28.8 percent of the tech workforce today. When we act with intention, we can put more women in leadership roles which will lead to a stronger economy.
  2. Lack of Supplier Diversity Allocation: Today, only 3 percent of corporate procurement dollars and 5 percent of federal contracts are going to women-owned firms. Although total global venture funding increased by 4 percent year-over-year, funding to female-founded startups decreased by 27 percent. Investors have reduced their investment in women-led tech companies taking it to less than 2 percent. It’s no wonder that only 2 percent of women-owned businesses ever make it to $1 million in revenue, which is 3.5 times less than their male counterparts.
  3. Increased Displacement of Women-held Jobs: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the COVID-19 pandemic more than 2.2 million women were unemployed and it is estimated 180 million women’s jobs will be eliminated over the next 20 years as a result of AI transformation.

To combat these shocking numbers and help women, the Women in Cloud’s International Women’s Day celebration was a call-to-action summit to engage and partner with large corporations. If men and women worked together to double the supplier diversity allocation in large corporations – not spend, JUST their budget allocation – we will generate $1 billion in revenue for women entrepreneurs.

At International Women’s Day, we proactively created high energy community experiences to connect, inspire and transform the attendees to be part of the economic access movement; 

  • #ChooseToChallenge Fireside Chat: The high-level interactive summit began with a power panel led by Jackie Wright, Chief Digital Officer, Microsoft, and Gretchen O’Hara, Vice President, US AI & Sustainability Strategy. It was a captivating fireside chat that invigorated the audience and left them with clear thoughts to consider the current state of economic access and where they can take action to change the narrative in their own ecosystems. Click here for the full video.
  • #ChooseToChallenge Leadership Panel: Led by Gina Fratarcangeli, Managing Director of Accenture along with power speakers Ying Zhao, ServiceNow; Kristen Marquez, Boeing; Jeana Jorgenson, Google; Lily Li, Columbia, Citi, the panel shared lived experiences, articulated the crisis that we are dealing with, and how as an individual one can find a solution to existing crises in your ecosystem. Click to listen to the conversation.
#ChoosetoChallenge Power Panel at Women In Cloud IWD2021 Event
  • #CloudJobs and #RockYourPitch: Battling the job displacement problem, the #CloudJobs Recruitment Lounge created access to over 150 jobs from 33 companies. Plus, we hosted #RockYourPitch, a confidence-building experience to help attendees and entrepreneurs to build their compelling pitch.
#cloudexecconnect
  • #CloudExecConnect: Women in Cloud’s premium networking experience #CloudExecConnect helps female technology founders to connect with experienced industry leaders to advise entrepreneurs to get access to investors and customers.
#cloudExecConnect Advisors
  • Microsoft’s #BuildFor2030 Campaign: Female founders from WiC Cloud accelerator were invited to participate in Microsoft’s #BuildFor2030 campaign to make ensure easy access to technology developed by female tech founders. Together, we highlighted companies that align with the UN SDGs and bring us one step closer to creating an inclusive digital economy. Congratulations to WiC Female Founders!

2021 is about challenging the norms of society and eliminating the onset of the global crisis fueled by the detrimental trifecta. So join us in the economic access movement and let us together beat this global crisis. 

As a special gift to you, please enjoy the complimentary offers below:

To access the recordings from the Summit, stay tuned to the #WiCDigitalNetwork for more information on when they will be released. 

The Women in Cloud team is immensely happy to announce Cohort 5.0 after four successful cohorts which is designed to give access for female technology founders to win enterprise cloud opportunities. We launched the 5.0 cohort on Feb 26, 2021 with 17 companies from 4 countries. Lets welcome them to the WiC Cohort of Successful Female Tech Founders.

Women In Cloud’s Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is designed as an immersive 6-month program to assist women-led tech companies to build stronger together co-sell plan with Microsoft and their distribution channels . This program is expertly designed to help women tech entrepreneurs win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor community, and a global stage to showcase your business.

The 5.0 Cohort Immersive Kickoff session held on on Friday, February 26, 2020. The first session featured curated speakers, Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder and President of WiC; Kim Smith, Global VP, Cloud Innovation Services of IBM; Brea Starmer, Founder/President, Executive Consultant, Lions + Tigers, Digital Enterprise, IT & Digital of Boeing; Ellen Feaheny, Founder & CEO of AlohaCloud Digital Networks; Martha Montoya, CEO of agTools, Inc.; and Patti Dobrowolski, CEO & Creative Activator of Up Your Creative Genius. The speakers consisted of founders, industry leaders and previous cohort entrepreneurs who set the tone for the new class about the current industry landscape, how to vision their cloud businesses, along with deliverables and takeaways by the end of 6 months. 

This kickoff focused on helping founders develop their future vision and this experience was led by with Patti Dobrowolski, 3 Times TEDx speaker and inspired the founders to design their co-sell plan.

Here is output of what a vision of equitable equity and access looks like for women founders.

Women In Cloud Accelerator

The cohort 5.0 will be digital accelerator with built in benefits including azure credits, listing on marketplaces, participating in global UN focused campaigns, bi-weekly office hours, monthly live chats with industry leaders, and continued access to industry stages, has elevated our programming to an unmatched scale.

Going digital has let us expand our horizon and open this program to people from around the world rather than just a region. Cohort 5.0 boasts a diverse participation of companies from the United States, Canada, India and United Kingdom.
This year’s WiC Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is more than just an effort to make economic contributions to the system by empowering entrepreneurs. It is about embracing the new normal and moving forward with a sense of community. It is about adopting self-empowerment and finding comfort in knowing where to turn for support with a community at your side. Most importantly, it is about collective growth and learning.

Presenting the Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Cohort 5.0:

  • Jacqueline G Schafer, Clearbrief
  • Pradnya Desh, Advocat Technologies
  • Rachel Hankerson, International PROOF Systems, LLC
  • Sonal Malavia, Cloud 9 Infosystems
  • Sinmi Adeoye-Esene, Daniola Corporation
  • Cheryl Ingram, Inclusology
  • Sherisse Hawkins, PageDip
  • Sophia Stone, Indie Tech Ltd.
  • Sanjana Govil, Unseen Insight
  • Steph Locke, Nightingale HQ
  • Padma Subramanian, Fyrii.ai
  • Kerry Schrader, Mixtroz,LLC
  • Agnes Lan, Kinderdrop Inc.
  • Sonali Jha, Cunomial Technologies Private Limited
  • Bhavya Aggarwal, zipBoard Tech

This year, Global Affairs Canada underwrote 50% of the accelerator fees for two Canadian companies that were approved to participate in the 5.0 cohort. Their previous generous support has allowed 8 of our 4.0 entrepreneurs to have the opportunity to scale their businesses to become co-sell and co-market ready with enterprise partners.

Economic Access is the tide that lifts all boats. Together we rise.

Interested in joining the 6.0 cohort? Applications are open now: Click here to learn more