May 21, 2024

Macy’s 14th Floor | 24 East Washington St. Chicago, IL

5 pm CT

Benefiting Chicago Tech Academy’s Young Women’s Leadership Society

10th Annual Little Black Dress Night

Founded in 2014 by the Young Women’s Leadership Society (YWLS), Little Black Dress Night (LBDN) has become an annual tradition. This event serves as both a friend-raiser and fundraiser, uniting the Chicago tech and business communities alongside executive thought leaders. LBDN provides a platform to address pressing diversity challenges, including the stark under representation of women and lack of advancement opportunities, particularly in African-American and Latinx communities in STEM fields and entrepreneurship. Through open dialogue and collaboration, we strive to confront systemic barriers and advocate for inclusive pathways to success. Moreover, LBDN is a celebration of our advocates and allies in this work, recognizing their invaluable contributions to driving positive change and fostering a more inclusive workforce, and world. Together, we are committed to creating a future where everyone, regardless of background, has equal opportunities to thrive and contribute in the tech industry.


The funds generated from ticket sales, donations, and sponsorship contributions will serve as vital support for the Young Women’s Leadership Society, providing essential resources for our program offerings and advancing our mission to educate, empower, and connect a diverse next generation of diverse STEM and entrepreneurship leaders. The funds generated will also enable us to uphold our commitment to educational equity, facilitate real-world learning experiences, provide mentorship opportunities, and much more. Additionally, through initiatives like Little Black Dress Night, we directly contribute to sending 20 female students to college, furthering our dedication to fostering academic and professional success for young women in our community.


  • Attending Little Black Dress Night's 8th and 9th annual events were deeply personal and inspiring experiences for me. The event consistently sheds light on the importance of gender diversity in STEM and never fails to ignite a fire within me to advocate for change in my own industry. Hearing powerful stories of resilience and meeting some of the students are just a couple of the reasons I hold this event so close to my heart.

    Kendra Cato
    Kendra Cato The Lady Leaders Book Club
  • McCann Partners’ long-standing partnership with Chicago Tech Academy’s Little Black Dress Night is one we deeply value. The event’s focus on promoting gender diversity in technology aligns perfectly with our commitment to increasing the number and influence of women in technology and leadership roles. It is equally inspiring to witness the passion and dedication of everyone involved, whether learning from the powerhouse speakers and thought leaders disrupting the industry or the young lady leaders themselves! It is a not-to-be-missed event that does not disappoint.

    Megan McCann
    Megan McCann McCann Partners, CEO
  • Receiving my scholarship from Little Black Dress Night was a game-changer for me. It's more than just financial support—it's validation of my potential, and knowing that there are people beyond ChiTech who believe in me fuels my determination to succeed. I'm grateful for the opportunities this scholarship has opened up for me and am committed to making the most of it!

    Maliyah Brown
    Maliyah Brown YWLS Member / Scholarship Recipient
  • As the founder of Little Black Dress Night, seeing the event reach its 10th anniversary fills me with immense pride. What started as a vision to empower young women in STEM has grown into a movement that continues to make a meaningful impact for our students and witnessing the community come together year after year to support our cause is truly inspiring. I am grateful for everyone who has contributed to our success and am excited to see the continued growth and influence of our Young Women's Leadership Society & Little Black Dress Night in the years to come.

    Tiara Wheatley
    Tiara Wheatley Founder, YWLS and LBDN


The Young Women’s Leadership Society is committed to empowering and advancing the next generation of female leaders, with a particular focus on Black and Latinx girls in the technology and entrepreneurship sectors.


Through a dynamic array of internal and external events, engaging workshops, tailored mentorship programs, college visits, and insightful discussions with industry leaders, we aim to shatter stereotypes, cultivate healthy relationships, and develop essential skills necessary for navigating and excelling in the technology and entrepreneurship sectors.


Our mission extends beyond mere support; we seek to inspire and propel young women, especially those from underrepresented communities, towards impactful careers that not only benefit themselves but also leave a lasting imprint on Chicago and beyond.


Join us as we champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership, paving the way for success and opportunity for Black and Latinx girls in technology and entrepreneurship, one empowered woman at a time.


ChiTech is more than just a high school – it’s a hub of innovation and learning that empowers diverse students to explore, create, and excel in the dynamic world of technology.


Our unique approach to education combines rigorous academics with real-world projects & project-based learning, preparing students not only for college and post-secondary avenues, but also for successful careers in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.


Work with us to safeguard our students’ futures by eliminating barriers specific to people of color, girls, and learners from low-income backgrounds — in and outside of the classroom — with a gift today.

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To learn more about us and LBDN, or to get involved, contact us at