Mentors help women identify with the computing field and persue careers in technology.

Conference Details

April 14, 2013

The conference will feature a series of panel discussions and hands-on workshops for women seeking to develop their skills in computing. We are launching our mentorship program to connect female computing students and women entering industry with faculty and industry professionals in Southern California. Our Career Expo will feature a variety of companies and programs in Southern California - bringing industry directly to attendees.


  1. Provide mentorship and guidance for women who are preparing to enter industry and academia in computing fields.
  2. Encourage young women in tech to start their own projects, collaborate and to become involved in independent and open source projects with their peers and mentors.
  3. To facilitate the growth of a vibrant female tech community in Southern California
  4. To show women the broad variety of careers and opportunities they have with a background in computing.

Women seeking to begin their careers will be given numerous opportunities to network and interact directly with companies and organizations. Young women in high school or beginning college will be immersed tech culture with their peers to inspire them to pursue computing. All attendees will be given the tools to collaborate with their peers and to independently start their own technical endeavors.



Kim Swift

Kim Swift made her first splash in the game industry by playing a major role in the game Portal by Valve. Since then, she's worked on both Left 4 Dead titles and made a jump to Airtight Games where she was the Creative Director on Quantum Conundrum, and has recently been promoted to Studio Creative Director.

Tara Tiger Brown

Tara Tiger Brown is an accomplished tech entrepreneur, educator and opinion writer with over 15 years experience as Technical Director and Product Manager working at UC Irvine, Born This Way Foundation, USC, Shazam, Topspin and Microsoft.

Brown's latest projects include Los Angeles Makerspace, a non-profit community space for makers and tinkerers of all ages to create and collaborate and Represent.LA, an open-source map to put Los Angeles tech startups on the map

Tara co-founded DIY Girls for women in Los Angeles who want to hack on software and hardware projects while maintaining a sense of humor. She is passionate about getting more women into the technology field and supporting tech startups in Los Angeles which she blogs about for Forbes.

Janet Hansen

Janet Hansen is the founder and Chief Fashion Engineer of Enlighted Designs, a California-based company that has been creating custom illuminated clothing and costumes for nearly 15 years. Her clothes are worn by rock stars, acrobats, dancers, theater performers, team mascots, and a variety of other international clients, including Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Pink, Daft Punk and numerous others. Janet's work combines her interests in art, fashion, design, and entrepreneurship, as well as her formal training in engineering. She holds a B.S. in General Engineering from Harvey Mudd College, and a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science/ Bioengineering from UC San Diego.

Sophia Viklund

Sophia Viklund is a professional developer, speaker and educator. She is one of the founders of PyLadies, dedicated to educating women using the Python programming language and a co-organizer of the LA Unity3D User Group and Girl Geek Dinners LA. She founded BackCode, which specializes in game & web application development.

Shirley Lin

Shirley Lin is the Executive Managing Director of 800 Birds – a Startup Accelerator based in the Silicon Valley that helps entrepreneurs take the prototype into building the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for its target market. Shirley prides herself as the “Chief Squwker” for the 800 Birds, which started as an organically grown startup community in Silicon Valley with over 1300 global members, including primarily technology entrepreneurs and VCs. She curated the monthly events in San Francisco and Palo Alto. She has been advising various startups and in 2011 helped two startups successfully receive angel funding. 800 Birds has recently established a chapter in China with strong name recognition in focusing on the mobile gaming space.

Previously Shirley was the Executive Vice President of Asia Business Development and Operations at Beintoo ( Based in Milan and Silicon Valley, Beintoo is a mobile gamification platform that powers the reward and user loyalty programs to open up multi-channel revenue streams for mobile games and applications. She was responsible primarily for the Asia region in building partnership and operations as well as business development in US. Previously she had founded or joined several startups that all flipped off the cliff. But she is addicted to the startup and mobile world of new ideas and things. Seeing passionate tech entrepreneurs become successful makes her day.

Before becoming a startup kind of being, aside from some management capacity, she used to be snobbish coding only in the O.S. level and was at some point a hard-core aerospace programmer at NASA in Houston, on the Space Shuttle program. She holds a M.S. in Computer Science/Math/Statistic from Texas A&M and a B.A. in History from National Taiwan University.

Debra Richardson

Debra J. Richardson is Professor of Informatics and founding dean of the University of California–Irvine's Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

A leader in software engineering research, Richardson pioneered research in specification-based testing, whereby formal specifications are employed to guide software testing, and has focused on enabling specification-based testing technology throughout the software lifecycle, from requirements and architecture analysis through operation and evolution. She has recently expanded her research to adapting software engineering methods to socially relevant domains – in particular, the domain of ICTD (Information and Communication Technologies for Development), with a specific interest in developing new requirements engineering approaches for work with computationally-marginalized peoples, such as those in developing countries, and the domain of environmental sustainability, with a focus on treating sustainability as a first class quality attribute in requirements engineering.

Gillian Hayes

Gillian Hayes is an Assistant Professor in Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences and in the School of Education at UC Irvine. Her research interests are in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, assistive and educational technologies, and health informatics. She designs, develops, and deploys unobtrusive data collection and management technologies that empower people to use collected data to address real human needs in sensitive and ethically responsible ways.

Her research in autism and technology has enabled her to serve as Director of Technology Research at the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California and Chief Technology Officer for Tiwahe Technology.

Katrina Jefferson

From acting like she was Oprah, and interviewing everyone in her family as a teenager, to choreographing standing ovation worthy dance routines (in high school), Katrina has always been a natural born entertainment marketing professional—loving the connection between people and brands. Katrina received her Bachelors of Science from San Francisco State University, and began her professional career in Silicon Valley, where she specialized in client management, marketing, and training and development with start-up companies.

Phase two of Katrina’s life began when she went back to school to receive an Associate degree in Fashion Marketing. She made a smooth transition into the retail/fashion space, taking on roles in Digital Marketing, Online Advertising, and Project Management for major fashion & entertainment houses like GUESS?, Sears Holdings, Zara, Babies R Us, Charlie, M.E.T.A.L Law Group, and FabFitFun. As Katrina continues to freelance and work with some amazing clients, she is also prepping for her own business launch late 2013!

In between cardio kick boxing, dabbling in the kitchen on new dishes, networking with the smart & interesting, educating herself on the latest in tech, and having fun with her husband and son, she devotes her time as a Managing Director for Girls In Tech LA, a non-profit organization, dedicated to mentoring young women in all things digital, math, and science.