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Guadalupe Rodríguez


Guadalupe Rodríguez is the Director of Public Affairs at both Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country, and Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte. Previously, Lupe was the Program and Policy Director and interim Executive Director at ACCESS Women’s Health Justice.

Lupe served on the board of directors of Essential Access Health (formerly the California Family Health Council), and now chairs the board of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice. She is also the treasurer of the board of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. She is serving her fifth year on the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women, after serving four years as the Chair. She was recently elected to the board of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Democratic Activists for Women Now (DAWN) and the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Clinical Research at Stanford University.

In 2010, Lupe was honored with the ‚ÄėGeneration Award for an Emerging Leader‚Äô from the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, and she received the ‚Äú40 Under 40‚ÄĚ Health Care Leaders award by Silicon Valley Latino magazine in 2013. She has a BA in neurobiology from Harvard University.

Carla Collins


Since April 2017 Carla Collins has served as the Interim Director for the SCC Office of Women’s Policy. In this role, she oversees a $1.7 million-dollar budget and with a team five provides staff support to four county commissions and two task forces while implementing strategies to ensure that our local government is bringing a gender lens to policy and decision making, building the pipeline for women and girls leadership, and demanding equity.

Attention now is focused on 2018 ‚Äď not just because of mid-term elections but also the 20th anniversary of the Office of Women‚Äôs Policy. To commemorate the past as we plan the future OWP is planning informational and inspiring events throughout the year and hopes to engage more community in policy briefings and trainings, launch the State of Women and Girls 2018 and host a County Women‚Äôs Caucus to inform our Public Policy Agenda. We encourage residents to sign up for our newsletter and Like us on Facebook!

A San Jose native, Carla’s long-standing commitment to community and work to advance women fuels her passion to continuously engage individuals and groups in the democratic process.

Kelly Jenkins-Pultz


Kelly Jenkins-Pultz is the Regional Administrator for the San Francisco Women’s Bureau office which serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.  She creates and delivers educational programs to advance women’s wages, job opportunities and benefits; and provides technical assistance to educators, business and community leaders about policies and programs to enhance women’s economic status.  


Kelly has expertise in the areas of equal pay, nontraditional jobs, workplace flexibility and working mothers.  She was the Women’s Bureau’s lead writer for the report, Fifty Years after the Equal Pay Act:  Assessing the Past, Taking Stock of the Future, issued by the National Equal Pay Task Force.  In the area of nontraditional jobs, she has initiated several interagency working groups on tradeswomen that are actively promoting new opportunities for women in apprenticeship and the trades throughout the region.  She is an active member of the San Diego Expanding Your Horizons Committee to promote career opportunities for women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  She also provides training to lead employers in the creation of healthy workplaces for working mothers and greater workplace flexibility for everyone.  


Prior to joining the Women’s Bureau, Kelly worked with nonprofit organizations and with elected officials at the municipal, state and federal levels of government.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Women’s Studies from the George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Ruth Silver Taube


Ruth Silver Taube is the Supervising Attorney of the Worker’s Rights Clinic at the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center at Santa Clara University School of Law, Special Counsel to Legal Aid at Work, and an Adjunct Professor at Santa Clara University School of Law.  


She collaborates with the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California and the Filipino Bar Association to conduct legal clinics for monolingual Vietnamese American and Filipino clients and to screen for human trafficking.  She is Legal Services Chair of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, a member of the South Bay Coalition’s Executive Board, an alternate delegate to the Santa Clara County’s Human Trafficking Commission, Coordinator of the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition, and a founding member of the Bay Area Equal Pay Collaborative


After law school, Ms. Silver Taube served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte, District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, as a Federal Mediator at the EEOC, a panel mediator at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and a partner at the Law Office of Silver and Taube where she specialized in employment law and benefits.  Before law school, she was a journeywoman machinist, President of IAM Local 547, and a Field Representative for SEIU Local 535.  She also taught at Njala University College in Sierra Leone with the Canadian Peace Corps.


She received the Unsung Hero Award from the Santa Clara County Victim Support Network in 2013 for her workers’ rights and human trafficking work. ¬†She was the keynote speaker at the Vietnamese American Bar Association’s dinner in 2013 and received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for her efforts to provide legal services to the Vietnamese American community. ¬†¬†In 2016, she received the Pro Bono Recognition Award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association.


She is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A. with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa); the University of California at Berkeley (M.A.); and Santa Clara University School of Law (summa cum laude).   


Aly Sheppard


Aly Sheppard ‚Äčbrings an analytical mindset to sales and marketing in the biotech and mental health sectors.‚Äč


‚ÄčFrom pharmaceutical sales to program modeling, Aly uses her experience in experimental design to trouble-shoot and find data-driven solutions. Aly currently works as a ‚ÄčGrants Coordinator at Caminar, a mental health nonprofit. Her priorities include analyzing and communicating the impact of Caminar‚Äôs programs while growing the nonprofit’s grant portfolio.‚Äč


Aly holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology‚Äč, and she is always looking for new ways to learn.

Moderator – Kali Williams, Founder of Hack the Patriarchy

Kali created Hack the Patriarchy after attending a few hackathons and seeing that there is still a pretty low presence of women. As a feminist and a long time advocate for women, she saw a possibility to create a space that put women and underrepresented folks at the forefront of tech while focusing on projects that can make tremendous real world social impact.


Blog, Community

We all carry cellphones now. We can take pictures and videos of incidents as they occur in real-time. Facebook can be used to spread the word about a protest or event. Digital technology can be used to shape public opinion. For example, people in China use the service Weibo to get their news outside of what’s allowed in their country. While censorship does still happen, they get creative with misspellings and symbols to convey their news or message across.

A big activism website that uses technology is Electronic Frontier Foundation. They provide articles on causes and rights being violated, incidents occurring that are not being reported in the mainstream media, and even provide you with tools for protection on the internet. is another website that uses technology to advance changes by letting people create petitions on political issues they are passionate about. They can then share their petition among all social media platforms for a call to action. You can start signing a few petitions right now by going to

Technology is also used for grassroots movements such as the 2008 election of President Obama. Micro-donations through PayPal and other services allowed people donate small amounts to fund his campaign. The website was created during this, and because of the low overhead, can succeed in raising small amounts of money from many people. They do not have to rely on door-to-door petitioning or flyers and mailers to get people to donate. It’s all done on the internet.¬†

The way we do activism today is different from two decades ago. However, it doesn’t mean we still don’t use those methods. We just have a new advantage in technology in helping us bring together more people.


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The next generation of tech entrepreneurs are already at work, tinkering and experimenting and thinking, and the ideas blooming in their young minds are all the brilliant colors of the rainbow.

What programs, like StartUp Weekend, are designed to bring these young entrepreneurs the networks, mentors, and the resources they need to change the world? Google for Entrepreneurs is providing financial assistance and tools for startups who embrace diversity and for organizations developing coworking spaces, community hubs they call campuses. The program is global, with campuses in Madrid, San Paolo, Tel Aviv, London, Warsaw, and Seoul. The program focuses on community partnerships that provide local mentorship, support, and education.

The startups include a number of national and regional programs that focus on increasing opportunity for members of society who do not have equal access to community resources. Many of the startups participating are tech hubs; some are accelerators for Latino entrepreneurs or programs working to increase women’s access to the startup world. The participating startup programs are blooming around the world, from India to Australia to Dubai to Detroit. The startup community supported by Google for Entrepreneurs also have several programs designed specifically for children and older adults. Code for America and Startup Weekend have branches designed specially for children and teens, and¬†Aging 2.0 focuses on innovative technologies that will have an impact on the global aging population.

Google for Entrepreneurs is global in reach and inclusive in focus, but it is structured for cities, and for participants who have already taken the first steps into the tech world. Teens for Tech is a structured program associated with the FounderSpace business incubator that works with young entrepreneurs from 13 to 19. Many universities around the world hold summer camps specifically designed for teens who are interested in tech innovation. These programs all are city-based, and take both money and a degree of education to be successful. What about the high school kids on the verge of dropping out of school? 

Torus Teens is a new startup in NYC that is focusing on hooking teens up with free after school programs that provide mentorship, networking, and opportunities to explore tech, business and entrepreneurship. Several states that focus on empowering teens through entrepreneurship, such as New Mexico, are sponsoring StartUp Weekends for high school students throughout the state. With much of the population spread out into rural areas, these weekends can provide some much needed networking and opportunity to rural kids. They have multiple options for scholarship funding as well, so teens can participate who might not otherwise be able to afford the program.

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The women doing groundbreaking work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are articulate and fascinating speakers. One of the best ways to listen to their ideas is through the TED Talk series.

Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, thinks we’re raising girls to be perfect and boys to be brave. Her goal is to teach girls to take risks and to learn to program. Her TED Talk is Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection.

Natalie Jeremijenko of NYU’s Environmental Health Clinic believes new technology is an opportunity for social transformation. Her TED Talk, the Art of the Eco Mindshift, talks about using a combination of engineering and public art to address environmental and human health.

Rachel Armstrong is a materials engineer and innovator who believes a new method of sustainable building construction can both repair itself and sequester carbon. She describes her work in her TED Talk Architecture that Repairs Itself.

Sarah Cairns-Smith is a biochemist who works in global development. Her TED Talk, Tech Solutions to Economic Development, describes mobile app development and use in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Does our tech keep us from dreaming? Shilo Shiv Suleman describes her new Khoya app in her TED Talk, Using Tech to Enable Dreaming. She wants to use tech to keep the magic in the world.

Mellody Hobson, in her TED Talk Color Blind or Color Brave, describes the need to discuss race openly and bravely in order to deal with diversity and inclusion.

In her TED Talk Hackers: the Internet’s Immune System, cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari says that hackers help cybersecurity by exposing vulnerabilities in the system.

Cynthia Breaeal spoke about socializing robots to interact with humans in her TED Talk The Rise of Personal Robots.Save

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Maker Spaces are a twig on the incubator branch of the tree that is education and support for small business startups. This twig may be the very best incubator space for many entrepreneurs.

Incubators provide small business startups with business resources, mentoring, support and education. Many provide coworking space and access to investors. Maker spaces are a type of incubator, but they begin with a peer-to-peer model. Imagine you are Luke Skywalker and you have a new startup in your mind. Do you take it to Yoda, or do you take your idea into Han Solo’s garage and work it out with Leia, Chewwy, and the gang? Yoda is the incubator. Han’s garage is the maker space.

Maker spaces are mostly regional, and many are designed to share the cost and space of industrial equipment and supplies. So they tend to be industry based, as well. Most have a coworking component and education, support, and networking.

There are several maker spaces that are online platforms. Maker’s Row¬†is a design/production maker space that focuses on helping designers find American manufacturing partners. They have a vigorous boot camp of workshops and courses to help designers get their business skills where they need to be. The online platform allows manufacturers and independent designers to interact and work together first online, and then in person.

Mi Kitchen es Su Kitchen is a commercial kitchen incubator that works as a maker space for entrepeneurs with food startups. Food businesses are popular for their low start up costs and ready markets. For many entrepreneurs, a food business is the gateway into entrepreneurship. Access to a commercial kitchen, shared space and equipment, and business education, support, and mentoring make Mi Kitchen a popular and successful maker space.

IE is the Portland Incubator Experiment, a beloved regional coworking space and idea incubator. The collaborative focuses on support and encouragement, as well as creative sharing. The organization is evolving with the needs of the startup community. Their newest project is an open-source book of resources for other incubator startups called, of course, the Pie Cookbook.

TechTown Detroit is an established tech startup incubator. Their maker space is divided into laboratory space, for tech startups, and place space, for entrepreneurs working with underserved neighborhoods and communities. The local movement in Detroit is changing this city into a model for regional entrepreneurship.

The Staten Island Maker Space is a collaborative project of two artists who brought together the large equipment and space for artists, metal workers, fabricators, and community tinkerers. They have digital fabrication equipment, a metal shop, woodshop, computer lab, and sewing room, as well as shared workspace and studio space. They have a number of education programs for business startups, and¬†a workshop-based kid’s education program.

WESST is a mature business development incubator that offers startups mentoring, education, investment funding opportunities, and business loans, as well as coworking space. Like the Detroit maker space, WESST was begun to meet the regional economic challenges in New Mexico. Their new incubator is located in Albuquerque. The majority of their startups are women-owned businesses, and they have developed education and support materials specific for women. They also have a veteran-specific coworking space for no cost for active duty military and veterans.Save

Blog, Community
Inclusive entrepreneurship¬†is one of the White House’s goals to make technology and tech start ups more diverse, inclusive, and transparent. With an eye toward hiring practices that reflect the American population, thirty companies signed¬†the White House Tech Inclusion Pledge to increase and track diversity and inclusion in their workforces.

The pledge called for companies to set workforce diversity goals and then track and publish the results, as well as to invest in partnerships that will allow diverse talent to be recognized and supported. Innovation and entrepreneurship can be used as tools to create a more equitable, secure, and globally connected world.

A report sponsored by Intel and Dahlberg Global Development Advisors estimates that¬†¬†$470 to $570 billion in new value for the US technology sector could be generated if the tech industry embraced American gender and ethnic diversity. The United State of Women¬†is another summit sponsored by the White House designed to address issues that impact women’s ability to succeed. Their entrepreneurship and innovation goals address the need for equity in access to capital and market share, and methods include training programs, increased access to credit and federal contracting for women-owned business, and participation in global entrepreneurship initiatives.

Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder of CODE2040, a company founded to address the diversity gap in the tech industry, is currently a senior policy advisor to US Chief Technology officer Megan Smith. CODE2040 is implementing a number of hiring support programs for minorities, such as sponsoring internships and their new Entrepreneur in Residence program. CODE2040’s goal is to provide leadership and opportunity for underrepresented minorities in the innovation economy.

At the first White House sponsored South by South Lawn: A Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action, Stewart Butterfield, cofounder of Slack, proposed that companies start a vigorous diversity and inclusion hiring plan when they are small, so they can work through problems and develop systems. While the bottom line may be impacted by diverse hiring practices, Butterfield says,¬† “that’s not why we do it. ¬†Tech lives inside a society with systemic racism.”Save

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Getting its start in the¬†1990’s, hackathons began as a way for organizations and companies to brainstorm about various issues through the use of many diverse opinions.¬†Hackathons¬†provide a venue for self-expression and creativity through technology. By engaging in an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration, those with interest in coding and technology are able to come together around an issue until a solution is found. The solutions¬†will generally take the shape of a new website, mobile app, or robot. Hackathons have taken the idea of brainstorming to a whole new level by bridging the gap between collaboration and competition.

However, women are rarely in attendance at traditional hackathon events.

In order to understand the¬†popularity of hackathon events & the low attendance by women,¬†we have to begin by pinpointing why more women don’t attend hackathons and how the rise in hackathon popularity over the years have been greatly contributed to by the women who do attend and get involved in organizing..

According to common responses, there are several reasons why women tend to stay away from hackathon events.

The first reason is that they don’t like being surrounded by sexism. Women are not a minority, they are 50% of the majority. They have great visions to offer the world of technology but only when being treated as an equal part of the solution. Feeling safe and supported is a higher priority for women and gender non-conforming individuals.

Even though women make up 56% of the general workforce, only 25% of IT jobs held by women and only 5% of tech startups are founded by women.

Second, a lack of confidence. It is not uncommon for a woman to feel like an outsider, (even if she’s an experienced programmer) when standing in a room full of men who might tend towards sexism. These feelings can drive women away from wanting to get involved in the “brogrammer” culture. The third and final reason is a lack of time. Although the pace of the world has sped up over the last decade, women are still doing it all, just with less time in which to do it. When NASA researched the ebb and flow of women attendee’s at their hackathons, they saw that women, “often have family responsibilities and couldn’t just attend a hackathon for fun.”

With that being said however, there are plenty of women who have stepped up to the tech plate in order to create better opportunities for the next generation of women in STEM.

Female code initiatives such as Girl Geek, Women Who Code, and Girl Develop It have contributed, not only to the rise of female attendance at hackathons, but also to the social acceptance of the vital role that women play in field of technology. They continue to pave the way for more women to step into their destiny through the use of technology.