ACC hosts three panelists for Women in IT Spring Speaker Series

Austin Community College (ACC) invites students, employees, and the community to its Women in IT Spring Speaker Series from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, at ACC Highland, Building 4000 (6101 Highland Campus Dr.). 

“The lack of women working in Computer Science and IT is a growing issue nationwide,” says Dr. Amardeep Kahlon, ACC’s Women in IT (WIT) program director. “We want to find a way to reach women and empower them to change that current state.”

According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, only 26 percent of professional computing occupations were held by women in 2017 and only 17 percent of Fortune 500 Chief Information Officer positions were held by women.

“I struggled with unequal pay and the motherhood penalty, but I want people to know how rewarding the tech field is,” says Giselle Valenzuela Aldridge, software engineer and panelist. “The more of us there are, the easier it will become. We can’t be afraid to blaze our own trail.”

Aldridge joins software engineer, Mirella Batista, and development manager, Kelly Churchill, for the panel discussion. 

“You will never know all you need to know to get a job,” says Churchill. “If you have a growth mindset and are open to learning, it will take you far. Women can and should have a seat at the table with equitable pay and career growth opportunities.” 

Topics include:

1.      The IT journey - Hear personal lessons learned, challenges, hurdles, growth, and victories.

2.      How to prepare - Learn about unique skills and interview tips to land a job in IT.

3.      Community resources - Try out tools the experts use to stay ahead.

4.      Impostor Syndrome – How to recognize it and overcome it.

“Women need to know their worth, know you belong where you are, and don’t doubt your skills,” says Batista. “Keep track of your accomplishments and remind yourself of what you have done, what you have become, and make a habit of sharing your accomplishments.”

Hosted by the Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) area of study, the event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended but not required. Register here.

CSIT also holds information sessions for WIT. The next session will be March 7 at ACC Highland, Building 4000.

For more information, visit

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