By Roberta Rincón, Ph.D., Manager of Research, SWE
September 18, 2017
On September 15th, I had the pleasure of presenting at this year’s Dialogue on Diversity Entrepreneurship/Information Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1990, the mission of Dialogue on Diversity, a nonprofit educational organization, is to encourage women around the world to reach their full economic potential, promote solidarity among women of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and bring the diversity of traditions into a mutually productive dialogue. The organization has hosted numerous events to support business and cultural interchanges for over 25 years, with a special focus on U.S. national policies that promote diversity in business sectors.
For 2017, the conference included a STEAM session, bringing together individuals to discuss the Education of the Entrepreneur. I shared information about what has helped and hindered girls and women in STEM, offering insight into factors that research shows have an impact on their interest and success in STEM education and careers. Ms. Asela Rebecca Mejía of New York Life, Dr. Maria Sevillano, a Professor of Health Care Information Technology at the Capital Region branch of the Ana G. Mèndez University System in Maryland, and Mr. Aaron Rieke, a Principal at the boutique IT design firm, UPTURN, completed the panel.
Many speakers during the day discussed the role that technology and social media have on helping entrepreneurs make their business ideas a reality. Some shared tips on key marketing strategies, while others provided guidance on potential funding and planning resources. One fascinating panel discussion centered on getting your brand across in a crowded media space, where Diana Marrero, founder of The Hill Latino, moderated subject matter experts who provided insight into effective strategies and shared personal anecdotes of mistakes they have made and overcome. Another panel included individuals such as Professor Paolo von Schirach, President of the Global Policy Institute, and Dr. Andrew Wyner, Dean of Graduate Studies at BAU International University – individuals with vast experience navigating in the global markets, who shared their cautionary and encouraging tales of international expansion efforts.
The event attracted many public policy people from the Washington, D.C. area, as well as people with business ideas interested in finding resources and guidance to help them start their own small businesses.