Women Empowered: Five SXSW Panel Picks
Between the #MeToo movement, an unprecedented number of female candidates this election year, and women of color rightfully starting to be recognized in politics, activism, and tech, it's an empowering time to be a woman, our Cheeto-colored, sexist president be damned. Get inspired with our top five picks that prove women have unlimited power and potential (in case you didn't already know).
Call it the "pink wave" or call it about damn time. Last year, more than 250 women qualified for the midterm ballot, a historic figure. A panel that includes U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama and Politico's Heather Gaygle will answer what motivated so many women to run, how they bested their male competitors, and what the future holds for women in office.
Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls CODE brings together a panel of women of color in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to talk intersectionality and how we can open up more opportunities for girls of color. The nonprofit works to empower young African-American girls – underrepresented in the digital industry – to become STEM innovators through computer science and technology, and hopes to train 1 million girls by 2040.
The U.S. embarrassingly lags when it comes to supporting working mothers, including its dismal maternity leave and child care policies. Freshman U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Arab-American political activist Linda Sarsour; Aimee Allison, president of Democracy in Color; and Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will discuss how women can successfully realize "work-life integration" and what it'll take from our representatives – and our society as a whole – to achieve that goal.
While most social media sites we frequent were created by men (think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), most users are women. However, Alex Williamson of women-centric Bumble; Lauren Tracy and Greta McAnany of private messaging platform Blue Fever; and Andrea Barrica, founder of online, shame-free platform O.school are changing the game. They'll discuss how their sites help put women at the forefront and disrupt the male-dominated space.
While the #MeToo movement drew attention to high-profile women combating sexual harassment, the most vulnerable, including low-income, working-class, and rural women, were often left by the wayside. Actress Nikohl Boosheri; Mónica Ramirez with the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Rebecca Traister with New York Magazine; and humanitarian group CARE USA's Catalina Vargas join a panel dedicated to lifting up marginalized women across the globe, launching the start of CARE's #March4Women international campaign.