October 27 - 28 '17

Tickets on sale now!

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A safe, inclusive tech leadership conference and community for adult (18+) women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people to connect with and empower one another.

Ticket are on sale now! Buy a ticket.

Leadership skills are crucial to making an impact in the field and creating diversity in the workplace. Companies with greater top-level gender diversity perform better financially, are more empathetic, and more innovative. When marginalized individuals become leaders, the entire tech community benefits.

This is a 1.5 day event, spanning a Friday evening and full Saturday. All timeline announcements, such as CFP opening and ticket sales, will be published on our blog and newsletter.

All attendees, speakers, volunteers, special guests, and organizers are expected to follow the Code of Conduct at all times.

Ela Conf was established in 2015 by women, is run by women organizers, and is reserved exclusively for women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people to speak and attend.


Tickets are on sale now! Learn more about this year's ticket sales on our blog.

Please keep in mind that Ela Conf is for adult (18+) women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people (regardless of presentation).

All ticket sales are final after October 6th.

We don't wish for the cost of a ticket to be a barrier for anyone to attend. We offer complimentary tickets to all volunteers and offer grants based on either financial or diversity based factors.

If you're unable to attend or would like to support the conference, you can donate a ticket. Your donation will help us fund our opportunity grant that provides complimentary tickets to those who would be unable to attend otherwise.


Friday, October 27th

Talks and Lightning Talks :zap:
6:00 pm Meet and Greet, Early Registration Meet and Greet, Early Registration
7:00 pm Welcome Welcome
7:10 pm The Stress of Leadership
Payal Sharma
7:35 pm :zap: Being an “Origin Story” Manager
Jenn Green
7:42 pm :zap: Don’t Know? Doesn’t Matter
Mansi Pathak
7:50 pm :zap: Leveraging the Power of “We”
Charmel Sippio
7:57 pm :zap: 5 Unconventional Uses for Software Tests
Emily DuBois
8:04 pm Is It Me?
Alex Lash

Saturday, October 28th

Talks, Workshops, and Panels
8:00 am Registration & Light Breakfast Registration & Light Breakfast :sunny:
9:00 am Welcome & Announcements :wave:
Ruthie Fields
9:20 am Keynote
Zalyndria Crosby
10:05 am Building Gender Inclusivity into the Web
Rachel McGrane
10:30 am Sorry, Not Sorry: Going from Peer-Approval to Self-Appreciation
Nitya Narasimhan
10:50 am Coffee Break Coffee Break :coffee:
11:10 pm Breakout session 1: Moving Forward After Failure panel
Divya Sasidharan
Lisa Ghisolf
Jessica Salinas
Jen Dionisio (moderator)
Breakout session 2: Better Job Descriptions workshop
Tiberius Hefflin
Caro Griffin
Breakout session 3: Your Tech Voice in Writing workshop
Miriam Peskowitz
12:10 pm Lunch Lunch
1:30 pm Breakout session 1: Negotiating Pay and Benefits panel
Julie Menge
Bonnie Bogle
Cristina Lara
Jumoke Dada
Kate Catlin (moderator)
Breakout session 2: Give Feedback Fearlessly workshop
Aisha Blake
Breakout session 3: Getting to Where You Want to Go: How to Set Goals and Follow Through on Execution workshop
Laura Webb
Alicia Raciti
Kristen Gallagher
2:30 pm Coffee Break Coffee Break :coffee:
3:05 pm Accessibility for People with Invisible Disabilities
Erin Newby
3:30 pm How Public Speaking Made Me a Better Leader (& vice-versa)
Yash Prabhu
3:55 pm The Curse of “Common Knowledge”: Communicating for Clarity and Inclusivity
Yulan Lin
4:40 pm Really, Who Are You?
Dawn McDougall
5:30 pm Networking Event at Mission Taqueria Networking Event at Mission Taqueria


This event is simply not possible without your support. We aim to keep ticket costs low while also offering childcare stipends, financial and diversity grants, cover all meals, secure a centrally located venue, reimburse speaker travel and lodging, and host a networking party following the event.

We cannot wait to call you a partner in our mission. Review our prospectus and email us to learn more.

Another great way to support the conference is to donate a ticket. Your donation will help us found our opportunity grant that provides complimentary tickets to those who would be unable to attend otherwise.


Networking Event Sponsor
Conference Supporter
Community Builder
In Kind


University of the Arts
Gershman Hall
401 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19147


Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown by Marriott
21 N. Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Get the group rate.


Big thank you to our volunteers. We couldn't do this without you! Our volunteers are helping before and during the event as speaker mentors, timekeepers, sketchnoters, and more!


Joni Trythall is a designer that works from home at the top of Delaware. She publishes books and articles on front-end design, such as Pocket Guide to Writing SVG, and co-founded Ela in 2015 to create a more welcoming and inclusive conference experience for marginalized individuals in tech. Joni makes gluten free cookies that “don’t taste gluten free” and enjoys sharing drawing projects with her son on their blog.

Joni Trythall

LeeAnn Kinney is a karaoke-loving, emoji-overusing front-end developer living in Philadelphia. She is a web accessibility advocate, chapter leader of Girl Develop It Philly, and co-organizer of LadyHacks, a community event for women that follows the model of a civic hackathon, with a goal of working on projects for the social good rather than hosting a competition. LeeAnn lives in South Philly with her partner Dan, her pup, Johnny and fat cat, Cutie. She loves spending time outdoors whenever she can, hiking, biking, camping, or floating in a lake or river.

LeeAnn Kinney

Katy DeCorah builds internal tools at Mapbox. She loves playing with CSS and building Slack bots. In her free time she enjoys getting lost in a side project, the woods, or a Golden Girls marathon. Katy lives and works from home with her husband in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Katy DeCorah

Arti Walker-Peddakolta is a Senior Product Manager, Advocate, Microbiologist, and US Army veteran. Arti advocates for the empowerment of women and underrepresented groups in STEM, is a co-organizer of Ela Conf, and is on the board of Institute for Science Education and Technology (ISET), which hosts the annual Percy Julian Science Symposium. Arti is a leader with Veterans for American Ideals, a non-partisan group of military veterans that advocates for refugee and immigrant rights. Arti lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family, where she loves to garden, bake like Ina Garten, and can always be found starting a new home improvement project.

Arti Walker-Peddakotla

Shanise Barona is a web developer who is passionate about the place where technology and social good intersect. She wants to live in a world where emails are short, empathy is a forethought, and Netflix doesn’t ask if you want to keep watching (the answer is always yes!). Currently, she lives and works in the suburbs of Philadelphia. And when her eyes aren’t glued to a computer screen, you can find her doing yoga, reading, and tending to her extensive plant collection.

Shanise Barona