52 Women Programmers, Designers Recognized at DCFemTech Awards

April 14, 2016

7:15 pm

On Wednesday night I had the opportunity to  attend the second annual DCFemTech Awards. There were several hundred people in attendance, all there to celebrate women who work in the trenches of DC Tech.

The DCFemTech Awards are unlike most awards in technology – even unlike most awards for women in technology – in that they recognize the women who are working day-in-day-out developing code and designing killer websites and online tools, as opposed to those who are leaders, founders, and CEOs (although I'm sure many of these women are also leaders and well on their way to becoming founders, and CEOs).

Fifty-two women were recognized and that's only a fraction of the female programmers and designers kicking ass in the region, which happens to also be the top city for women in tech. Recipients were nominated by their colleagues, friends, and family for their awesome contributions as either “Powerful Women Programmers” or “Powerful Women Designers”.

The programmer recipients were chosen based on: impact on organization (helped company/non-profit grow & achieve goals); complexity of issues addressed with code (building a webpage vs. a complex system); impact on community (contributed to broader tech/women in tech community or open source contributions)

The design recipients were selected based on similar criteria: impact on organization (helped company/non-profit grow & achieve goals); complexity of issues addressed with design (designing a platform that provides a great user experience vs. one page website); and impact on community (contributed to broader tech/women in tech community or open source contributions).

DC's CTO Archana Vemulapalli was also on hand to address the crowd and support the recipients.

“I am proud to take part in the recognition of this impressive group of women who are making a difference within their organizations and making their mark on the city's rapidly growing technology footprint,” said Vemulapalli in a statement. “These awardees are exemplary of the breadth and depth of technical talent that city has to offer, not just to companies based in the region, but nationwide.”

DCFemTech is a coalition of women leaders aimed at amplifying the efforts of women in tech organizations in and around DC. They recognize the amount of talent in the region and are striving to make women in technology more of the norm than the exception. Sponsors for the event were Capital One, Siteworx, Wingate Hughes, and GitHub.

Powerful Women Programmers:

Alexandra Ulsh, Mapbox

Alison Rowland, Commerce Data Service

Aliya Rahman, Wellstone Action

Allison McMillan, General

Ally Palanzi, Vox Media

Amanda Hewitt,

Annie J Wang, Analyst Institute

Annyce Davis, Off Grid Electric

Ashley Holtz, CrowdStrike

Carol Hansen, Mapbox

Clare Politano Hutchings, Social Tables

Gem Barrett, Open Technology Institute

Jacqueline Kazil, Capital One

Jessica Bell, RepEquity

Jessica Dommes, WeddingWire

Jessica Ng, AOL

Kat Kuhl, CHIEF

Katie Cunningham, SpeakAgent

Lindsay Young, 18F

Lisa Chung, The Motley Fool

Lizzie Ellis, Democratic National Committee

Pamela Vong, InfernoRed Technology

Rakia Finley, Surge Assembly and FIN. Digital

Tammy Perrin, Attunity

Veni Kunche, Blasterra and USGS Geological Survey

Vera Lyalko, JBS International, Inc.

Powerful Women Designers:

Acacia Betancourt, GlobalGiving

Alesha Randolph, Vox Media

Alexis Dominick, CircleBack

Ashleigh Axios, The White House

Ashleigh Liggett, Siteworx

Behnaz Babazadeh, AddThis

Brooke Jordan, Aquicore

Crystal C. Yan, FiscalNote

Daniela Montalvo Shuffler, WeddingWire

Elisabeth Warren, Clearly Innovative

Georgia Cowley, Vox Media

JoAnna Hunt, Blackboard

Kara DeFrias, 18F

Karelia Jo Moore, Huge

Libby Bawcombe, NPR

Maggie Gaudaen, iStrategyLabs

Mariesa Dale, Pivotal Labs

Melanie Charlton, Brllnt

Mollie Bates, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Mollie Ruskin, U.S. Digital Services

Ngan Hoang, Vox Media, Inc.

Olivia Cheng, iStrategyLabs

Radhika Bhatt, Department of Commerce

Ramla Mahmood, Vox Media

Sarah Brooks, Veterans Affairs

Sibyl Edwards, Freelancer


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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy