Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has helped spark a national dialogue on women, sports, money and politics.

SXSW Moments: Gender, Tech and $$

Did you miss something at SXSW 2019? Want to relive the magic? Look to this space over the coming weeks for links to video and audio replays of some of the most incredible experiences from this year’s event.

The debate over unequal pay for the phenomenal, World Cup-dominating U.S. women’s soccer team rages on. The U.S. Soccer Federation issued a letter contending that the players on the women’s team earned more than the men, while representatives for the women’s team responded that the charge was “utterly false.” The dispute has become a metaphor for the sexism and discrimination that afflict our society at every level. SXSW 2019 featured several fascinating panels on gender, tech, and the workplace.

The Women Redefining Work and Their Careers
In this session, leading female entrepreneurs go in-depth and discuss how they paved their own paths and built their careers. Moderated by Iva Pawling, CEO and founder of Richer Poorer, this panel includes Jen Gotch, CCO and founder of, and Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow. Find out how each found their own whitespace, navigated setbacks, and the best tips they learned along the way.

How Washington DC is Changing Female Funding
In the world of venture capital, just 8% of partners at the 100 largest U.S. venture firms are female, and 58 of those firms have no women partners at all. Washington, D.C., the capital of inclusive innovation, stands in stark contrast as home to the some of the largest funds led by women and dedicated to investing in female founders. Hear from female business leaders and entrepreneurs on how they are working to close the gap in funding.

Behind the Click: Securing the Future for Black Women and Girls in Tech
Black Girls CODE brought together a stellar panel of women of color in STEM for a lively discussion on technology and social activism. This panel highlights the transformative work that Black Girls CODE has embarked on over the past seven years to bring girls of color into the field of tech as transformational change agents. Current BGC students, alumni, and leading WoC role models discuss how we utilize a broader conversation on intersectionality to create more opportunities for girls of color in STEM and to drive social change movements powered by technology.

How the Gender Tech Movement is Empowering Women
Access to technology is creating a movement around female empowerment with gender tech. Hear how one of the world’s largest healthcare companies harnessed the power of mobile to provide important maternal health information, reaching 6 million mothers in 10 counties one text at a time; and how two entrepreneurs, accelerated by a global women’s empowerment organization, are using the power of collaboration for their ventures to bring about social change by disrupting gang culture through fashion tech, and using a crowdsourcing platform to curb sexual assault in developing countries and around the world. Moderated by Rajesh Mirchandani of the UN Foundation, these women show how new tech platforms are tackling gender issues head-on and promoting health, safety, and education for women.

Return on Inclusion: Generations of Women at Work
McKinsey & Co. found that companies were 56% more profitable when women held executive positions. Stanford found that 57% of women leave the workforce. How can we reconcile these two facts? How can we shift the trajectory of the future? This panel of professionals in their 30s, 40s, and 60s takes a generational approach to these questions and more as they explore topics around the value of gender diversity, why empowering women matters, and how each generation is uniquely suited to effect change.

Can Faith and Feminism Coexist?
We’re sparking the conversation that no one is having around the two F words: Faith and Feminism. Dyllan McGee, founder and executive producer of MAKERS, and Nadia Bolz-Weber, the tattooed, foul-mouthed, founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, candidly discuss how these two seemingly opposing worlds shape one another.

More Memories from SXSW 2019
Future Travel
The Future of Food
AI, With Feeling
Future of AI
Why News Matters
Better Storytelling
Innovative Design
Addressing MeToo
AI for Business
Public Interest AI
Change is Coming
Urban Mobility
It’s Time for Sports!
Saving the Ocean
Military Matters
Women’s Health
Social Media Power
Telling New Media Stories
Marvel’s Magic
Future Health
May the Fourth
Women in Tech
Growing Unicorns
Thriving at Work
Making a Difference
Fighting Fake News
Disaster Response
Hacking Democracy
Pete Buttigieg
Kara Swisher
Arlan Hamilton

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.



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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest


Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.