Allie Joy Tsahey and her team are helping Black women find community in tech.
Tsahey is the founder of Baddies in Tech, which led to the creation of BaddieCon, both providing a safe space for Black women. Her mission formed due to her experience working with an artificial intelligence (AI) health-tech company and noticing the lack of representation at the start of her career, Ebony reports.
Believing other diverse professionals shared similar feelings, she kickstarted Baddies in Tech in 2019.
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“BaddieCon was created to address a significant gap in the tech industry – the lack of representation and support for women of color,” Tsahey told AFROTECH. “As Black women in tech, ourselves, we’ve personally experienced the challenges of navigating predominantly male and non-diverse environments. Baddies in Tech, and subsequently BaddieCon, emerged as a protest to this, aiming to provide a safe, empowering, and inclusive space where women of color in tech could connect, learn, grow, and thrive.”
Initially, Baddies in Tech started as an Instagram page.
Today, the career development and networking community is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, and has expanded into Baddies in Tech LLC, The BiT Foundation 501c3, and BiT DAO.
Furthermore, the latest addition to their efforts took place on Friday, Aug. 18.
The inaugural BaddieCon tech conference drew in a sold-out crowd with 315 attendees representing various career paths, including software engineering, data science, cybersecurity, and research sales, among others.
“Our attendees came from all over the country, and even some internationally from France and the U.K.,” Tsahey said. “Additionally, our attendees were represented at all professional levels and backgrounds! While 39% were students or at the junior level, 36% had 3-5 years of experience in tech, 17% had 6-10 years of experience, and 8% with 10-plus years of experience.”
Additionally, BaddieCon featured 38 speakers, including Global Diversity, Communications and Leadership Development Consultant Dr. Tiffany Bowden, and 11 companies and vendors, according to information provided to AFROTECH.
The conference, which had a theme centered on “Sustainable Success: Balancing Career Ambition & Well-Being,” is an extension of Tsahey’s mission to double the representation of women of color in computing roles to 10% by 2030.
“Black and Latina women hold only 4-5% of computing roles globally. BaddieCon is bridging that gap by creating a revolutionary platform to share knowledge and insights, build networks, and most importantly, be visible,” she explained. “It is integral that we create spaces where women of color technologists can be represented and share their stories, so that those of us in the industry know we are not alone in our experiences, and those transitioning into tech know that they belong.”
As for the outcome of the event, Tsahey’s feels “incredibly proud,” and her strong team that includes Marketing Communications Strategist Lucy Edosomwan, Operational Leader Adriann Guy, and volunteers, made it a success.
“I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of the Baddies in Tech conference,” Edosomwan told AFROTECH. “The speakers, the sponsors, the volunteers, and the attendees all played a role in making the event a success. I am confident that the Baddies in Tech conference will continue to be an important event for minority women in the tech industry. The conference is making a difference in the lives of these women, and it is helping to create a more inclusive environment for all.”
Guy shared similar sentiments by adding, “I hope attendees emerged with a roadmap for success, opposing the idea that this industry’s navigation is a solo journey. Major keys like building a board of directors for your career, and intentionally thinking long-term. By ‘beginning with the end in mind,’ attendees gained strategy to define sustainable career growth, and nurture one’s mental well-being.”