Bonhill Group is proud to announce the launch of the 2019 Women in IT New York Summit, co-located with the Women in IT Awards on March 28th at the Cipriani 42nd Street.

With the U.S. being one of the biggest powerhouses for technological innovation and development, there is no better place to advance your career in tech. More so now, as we see more and more exciting new technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain as well as new developments within data, analytics and cybersecurity. The opportunities to get involved and to contribute to this growth are endless…or are they?

The IT and technology industries continue to be heavily dominated by male professionals and little has changed since diversity and inclusion discussions began. In IT, for example, the percentage of global female IT leaders remains at 9%. In the U.S., women make up less than 20% of the tech jobs, even though they make up more than half of the whole U.S. workforce (Small Business Trends, 2018). This lack of inclusion and diversity is actually impacting how tech is programmed and designed today.

This is your opportunity to hear from and network with some of the most interesting individuals in this industry. And it doesn’t end there! Be sure to join us at the Women in IT Awards Gala where we recognise and celebrate the best in the business. Categories include amongst others: Advocate of the Year; CIO of the Year; Entrepreneur of the Year; Future CIO of the Year; Business Role Model of the Year; CTO of the Year; Rising Star; and Diversity Initiative of the Year.

Now is not the time to be shy and you should be at the WIT Summit getting involved in the discussions. Guarantee your place in the market while staying on top of important industry trends. The only way to see real change is by working together as an industry, to correct our course and to truly develop technology that is for everyone. Register for this fantastic event via the link below. 

We will see you in March!

Click here to view the AGENDA



Thursday, March 28th 2019

08:00 Registration opens
09:00 Producer & Chairperson’s Conference Welcome

09:10 PANEL DISCUSSION: Is AI for everyone?

  • Highlighting the benefits and challenges of AI in your business
  • Understanding the importance of fostering relationships and human interaction
  • How has AI enhanced internal processes and customer-facing services
  • Why is or isn’t AI for your business? Will this change?

Moderator: TBC

Anuradha Gali, Uber Engineering, Uber, USA

Veena Gundavelli, Founder & CEO, Emagia, USA

Uma Narayanan, Senior Director – Technical Solutions Architecture, NTT Data Services, USA


10:05 PANEL DISCUSSION: Diverse and inclusive technologies – is this a reality today?

  • What makes up AI – personalities and preferences?
  • Where can we see the greatest diversity discrepancies in the technology?
  • How different would today’s tech be, if there were more diverse tech teams?
  • How can you create greater diversity in AI?

Moderator: TBC

Catherine Devine, Business Strategy Leader – Libraries & Museums, Microsoft, USA

Sadia Halim, Managing Director, BNP Paribas, USA

Nabila Aydin, Global Marketing Director, FDM Group, UK

Jennifer Cloer, Co-Founder, The Chasing Grace Project, USA

10:40 Morning Break & Speed Networking

If you would like to take part in speed networking, please contact Tania.Ferreira@bonhillplc.com

*Note: Vendor companies will be required to sponsor in order to participate.


11:10 PRESENTATION: A journey from the kitchen to being a powerful business women

  • How an app idea turned into a book deal and lead to international recognition in the tech space
  • Understanding the “Pivotal Moments” that influence and make your professional career
  • Standing together and helping each other climb the ladder to success

Susanne Birgersdotter, Founder, SthlmAppLab and World Women Network, Sweden

11:25 FIRESIDE CHAT: Navigating your way into the exciting world of tech

  • Identifying gateway jobs and building your skills and CV
  • Finding the courage to pursue new challenges and step out of your comfort zone
  • Allowing yourself to learn new skills, learn on the job and embrace more responsibility
  • How often have you just said “Yes” without second guessing? Overcome your insecurities
  • Be a Yes Women and seize every professional opportunity

Moderator: Marie Wiese, President & Founder, Marketing CoPilot, USA

Paula Hunter, Executive Director, NFC Forum, USA

Jennifer Cloer, Co-Founder, The Chasing Grace Project, USA

Marieke McCloskey – Usertesting, USA (TBC)


Paula Hunter, Executive Director, NFC Forum, USA

12:05 PRESENTATION: Negotiating equal pay

  • The current state of the gender pay gap
  • Understanding and leveraging best practices in compensation negotiation
  • Keeping the discussion objective to maximize results
  • Using these same lessons when on the other side

Katie Donovan, Founder, Equal Pay Negotiations, USA


12:20 FIRESIDE CHAT: Opportunities in cyber security but no traction – why?

  • Comparing tech role popularity and the low uptake of positions in security
  • Are universities noticing a decrease in numbers and have we understood why?
  • Highlighting the opportunities and importance of professionals in cybersecurity
  • How can the lack of expertise leaves us vulnerable especially in the tech industry
  • How can we engage and incentivise young students and industry professionals to move into the cybersecurity space?

Moderator: TBC

Deneen DeFiore, CISO, GE Aviation, USA

Neal O’Farrell, Founder, Schooled in Security, USA

12:45 PRESENTATION: More Young Women in Cybersecurity? It’s all about the pitch

  • Why the failure to attract a new generation to cybersecurity is everyone’s fault
  • Why schools are such an untapped asset but tough challenge
  • Why young women need to meet better role models
  • How Schooled In Security is taking a different approach

Neal O’Farrell, Founder, Schooled in Security, USA

13:00 PRESENTATION: Collecting courage

  • Discussing the unique journey through the arts and into the cybersecurity space
  • Highlighting the skills gathered along the way that lead to developing the courage to face challenges in this growing career space
  • Sharing a vulnerable narrative about facing imposter syndrome during growth.

Diana Birsan, Security Program Manager, Shopify, Canada

13:15 Networking Lunch

14:00 FIRESIDE CHAT: Over mentored and not enough sponsorship

  • Analysing the difference between mentors and sponsors
  • Knowing how to work and leverage your network both in an organisation and outside
  • Who do you need to get to know and how do you get to them?
  • Leveraging the support of male colleagues as sponsors and working in partnership

Moderator: Nabila Aydin, Global Marketing Director, FDM Group, UK

Nancy Harris, EVP, Sage, USA

Marie Wiese, President & Founder, Marketing CoPilot, USA

Senior representative from Accenture

14:25 PANEL DISCUSSION: Using your professional success to give back

  • How to leverage your knowledge and expertise for the greater good
  • Examining how investments in digital literacy can help you contribute to communities
  • Supporting local communities through connectivity and sustainable initiatives
  • Understanding the benefits of these projects and how you to can give back

Moderator: TBC

Leah Kraus, CIO, North Carolina Central University, USA

Etosha Ottey, President & CEO, Chicago Black Women in Tech, USA

Elizabeth Baxter, Vice President, Women in Technology – DISC, USA

Judith Spitz, WiTNY Founding Program Director, Cornell Tech, USA

Rekha Venkatakrishnan, Staff Product Manager, Wallmart Labs International, USA (tbc)

15:00 PRESENTATION: WiTNY – How industry and academia can come together to drive change at scale towards gender equity in tech

  • Identifying the right partners for a public-private partnership
  • Standing on the shoulders of giants but innovating to meet the needs of your constituency
  • Changing the lives of thousands of young women – one at a time
  • Delivering results that matter

Judith Spitz, WiTNY Founding Program Director, Cornell Tech, USA

15:15 Workshop: Overcoming Perfectionism & Silencing Your Imposter

“All the opportunities we miss because we are too afraid to put anything out in the world that could in IMPERFECT, or dreams we don’t follow because of FEAR of FAILING, or DISAPPOINTING OTHER.” – Dr Brene Brown.

  • Do you want to play bigger but feel like an imposter?
  • Do you dream of moving into a more senior role or major project, but fear is holding you back and keeping you quiet?
  • How many decisions do you make each day based on what you think you SHOULD do, rather than what you WANT to do?

This interactive workshop blends Dr Brene Brown’s research with exercised and group discussions to shine a light on our inner critic and perfectionist tendencies. We will identify strategies to move forward and experience the power of knowing that we are not alone.

Gareth Davies, Co-Founder, The Bravest Path, UK

16:00 End of Conference

Women In IT 2019 Awards – New York

19:00 Champagne Reception

19:30 Welcome and Keynote Addresses


Nabila Aydin “I’m really excited to be taking part in the WIT NY Summit and I look forward to discussing the power of mentors and sponsors at work. I’ve had both and this certainly helped me progress and develop in my career.”

Uma Narayanan “During my panel, I’m looking forward to exploring examples of building AI-enabled solutions for my financial services clients, while also highlighting the importance failing has had on our continued success alongside other industry leaders.”

Elizabeth Baxter “I’m thrilled to be speaking at the 2019 WIT New York Summit! As a young woman in tech, I’ve experienced the many common challenges woman face in pursuing their tech career. From battling impostor syndrome to discovering my passion in cybersecurity, I’ve learned that the challenges for females in tech are very real. This conference provides a unique chance to address these topics and spread awareness for those who are passionate about tech, but who are also unaware of how to overcome its boundaries.”