In-Person: June 22nd
GirlCon X Google




GIRLCON X GOOGLE
GirlCon 2024's in-person conference this year will be held at Google HQ Chicago on Saturday, June 22nd! This is a completely free single-day event.
What's on the agenda?
2024 Conference Agenda
Note: Sessions are scheduled based on speaker availability and are subject to change
GirlCon 2024 - June 22

Google Chicago Fulton Market - 320 N Morgan St Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60607
9:30 am: Check-In + Booths

10:30 am: Opening Ceremony

10:50 am: Opening Keynote

11:35 am: Professional Development Sessions

12:20 pm: Lunch and Learn

1:20 pm: Tech x Sessions

2:25 pm: Innovation Challenge or
Women in Tech Panel

3:30 pm: Closing Keynote

4:10 pm: Closing Ceremony

4:30 pm: Photos


2024 In-Person Keynote Speakers
Hear from inspiring women to kickstart your career and gain the confidence to launch forward in tech and beyond.
  • Professor Liberty Vittert
    Liberty Vittert is a statistician, political commentator, host of Liberty’s Great American Cookbook, a cooking show on Scottish Television, and co-host of the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society podcast Data Nation. Vittert is a Professor of Practice of Data Science at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Karen Horting
    Karen Horting, CAE, is Executive Director & CEO for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a 47,000 member organization, founded in 1950. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. With 25 years of experience in association management, Ms. Horting joined SWE in March 2004, serving in a variety of roles. She was appointed to the Executive Director and CEO role in December 2013. Previous to her association work, she spent ten years in the paint industry. Ms. Horting has a BS in Biology from Northern Illinois University. And she earned her MBA from Johns Hopkins University. In May 2008, Ms. Horting earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She currently serves on the FIRST Robotics Board of Directors, the STEM Ed Coalition Board of Directors, the Leadership Circle of the 50K Coalition and the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board (DAAB). In 2019 she received the Association Forum’s Inspiring Leader award.
GirlCon 2024 In-Person Breakout Sessions
Tech + AI: Google
Artificial intelligence allows us to build even more creative and impressive tools. In this workshop, you will work with Google's Teachable Machine library to build a tool that can recognize and respond to hand gestures.

Nicki Anselmo is a former software engineer and middle school math and science teacher and a proud University of Illinois (engineering) and Harvard (masters in education) alum. She is currently a learning designer for Google's computer science education portfolio. She is proud to be a Chicagoan and even more proud to be a mom!
Tech + Pop Culture: Alice Zhao
Do you love listening to Taylor Swift, watching Netflix shows and browsing Reddit threads? So do I! As a data scientist though, I experience it all through the lens of data storytelling. In this session, I'll share some of the most loved and hated pop culture data visualizations that I've created, talk about my lessons learned. and help you start crafting your own data stories.

Alice Zhao is the author of the book SQL Pocket Guide, 4th Edition (O'Reilly). She has 15+ years of experience in the data field and has taught numerous courses in Python, SQL, and R as a data science instructor at Northwestern University, Maven Analytics, and O'Reilly. In her free time, she writes about analytics and pop culture on her blog, A Dash of Data (https://adashofdata.com/).
Tech + Energy: ComEd
Led by Evelyn Almonte, Brandy Gobert, and Najwa Abouhassan - all power systems testing and commissioning engineers at ComEd.

Coming soon!
Tech + Game Development: Weston Game Design Lab at UChicago
Ashlyn Sparrow is a Senior Research Associate at the Weston Game Design Lab at the University of Chicago. She has worked on scholarly board, card, and digital games, and public health apps. She works closely with researchers and faculty to lead in the development of serious games, interactive learning experiences, and digital media art with youth and for youth. She has a BS in Information Sciences and Technology Design and Development from Pennsylvania State University and an MS in Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon.
Tech + Poetry: Code.org
Led by Nimisha Mondal, Director of Innovation at Code.org. Can technology and coding help you be more creative? Can it help you express yourself? Can it help you amplify your authentic voice with new audiences? Yes, it can! In this session we'll use Code.org's tools to unleash your creative voice through coding, writing and art. No experience with coding, art, or creative writing necessary.
Tech + Biology: Yazmin Cruz Pulido
Dr. Yazmin Cruz Pulido is a skilled virologist with over six years of research experience in Microbiology and Immunology. In the session, she will cover the basics of virology and virology research. Additionally, she will discuss how bioinformatics has transformed biology, opening up numerous avenues of research and leading to several breakthroughs. Specifically, she will delve into the SARS-CoV-2 research she conducted, focusing on studying the immune response of infected and vaccinated individuals. Lastly, this session will explore how technology is used in various virology careers and provide guidance for achieving a fulfilling career in virology.
Tech + Healthcare: Walgreens
As the Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence/Head of AI at Walgreens Boots Alliance, she leads a team of dedicated AI scientists and engineers who are passionate about pushing the boundaries of AI technology in the healthcare and retail sectors. With a PhD in Industrial and System Engineering, she brings a wealth of experience in applying advanced Machine Learning and computer vision techniques to solve complex problems and enhance customer experiences.
Having contributed to both academic research and industry innovation through published papers and patents, she is committed to leveraging AI to revolutionize the delivery of health and wellness services. Her goal is to create value for patients, partners, and stakeholders by harnessing the transformative power of AI technology. She is driving innovation and shaping the future of healthcare with cutting-edge AI solutions.
Tech + Finance: JP Morgan
Sravya Patakota studied Computer Science and Anthropology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During her time there, she ran Founders, a nonprofit entrepreneurship organization encouraging students that it is never too early to work on business ideas and launch their own startups. She currently applies her technical expertise in fraud detection at JPMorgan, developing machine learning models to prevent financial fraud.
In her session "Idea Generation vs. Problem Generation," Sravya draws from this multidisciplinary background to provide a framework for evaluating potential business ideas by first identifying real customer problems to solve. She will outline key components of effective business plans through interactive exercises where attendees reframe ideas as addressable problems and craft compelling problem statements.
Sravya's entrepreneurial experience from running Founders and advising aspiring founders allows her to showcase real examples of successful and unsuccessful tech ventures. Her session aims to inspire participants to pursue their passion projects by solving underserved needs, emphasizing it's never too early to become an entrepreneur. Attendees will gain actionable strategies to transform their interests and skills into viable business plans.

Tech + Digital Footprint: ISACA
Coming soon!

Led by Rakhee Vaidya - ISACA Chicago Board Member/ SheLeadsTech Ambassador
GirlCon 2024 Professional Development Sessions
Is Grad School "Right" for me?: Chicago Women in STEM
Finding and Building a Community and Network: Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
How to Get Started in Tech: TechViolet
Coming soon! : The Chicago Network
Finding and Building Your Brand
An Introduction to the Trading Industry & How to Nail Your Tech Interview: Akuna Capital
GirlCon 2024 Innovation Challenge &
Women in Tech Panel
Innovation Challenge:
For our 2nd year in a row, GirlCon is working with CME Group and Google to put together an innovation challenge. A description of the challenge can be found here: CME + Google Innovation Challenge.

Prizes for the Challenge Include:

* Sunil Cutinho, Chief Information Officer at CME Group to hand prizes to winners of the Challenge

* Google & CME Group to award a Certificate of Excellence to the winners of the Innovation Challenge which can be leveraged for college interviews & internship applications

* Have the opportunity to spend the day at the CME Group and Google offices (downtown and west loop) which include breakfast & tour with CME Group's CIO, followed by open-mic career conversations with women tech leaders and an office tour & lunch with Google women leaders.

Women in Tech Panel:
Our Women in Tech Panel features female trailblazers in the fields of technology and entrepreneurship. They will be sharing their journeys on how they got to where they are today, any challenges they faced and how they overcame them, and answering questions as well as sharing advice with the GirlCon attendees.

Our panel features the following female figures:
Karen Horting, CEO of the Society of Women Engineers
Ramona Ratiu, Board Strategic Advisor of ISACA Chicago
Alice Zhao, Lecturer at Northwestern
Coming soon, from Google