2023 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT

The 2023 NCWIT Summit will take place May 18-19, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. This year, the Summit will return to an in-person format, with hybrid options for online participation available. Watch this space for more details! 

Where Conversations Lead to Change

With NCWIT being the trusted source for research-based strategies that facilitate reform in computing classes and technical organizations, the NCWIT Summit continues to be the world’s largest annual convening of change leaders focused on significantly improving diversity and equity in computing.

“I always learn from both presenters and other attendees — either a new perspective on something I’m struggling with or a new idea about how to tackle different challenges. [NCWIT challenges] me to think differently and act differently… It’s also a very engaging conference; we don’t just sit back and listen, we work.” ~ NCWIT Summit Attendee


The 2023 NCWIT Summit will take place in Denver, CO at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. A link to a hotel room in the conference room block will be included in the registration confirmation email. The hotel is located approximately 26 miles from the Denver International Airport and less than 2 miles from Denver’s Union Station.

COVID Information

The health and safety of NCWIT Summit attendees is a top priority. NCWIT will follow all local guidance and Public Health Orders from the City of Denver.

  • Proof of vaccination for the in-person NCWIT is not required, though vaccination is encouraged prior to traveling and attending the event.
  • Face masks are optional, and we ask that all attendees respect each attendee’s choice to wear or not wear a mask.
  • Stickers will be available for attendees to indicate their comfort level with physical contact (green for handshakes/full contact, yellow for elbow bumps/limited contact, and red for no physical contact).
  • The event venue will provide increased availability of hand sanitizer.

Summit Content Tracks

In our first year back in-person, and our first time offering a hybrid Summit experience, we decided to try something new. To ensure that all attendees feel welcome and engaged, Summit content is arranged by topic-area track, giving attendees an opportunity to take a deep dive into the issues that matter most to them. Each track has three main components—learning from NCWIT, learning from each other, and action planning. You can read more about the topic areas below.

What are some of the ways biases impede our efforts to build inclusive cultures? How can we not only intervene in these biases but also proactively create cultures where students, employees, and others feel they belong and make meaningful contributions? This summit strand will explore some of the latest research connecting bias, belongingness, and inclusion. Attendees will have a chance to practice concrete strategies for interrupting bias in real-life situations. They will also have a chance to learn from other’s experiences with these issues and develop a plan of action for addressing bias and creating belonging cultures in their own organizations and in everyday life.


Power and influence are profoundly important to the project of building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive tech ecosystem, and yet we rarely talk about — and never attempt to measure — these critical factors. This strand aims to address this gap. We will unpack findings from NCWIT’s cutting-edge research about how power and status operate on technical teams, who has access to it, and how we might distribute it more intentionally. Participants will be introduced to PowerTilt–a new tool to help teams understand their own dynamics and build more inclusive cultures of power and influence.


Equity in computing education is a noble goal but achieving it can be challenging, especially when efforts, to date, are more focused on individualistic rather than systemic solutions. At the same time, it is often overwhelming for individuals to know how to help change systems.  This strand will uncover ways that individuals can help tackle important but often overlooked levers for systemic change.  Attendees will examine the current CS environment in K-12, drill down to specific levers for change, and learn how each individual can play an active role in tackling this complex problem. Attendees will also learn about frameworks that can be used for assessing equity in their own contexts.


Recruitment and retention strategies might feel intuitive for the tech industry, but establishing similar practices across the K-12 and post secondary ecosystems can be more challenging. Developing concrete strategies to broaden participation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students in K-12 and higher education is a critical component in building and expanding inclusivity in CS education. What are the current best practices for ensuring that historically marginalized students have access, exposure, and remain in CS? How might recruitment and retention efforts look different in the PK-5 space? Across minority-serving institutions? Attendees will have a chance to learn about important ways to actively engage a broad range of students, and to ensure all students have the skills needed to thrive today and in the future.


What does it mean to have inclusive leaders at every level? Why is it important for organizational cultural change? How can we best enable and empower both formal and informal leaders to build more inclusive cultures? This summit strand focuses on how organizational change is accelerated when inclusive leaders are recognized and empowered at all levels, independent of their hierarchical position in the org-chart. Attendees will learn what it takes to be an inclusive leader, how to help others become inclusive leaders, how these skills can enable organizations to tackle difficult conversations and foster real organizational change. Practical examples and resources from both Dr. Allen’s work and the NCWIT Tech Inclusion Journey framework will help attendees take action and apply this information back in their own organizations.  


Inflammatory rhetoric over social issues related to gender fluidity, critical race theory, and systemic racism/sexism increasingly permeate public discourse and debate. While this climate, may at first glance, seem to be broader and beyond the realm of tech, it deeply affects our efforts to promote equity in technical contexts as well. At the same time, technology communities are perhaps uniquely situated to tackle these concerns head on. This strand will explore how the “Manosphere” and other coordinated efforts are working to shore up the gender binary in ways that also undermine broader efforts to address systemic sexism, racism and other inequities. Attendees will learn how technology and technical communities are both being used to accelerate inflammatory discourse but also uniquely situated to intervene in the spread of such discourse. Attendees will leave with an enhanced understanding of how these issues affect technical communities and practical strategies for intervening in ways that foster positive change.


Want to do a better job of recruiting and retaining diverse students in undergraduate computing? Want to make CS curriculum more engaging and effective for all students? Come explore the latest research on inclusive pedagogies in CS education, with a particular focus on innovative uses of educational technology. Attendees will have the chance to learn from several real-life case studies, success stories, and interactive demonstrations. Attendees will also be able to share and learn from each other’s experiences with similar issues and walk away with an action plan for putting inclusive pedagogies into action in your home institution. 

All events listed will take place in Mountain Time. More details will be added as they become available. To join virtual sessions, please visit the Whova app.

Thursday, May 18, 2023


12:30 – 1:00 pm

Virtual and in-person



Welcome Back and Pioneer Award Presentation

We’re excited to convene the NCWIT community for this hybrid event, and what better way to kick of the proceedings than recognizing a technical woman whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the landscape of technological innovation, amplifying the importance of bringing diverse perspectives to the table.

The 2023 recipient of the NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award, Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover joined Bell Telephone Laboratories at the dawn of computer enterprise as one of few women in a field largely dominated by men. Among her many accomplishments, she worked on Number 1 ESS (Electronic Switching System), a highly reliable electronic computer to control or “switch” telephone calls. She wrote the specifications for the instruction set for the computer and the specifications for the operating system. Later, she invented an algorithm enabling the computer to cope with telephone traffic overload, an algorithm which Bell Labs patented. As a result of this patent, she was inducted in the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame. She was promoted to Technical Supervisor, then Technical Department Head at Bell Labs, and was the first woman to hold either position.


1:00 – 2:30 pm

Virtual and in-person

Conversations for Change: Ijeoma Oluo

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy — from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans — has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair — and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, will discuss how to have honest conversations about race and racism, and the ways that they infect almost every aspect of American life.

2:30-3:00 pm



Structured Break

An opportunity to connect with friends and collaborators, meet someone new, debrief with other members about the plenary, and fuel up for the first session working with your track.

3:00 – 4:30 pm

Virtual and in-person


Content Tracks: Learning from NCWIT

In this first session with your track, you’ll learn about the key social science terms and concepts related to your chosen topic area. This session will be facilitated by NCWIT researchers and other experts. The goal is to develop shared understandings that will inform your experience within the track.

4:30 – 5:30 pm



Alliance Check-in

An opportunity to connect with other members of your alliance to talk about things you learned and experienced throughout the day.

5:30 – 7:00 pm



Reconnect, network, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres with other change-makers.


Friday, May 19, 2023

8:00 – 8:30 am




9:00 – 10:30 am

Virtual and in-person


Content Tracks: Learning from Other Members

Connect with other members working on similar initiatives to learn what others are doing to make change.

10:30 – 11:00 am



Structured Break

An opportunity to debrief with other members of your track, with friends and collaborators, meet someone new, and fuel up for the second plenary.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Virtual and in-person


Conversations for Change: Brad McLain, PhD

Inclusive Leadership Through Transformative Experience Design

Transformative experiences are our most important life events, changing our sense of self in significant ways. How do they work? What elements do they require? How can we learn to design them as an entirely new view of inclusive leadership?

Based on his decades-long investigation of transformative experience design, Dr. McLain will discuss how he has brought this work to NCWIT as Director of Corporate Research. His talk will explore how when leaders recast themselves as experience designers, an entirely new domain opens for leading change and building more inclusive cultures at work, school, home, and other contexts.

12:30 – 1:30 pm 





1:30 – 3:00 pm

Virtual and in-person


Content Tracks: Action Planning

Work with other members of your track to develop an action plan to use at your home organization.

3:00 – 4:00 pm

Virtual and in-person


Closing Plenary: Dr. Khalia Braswell

Final send-off with an inspirational talk from Dr. Khalia Braswell.

Featured Speakers

A headshot of Dr. Apryl Williams in front of a dark blue background angled a bit back from the camera.

Apryl Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Apryl Williams is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication & Media and the Digital Studies Institute at the University of

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A headshot of Beth Simon

Beth Simon, Ph.D.

Dr. Beth Simon is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Education Studies. Her research interests lie in the areas of computing education and online

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A photo of Brad McLain standing with water and trees in the background.

Brad McLain, Ph.D.

Dr. Brad McLain is a social scientist interested in the nature and psychology of identity development, learning, and leadership. He is the Director of the

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Brenda J. Allen

Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita Brenda J. Allen (Ph.D., Howard University) served for 30 years in various academic and leadership roles in the University of Colorado system. Recruited

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A headshot of Carol Fletcher against a dark background

Carol Fletcher, Ph.D.

Dr. Carol Fletcher is Director of EPIC (Expanding Pathways in Computing) at UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) where she oversees research and professional

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Catherine Ashcraft

Catherine Ashcraft, Ph.D.

Catherine Ashcraft is a Senior Research Scientist with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research

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A headshot of Dr. Kyla McMullen in front of a dark background

Dr. Kyla McMullen

Dr. Kyla McMullen is a tenured faculty member at the University of Florida’s Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering Department. Dr. McMullen has a personal

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Head shot of Ijeoma Oluo looking away from the camera in front of cloudy skies.

Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo (ee-joh-mah oh-loo-oh)  is a writer, speaker and internet yeller. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want

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Joanne Esch, Ph.D.

As a Senior Research Associate at NCWIT, Joanne Esch supports Workforce Alliance members in using research-based, systemic approaches to build inclusive cultures. Her work focuses

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Headshot of Karen Ashcraft with a white background.

Karen Ashcraft, Ph.D.

Karen Lee Ashcraft is a professor of organizational communication at the University of Colorado Boulder. For nearly 30 years, she has studied gender in organizations

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Headshot of Dr. Khalia Braswell in a light blue blazer and white shit in front of a purple background.

Khalia Braswell, Ph.D.

Dr. Khalia M. Braswell is an award-winning technologist whose personal mission is to make social change using technology. Dr. Braswell graduated from North Carolina State

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A headshot of Linda Calvin against a dark background, wearing a white pop-collared shirt, a purple printed jacket, and a black-print white tie

Linda Calvin

Linda Calvin is a 20-year veteran of the private IT sector with strengths in communication, law, and global leadership. Linda holds a BA in Journalism

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A headshot of Lucy Sanders smiling at the camera wearing a purple and white blazer over a black top in front of a gray-blue background

Lucy Sanders

Lucy Sanders is Founder and Executive in Residence of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a national organization that works to broaden

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A headshot of Mel Monier smiling in front of a white background

Mel Monier

Mel Monier (she/they; @moniermel) is a PhD student in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Michigan. They use queer and intersectional

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A headshot of Sarah Blithe wearing a black blazer over a green shirt in front of a gray background

Sarah Blithe, Ph.D.

Dr. Sarah Blithe is a Research Scientist with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Her research

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Terry Hogan Photo

Terry Hogan

Teresa (Terry) Hogan is the Executive Director and CEO at NCWIT. Her career began at US WEST where she was the lead engineer of the

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NCWIT is deeply grateful for the support of 2023 NCWIT Summit Sponsors Bloomberg, Johnson&Johnson, and Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets. To learn more about sponsoring this year’s NCWIT Summit, check out the 2023 NCWIT Summit Sponsorship One-pager

Johnson and Jhonson logo.
RBC Capital Markets

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2023 NCWIT Summit are available. Please view more information online, or email [email protected].

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