GirlCon, an international tech conference empowering young women to pursue their passions through STEM careers, will take place virtually between June 27 - 30, 2021. The event, created by high school students is free and open to all high school female and non-binary identifying students.

The four-day conference will feature breakout, professional development and keynote sessions led by industry leaders from numerous backgrounds, including DixieAdams and Kelly Chambliss (IBM), Alyssa Miller, a cybersecurity expert, Madhulika Guhathakurta (NASA) and Hope Goins (Department of Homeland Security). In addition to the professional development and “Tech +” sessions, which combine technology with niche career paths (e.g. Tech + Art), this year’s attendees get to experience new one-on-one meetings with career experts and coffee chats with speakers throughout the conference. 

“After switching to a virtual format last year due to COVID-19, we were able to expand GirlCon’s reach to an international level,” said Co-Director Ellie Goldsmith. “We had 700 participants from 32 countries and this year, we hope to increase participation even further, inspiring the next generation of women in STEM,” added Co-Director Vidya Bharadwaj. 

After noticing there were significantly less women in their Chicagoland high school STEM classes, co-founders Kyla Guru and Molly Graton sought to create an experience that empowered young women and nonbinary students to better connect with STEM role models. While Guru and Graton now serve on the Board of Directors as advisors, the entire event is planned and executed by the CORE team, many of whom began as participants, connected through their passion for GirlCon’s mission.

GirlCon is made possible by sponsors including Balyasny Asset Management, CME Group, IBM, ISACA Chicago and Google.