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Conference Empowers Female Students to Explore Tech Majors & Careers

In October, Upper School teacher Lauren Corrigan brought 10 Upper School female students to the Women in IT Conference at Xavier University.   
 
The free, one-day event gave high school girls time and space to explore what it means to have a career in computing and technology through keynote presentations, networking opportunities, and panel discussions. Students listened to presentations from April Cielica, the senior vice president of Proctor and Gamble, Liz Andrews-Bock, the senior vice president at Fifth Third Bank, and Jess Salzburn, the chief information officer at GE Aerospace.  
 
"I learned that the job path isn't always linear,” said Bee Kohler `26. “The speakers were relatable and made it seem okay, even common, not to know what you want to be when you grow up.”  
 
The event also included a panel discussion of college students, during which attendees could submit questions and learn more about general college life and what it is like to major in an IT field. 
 
"The conference was so impactful, and I enjoyed that they had actual university students there to talk to us," said Fleur Helmantel `24. "It was nice to hear about everyone's different journey into IT. It was also great to hear about general college life and my options in the next few years." 

In addition, women from various corporations in the greater Cincinnati region served as mentors during a networking activity, sitting with the students at roundtables to share their personal stories and insights about a career in IT. 
 
"I thought the event did a great job de-mystifying the IT career field,” said Corrigan. “The speakers emphasized that students could work in the IT field without necessarily being the ones sitting at the computer, writing the code because coding is only one aspect of IT. IT is a field that all women, especially young students like these girls, should feel is accessible to them regardless of their coding experience or interest.”