Zebra Technologies Supports Path to Increase Diversity in Tech

Each year, ChiTech’s Young Leadership Society hosts the Little Black Dress Night event to recognize and applaud the many forms of support we receive from Chicago’s business, technology, and philanthropic community. This event brings together speakers and thought leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds to share their ideas on how to tackle the challenges faced by both entrepreneurs and students in STEM fields. Our guests leave inspired to think about new solutions, which often sparks conversations and connections with others in their workplace and field. 

ChiTech uses project-based learning, entrepreneurial principles, STEM education and real world experiences with Chicago companies to share the diverse next generation of leaders. The awareness and financial support raised from LBDN is critical to ChiTech’s ability to continue providing these experiences to our students, and ChiTech partner Zebra Technologies works with ChiTech to create more opportunities for young women in technology. 

“From the moment I learned about the Little Black Dress Night event and what it stood for, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. I began my career working for a technology start-up and the experience of being surrounded by entrepreneurial passion and bold inclusive leadership has influenced my journey and I applaud ChiTech for providing this type of inspiration for future generations.”
EMILY CATES, Zebra Technologies Vice President of Professional & Learning Services

Kirsi Sangha, senior director of Product Management at Zebra Technologies offers this advice to the girls in ChiTech’s Young Women’s Leadership Society:

  1. Be yourself. It is so easy to model after your male colleagues because a) they are likely the majority and b) it sometimes seems like feigning “machismo” is necessary for promotions. This isn’t the case. Winning teams need different perspectives.
  2. Yes, YOU can have it all! We are wired to do it all! The mommy track can sneak up on you … I had mentally put myself on the mommy track while pregnant with my second son. I was not planning to apply for an opening which I knew was a perfect fit for me. My dear colleague Caroline Zepeda, Director of Engineering, gave me a wakeup call. I applied and got the job! With flexible work hours and locations and paternity leave now the standard, you don’t have to choose between being a mother and being a career woman.

ChiTech is grateful to Zebra Technologies, all LBDN sponsors, and our Corporate Ambassadors for their continued investment STEM education and the future of tech education. Learn more about how Zebra Technologies supports women in technology at this link.

About Zebra Technologies

Zebra empowers those on the front line in retail, healthcare, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and other industries to achieve a performance edge – an edge that translates to delighted customers, good patient outcomes and superior business results.

About ChiTech

Chicago Tech Academy High School is an educational community whose mission is to educate, empower, and connect a diverse next generation of entrepreneurial thinkers to discover their passions, succeed in college and thrive in a digital world. 

About Young Women’s Leadership Society

The Young Women’s Leadership Society at ChiTech provides support for female students’ professional advancement as future leaders in tech and entrepreneurship. YWLS sponsors events, hosts workshops, plans college campus visits, and facilities discussions. All of these activities are designed to examine stereotypes, explore development of healthy relationships, explore the development of healthy relationships, and fosters the skills necessary for the cultivation of valuable professional networks. 

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