There isn't enough diversity in STEAM industries.
That's according to Lisa Mae Brunson, founder of the Wonder Women Tech Conference.
"The lack of representation for people of color, LGBTQ and disabled people inside of tech and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) industries is huge," Brunson said. "These are the industries that create true and global change, so it's important to make sure that they are inclusive and that people don't need to be a certain type of person to be a scientist or engineer in any field."
Wonder Women Tech is a national conference happening today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The two-day event features a diverse speaker panel consisting mostly of women and people of color in different STEAM industries, including Google, Microsoft, Deloitt and Facebook.
Angelica Ross, founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm that helps employ transgender people in the tech industry, is the event's keynote speaker. The entrepreneur also is an actress, with her most recent role in Netflix's "Pose."
"We are so happy to have Angelica Ross speak at the conference," Brunson said. "She's an inspiration and exactly the type of person we need to help make changes in our tech industries."
Brunson has made it her mission to change the industry landscape for years as well, she said. In addition to organizing the conference, she is a commissioner on the Commission for Technology and Innovation for the city of Long Beach. Technology has been a passion of hers since she was young, she added, and innovating the tech market means opening doors for other players to enter the game.
In addition to speaker panels, Google is hosting the Women of Color Mixer from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday and WeWork is hosting the Wonder Women Tech wrap up party from 7 to 9 p.m., also on Friday.
Tickets are $199 and includes access to all of the panel discussions, mentor sessions and a resume review lounge where attendees can get help with reviewing and writing their resumes. For people looking to get their resume out to potential employers, there will be a job fair that is free to attend on both days.
Finally, for anyone who does want to attend, but may not be able to afford a ticket, Brunson said there are scholarships available, but people need to sign up for it.
"One thing I am very passionate about is access, so if anyone wants to go and can't afford a ticket, we do have an Innovator's Scholarship available," she said.
The Fourth annual Wonder Women Tech Conference is happening from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, and Friday, Nov. 8, at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.
For more information, to purchase a ticket, or to apply for an Innovator's Scholarship, go to wonderwomentech.com/conferences/long-beach.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.