Connecting the Dots

Women Leading in Technology and Government: Celebrating a Decade of Empowerment

Leading women in technology and government took center for the “Women Leading in Technology and Government” session, part of the Girls Who Code (GWC) Summer Immersion Program (SIP). The panel featured BSA | The Business Software Alliance CEO and the BSA Foundation President Victoria Espinel; Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02); SAP Chief Marketing & Solutions Officer Julia White; and Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States Clare Martorana. This gathering underscored ongoing efforts to diversify the tech industry, empower young women, and bridge gender gaps in technology.

Inspiring Conversations with Industry Leaders

The event commenced with an engaging conversation featuring Victoria Espinel, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, and Julia White. Espinel enthusiastically celebrated the participants’ summer projects and the enduring partnership with Girls Who Code.

“We are thrilled to have all of you participating. I’m so excited to see the projects that you’re going to be working on this summer,” she stated. “This is the ten-year anniversary of’s partnership with Girls Who Code. We have been so inspired over the years by what you all are doing.”

Julia White explored the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and the necessity of diversity in tech. “AI is incredibly powerful technology, and it really has the potential to impact not just the technology industry, but all parts of society,” White noted. She emphasized the critical need for ethical AI development, warning, “If we codify all of the bias and stereotypes of today, we won’t make the progress we need as a society.”

Congresswoman Kelly shared her career journey, emphasizing the importance of representation. “Representation matters. Many jobs that I started, I was the first female, I was the first person of color. A lot of times I was the first of both,” Kelly remarked. She underscored the necessity of equitable educational resources, stating, “We need to make sure schools have the resources they need to be able to teach these topics, so all of our students have a fair shot at it.”

A Compelling Discussion with Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana

From left to right: BSA | The Business Software Alliance CEO and the BSA Foundation President Victoria Espinel; Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States Clare Martorana.

The second segment featured a compelling discussion with Clare Martorana, Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States. Martorana spoke about the transformative role of AI in government services, explaining, “AI is going to be transformative in being able to read all of that information, translate it, and provide it back to the human to be able to interact with that in a digital format.” She encouraged the participants to consider careers in government technology, highlighting the significant impact they can make. “Be a great listener. It’s probably the most effective tool—to listen and learn from people that are different from you and those that have identical interests because you can usually learn something unique from each one,” advised Martorana.

The event concluded with a powerful message to the young women about the importance of curiosity, lifelong learning, and resilience. As Victoria Espinel aptly put it, “Continue to believe in yourself and push through barriers.”

Celebrating Milestones with Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code (GWC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, played a pivotal role in this milestone event. The event celebrated’s decade-long partnership with GWC, highlighting the Summer Immersion Program (SIP). This two-week intensive initiative equips high school girls with essential computing skills and introduces them to careers in technology. Participants have the unique opportunity to engage with influential figures, gaining valuable insights into the tech world and leadership.

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Lilia StoneLilia Stone
Manager, Strategic Initiatives

Lilia Stone is the Manager of Strategic Initiatives of the BSA Foundation, where she supports the Foundation’s programs, operations, and outreach. Read more >>


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