Last year, the WCA organized the first Women in Tech luncheon as part of its “Year of Innovation,” in which Westchester’s emerging health tech and biotech hub was showcased and the WCA celebrated the innovators, job creators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who are moving Westchester and the region forward. At the luncheon, five outstanding women were honored: Doris Bucher, PhD, who develops vaccines for influenza at New York Medical College; Chau Dang, MD, who leads worldwide research on breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Kathleen Friel, PhD, whose research focuses on mobility for children afflicted with cerebral palsy (Burke-Cornell Medical Research Institute); Julia P. Gregory, CEO of ContraFect, a biotech company that focuses on infectious diseases; and Soo Young Yang, PhD and Chair of Histogenetics, a pioneer in genetic sequencing. It was one of the most memorable and moving events that the WCA has ever produced.
This year, in addition to honoring accomplished women in technology, the WCA will take the event a step further by also recognizing two aspiring Westchester students – one in high school and the other in college ¬– who have demonstrated passion in pursuing a STEM career through her academic or extracurricular activity, and by providing a scholarship award.
“Traditionally, women were not encouraged to enter STEM fields,” notes Marissa Brett, president of the Westchester County Association. “As a result, there are fewer women scientists, mathematicians, and technologists in American business and science than men. But that’s beginning to change, especially here in Westchester where the health tech and biotech sectors are exploding. The good news is that by encouraging and honoring the 50% of our population who have excelled in science, medicine, biotech, and healthcare technology, we will be encouraging greater innovation and providing more mentors for the next generation of women who wish to enter these fields.”
Besides nominations, the WCA is encouraging companies of all sizes to participate in the Women in Tech luncheon through sponsorships. A title sponsorship is still available and includes a scholarship for a student honoree to pursue their educational goals in the field. To date, the premier sponsors of the event are: Citrin Cooperman & Co. ,Con Edison, JP Morgan Chase, Harrison Edwards PR & Marketing, Hospitality Resource Group, KeyBank, and Sterling Bank. To become a sponsor, please contact Julia Emrick at email@example.com.
“American business everywhere should honor the women innovators and visionaries who are improving our lives and moving our country forward,” says Brett. “We also must encourage the next generation of women scientists and mathematicians to reach for the stars.”