The Southern Nevada technology community honored women and girls helping to accelerate innovation and transform the information technology industry during the LV Techie Awards and Aspiration Awards April 6 at Zappos, 400 Stewart Ave., in downtown Las Vegas.
This year, a combined event paired the LV Techie Awards with the nonprofit National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspiration Awards, honoring girls and young women in middle school and high school who aspire to careers in computing and technology.
“It is so inspiring to be here tonight to honor 79 young ladies from Clark County School District as well as two educators for the work they are doing in the area of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and computing,” said Britney Davis, STEAM Director at Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada.
“We hope that the young women in the room were inspired to keep on their path of aspirations in computing,” said Sonia Petkewich, CEO of Taurean Consulting Group and President of the Las Vegas NCWIT Affiliate Chapter. “We also hope that there were those in the room who may want to get more involved through NCWIT or the Million Women Mentors. When we support each other, when we lift each other up through the ranks, when we mentor each other, we are all, as a community, better for it.”
Along with honoring influential women in the field, the LV Techie Awards also honored their male allies and corporations devoted to spurring diversity.
Top accolades went to Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Center Chief Information Officer (CIO) Angeline Cosca, named Techie of the Year, and SkyWire, named Workplace of the Year.
Cosca was honored for achieving excellence in technology as a strong leader in the community and in computing. Recently promoted to CIO, she is involved with several organizations in a leadership role, including mentoring students for the nonprofit, Tech Impact.
Meanwhile, SkyWire, 1180 N. Town Center Drive, Suite 250, was recognized for valuing individualism and diversity, offering a dynamic workspace solution, training programs, flexible hours and other benefits that help all employees flourish.
“The Techie Awards were created to bring together the technology community to build a dialogue and spur meaningful action towards creating solutions to increase the number of women in the tech field,” said Healliam Founder & CEO Heather Parks. “We hope by combining these awards, we are showing the young women in the room what is possible for them in a future of technology careers.”
Other LV Techie Awards went to:
· Kera Dorsey, Regional Programs Manager at Tech Impact, who received the Catalyst Award for enabling, encouraging and mentoring women in the industry. Dorsey has personally trained more than 100 young adults through Tech Impact’s ITWorks program, helping nearly 75 percent secure careers in high-demand jobs.
· Pokin Yeung, Founder & CEO at Absolute Games, who received a similar honor, the Innovator Award, for enabling, encouraging and mentoring women. Known as a “tireless advocate,” Yeung is active in multiple organizations and regularly speaks at events that look to empower women in the industry.
· Savithri Panchapakesan, IT Architect (Innovation & Emerging Technologies) at Caesars Entertainment, who received the Cutting Edge Techie Award for leading the field in cutting-edge technology including, but not limited to, AI, Cloud, Crypto, Cyber Security or Data Driven technologies to harness interesting solutions. Known as a “trailblazer,” Panchapakesan has helped her company leapfrog competitors by breaking barriers and focusing on stakeholders.
· Matthew Bissell, Director of Information Security GRC at Aristocrat, who received the Champion Award for being a mentor to and enabling the success and growth of women in the technology and computing fields.
The LV Techie Awards were sponsored by Zappos, Nutanix and Taurean Consulting, along with partner sponsors Trend Micro, Technologent, Healliam, and SIM Las Vegas.
MORE ABOUT NCWIT
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a nonprofit coalition of nearly 1,100 academic institutions, companies and nonprofits working together to increase the meaningful participation of women and girls in computing at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation and disability status. NCWIT recognizes local young women excelling in the pursuit of computing and STEM careers. The center’s Las Vegas affiliate collaborates with Clark County School District’s Career & Technical Education Department and community partners such as the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada to support and empower women of all ages in the Las Vegas Valley who are pursuing STEM and technology studies and careers.
For more information, visit https://www.ncwit.org/.