2017 Annual RedChairPGH Event

The Redchairpgh 3rd Annual Event took place on November 16, 2017 courtesy of Truefit in the beautifully redesigned Union Trust Building. The evening began with cold drinks, hot appetizers and lively networking conversations among the 150+ participants sponsored by University of Pittsburgh Information Technology group and Murtech! The photobooth sponsored by PPG Industries and Accenture provided a fun icebreaker to get teams mugging for the camera. The presentation was held in the 10th floor theater – built over 100 years ago and once the private theater for Henry Clay Frick. The evening kicked off with a welcome and a reflection on the rechairpgh mission, “to achieve gender equity in the Pittsburgh technology professions”.

The evening’s keynote speakers, Carol Frieze and Jeria Quesenberry, authors of the book “Women are Kicking Butt in Computer Science” highlighted the initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University’s school of Computer Science to achieve gender equity and a significantly more diverse class overall. Their take-aways; culture and environment play a more important role than gender differences in sustaining a community of women in CS, be cautious about making changes on the basis of appealing to stereotypes, this may perpetuate the gender divide, ensure men and women have similar opportunities for leadership, visibility, mentoring and advocacy and finally, don’t underestimate the value of social events.

A panel of highly successful women leaders in tech was moderated by Kathleen Lovett of ThermoFisher Scientific, the presenting sponsor. The audience heard words of wisdom from Pricilla Beal from Bayer, Lori Cruz of ThermoFisher Scientific, Michele McGough who founded Solutions4networks, Antoinette Murphy of Comcast Business and Julie Straub of PPG Industries (photobooth sponsor).

The evening featured the inaugural redchairpgh scholarship winners in video interview format. Winners recognized include Ashley Davis of PPG, Victoria Guscoff of AT&T Mobility, and Gretchen Smathers of UPMC, Hyunju Li of Samsung, Kristin Boehne of Five Star Development, Amy Deponte of GNC, and Kimberly Zahler of Highmark Health, Rachael Hayden of PPG and Shireen Thomas of UPMC.

The evening was a great success thanks to the sponsors named above and Forsythe, solutions4networks, PNCBank, turbonomic and Gateway Health. Media Quest and MSM digital took care of the audio visual and video filming.