Spending a little time reflecting back on my 2015 felt really positive overall. Some of the numbers surprised me (hi, one entire day spent giving advice/mentoring folks over coffee) and I feel really excited about some others — I spoke at six conferences and visited a ton of cities (in 14 states) this year. Also, celebrated a few happy milestones.
Perfect is the enemy of done. My goal in writing this is to get it done. So, here it is:
2015 in numbers
news results in which my name appeared (via Google News)
conferences I attended, including: NCWIT Summit, WITI Summit, Philadelphia Women in Tech Summit, WordCamp Philly, TechHire Community Action Summit, ELA Conf (more below)
Of 13 total, there were…
conferences at which I had the opportunity to speak. This was definitely my biggest year speaking at conferences, averaging one big event every two months, with plenty of smaller presentations/shout-outs to GDI in between. (I also declined a keynote offer that would have been my largest conference speaking event yet — including this note here, because: impostor syndrome.)
- Qualcomm Women’s Collegiate Conference – keynote: Kicked off the year with my first keynote at a conference for ~55 talented young women studying CS, CE and EE from universities across the country and 50 STEM-interested middle school girls from the San Diego area.
— Girl Develop It (@girldevelopit) February 27, 2015
- Lesbians Who Tech – panel: “Building Powerful Communities in Technology” — This may have been my favorite conference of 2015, maybe ever. So many fantastic, brilliant speakers. Intersectionality was a huge topic here. Met plenty of awesome folks. The programming was top notch. Also :raised_hands: US CTO Megan Smith is the most inspiring. ED I aspire to be more like: Leanne Pittsford.
- White House Tech Meetup: Definitely consider this as one of most exciting professional milestones of the year/my life. I. spoke. at. the. White. House! And I was invited to speak by US CTO Megan Smith (again: hero). On top of that, my apparel designer best friend designed and made a dress for me for the occasion, covered in artichokes.
— Corinne (@corinnepw) April 17, 2015
- GitHub’s CodeConf: Spoke here about Girl Develop It’s successes with our open source initiatives. Met a ton of awesome people/Githubbers here, and the talks were diverse and all very good. Felt okayyy about my talk, but this made me want to try to work more on my stage presence. I had a 4:30pm time slot, which, admittedly…is a difficult time to hold people’s attention.
- Tech Inclusion– panel: “How Bootcamps and Code Schools are Changing the face of Engineering” — GDI is neither of these, but it was a good conversation. Enjoyed this inaugural inclusion and diversity-focused conference and met some great folks.
— Infy Foundation USA (@InfyFoundation) September 12, 2015
- Dreamforce – Thanks to an invite from the very badass, lovely Mary Scotton, I had the chance to speak (during the first session of the first day)! DF15 wins for the time I felt most comfortable and gave what I think was my best talk yet. (Time slot is key.)
- Girl Develop It Leadership Summit: more on this below!
number of events in which I played an organizer or host role. (Down about 150% from 2013/14. :sigh of relief:)
- Galentine’s Day: a casual get-together of talented, driven women from various sectors in Philadelphia who are inspiring on February 13th, aka Galentine’s Day. (Thanks, Leslie Knope.)
- LadyHacks III: third annual all-women hackathon hosted on International Women’s Day in Philadelphia. Really great community event.
- Ignite Philly 15: We invited Ariell Johnson to speak and she blew us away with her story and ambitious project: building a comic/coffee shop hybrid in Germantown. Colorlines.com recently featured her as one of 15 Remarkable Women of Color who Rocked 2015.
- Mogulette & GDI Philly gathering: bringing together women of color entrepreneurs and coding students
- Girl Develop It’s annual Leadership Summit
This event was huge for connecting our leaders — to each other, to our mission and vision of change for the world. I have unlimited gratitude for the invaluable guidance and mentorship of our cofounder, Vanessa Hurst, in helping making this event amazing…and of course for her year-round support. Huge thank you to Gretchen Kastetter, Jen Myers, Cara Jo Miller, Kristen Curtze, Sylvia Pellicore, Brenda Jin, and LeeAnn Kinney and all of the leaders who spoke at the Summit.
Here’s a great recap of our wonderful annual summit, courtesy the very awesome Paul Searle:
- Ignite Philly 16
states I visited, including: AZ, CA, DC, DE, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN. First time in Tennessee! We loved Nashville and had a chance to spend some time on an 18th century farm 45 minutes south of the city, near Franklin.
hours spent offering professional advice, providing mentorship. Mostly over coffee, but there were a few phone calls, too. That’s a lot of hours, and I want to get more strategic about this in 2016.
— Corinne (@corinnepw) April 24, 2015
friends and colleagues I helped transition careers by providing a reference or making an introduction. High fives!
new Twitter followers. Cool! Hi, y’all.
awesome things I applied for and was granted/accepted to.
- The Coaching Fellowship: Can’t believe I get the opportunity to be in a cohort alongside these incredible women as part of the Coaching Fellowship.
- Valentine Fund for Visionary Leaders Grant
Other good things
- Rad Girls: Published a Rad Girls profile of Margherita Urbani, an incredibly talented Philadelphia-based illustrator. This was sadly my only Rad Girls interview in 2015 (down from half a dozen interviews in 2014!). Hope to find more time this year to interview women who inspire me (and will inspire you). Know of someone I should interview? Let me know!
- Launched new, open source GDI website, built by Girl Develop It leaders and members — special shout outs to Kristen Curtze (Rochester), Julia Elman, Sylvia Pellicore (RDU), Cara Jo MIller (Boulder), Ann Lewis (Central VA) for exhibiting amazing leadership and technical skills.
- Bold is Beautiful campaign: partnered on a large-scale fundraising campaign with Benefit Cosmetics called Bold is Beautiful. For Girl Develop It, this partnership was our largest to date and one I am very proud of. We worked with them on a number of events, calling on participation from chapter leaders in multiple cities and requiring an incredible amount of coordination. All so worth it. Grab a tissue and watch the campaign video for highlights of the four amazing orgs (GDI, Step Up Women’s Network, Girls Inc. and Dress for Success) that benefited from the proceeds of the campaign
- CodeNewbie Podcast interview: Really honored to have been interviewed for this fantastic new (but already crazy prolific) podcast. My favorite part was the opportunity to meet and become friends with the very passionate founder and host, Saron Yitbarek.
Some 2015 milestones
- Lived in the same place for the longest stretch of time since graduating high school and moving out of the place I grew up: 2.25 years in Old City.
- We met Lumpy at PAWS, and decided to bring him home.
- Celebrated seven awesome years with Michael Bunnington. (Also spent a lot of time on our roof deck.)
- Went on some fun hiking excursions, including Pinnacles National Park, Henry Coe State Park, Kaaterskill Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Wharton State Forest
Also feel pretty accomplished about completing:
- Phoenix Summit Challenge: 4 peaks in 8 hours
- Lookout Mountain
- Shaw Butte
- Piestewa Peak
- Apache Wash
- Got really into biking. Started doing 20+ mile rides on weekends on the lovely Schuylkill River Trail. Went on an epic bike-camping trip to French Creek State Park, logging by far my longest ride ever: over 120 miles in two days with some badass gals, Cat, Laura and LeeAnn.
- Learned guitar in one weekend and performed in front of a huge crowd with some more awesome gals (including my wonderful friend, Juliana Reyes) at Ladies Rock Philly.
There’s a lot more cool stuff that happened, and I could spend forever regaling all of the lessons I learned and how I much I grew both personally and professionally…but this already took too long…
Really glad I committed to writing this stuff down though. Also encouraged some friends to do the same.
— Corinne (@corinnepw) December 31, 2015