Network Spotlight: Black Women in Science

BWiS

Tell us a bit about your network

We are the Black Women in Science (BWiS) Network, a network that strives to be a community of women of African and Caribbean heritage in various stages of their scientific careers.  BWiS was founded by Tomi Akingbade in 2018 as a platform to connect black women in science industry, she feels is important to increase our visibility and the existence of a strong network of black women in the scientific industry will normalise the presence of successful black women in the scientific industry. Since its launch in April 2018, BWiS has grown to be a community of 60+ individuals with over 500 followers on social media. The BWiS team (made up of Teteh Champion, Lela Pea, Gabrielle Stapleton, Esther Adebisi and Dr Maria Agusta Aruda) is committed to further growth of the network.

What is your network’s prime objective?

It is no secret that black women face pressures both within and outside the workplace. The BWiS Network believes that everyone should be encouraged to not only pursue careers of their choice but excel in their industry. It is our objective that black women are encouraged to excel in their chosen careers and celebrated for their achievements. BWiS is here to equip black women in science with he tools they need to build successful careers for themselves.

How is your network helping women to progress in the workplace?

BWiS Network is helping black women by increasing the visibility of black women in science, celebrating their successes and giving a platform for their stories. We’re reminding black women that they have as much right to exist in the scientific industry as anyone else.

Tell us about your events?

BWiS is yet to hold any physical events but has plans to hold some in the future. If you want to the first to know about our events be sure to become a member if you’re a black woman in science, otherwise subscribe to our mailing list.

What should we expect if we join?

Currently, the BWiS website hosts a blog section and a private members forum. The blog section of our website keeps our members up-to-date with the latest scientific news, and the members' forum provides a safe and private place for black women to connect and empower each other.

As a network, our aim is to be what our members’ need us to be, so we are open to taking suggestions from subscribers/members.

How do our members join your network, is there a fee?

Joining BWiS is 100% free! Both subscriptions and memberships are free. For members, all we ask is that they fill out the membership form after signing up to the website. Our team is made up of inspirational black women of science who volunteer their time of energy. The network relies on the generous donations to keep running.

What advice would you give to anyone who is joining a network for the first time?

Jump in and realise that ant network is what you make it. In a sense, what you put in is what you get out. We speak more about this in a post on our blog, The Power of a Network (https://www.bwisnetwork.co.uk/blog/thepowerofanetwork). The most important thing is that you remain yourself and remember that you’re not alone in whatever you are going through.

Any top tips for new networkers? Why is building your network important?

We believe your network contributes massively to you as an individual. Having a team and community that support you can do wonders for your confidence.

Finally, what’s next for your network?

We believe that the future of the network is bright. Next for BWiS is physical events, more subscribers and more members. Also, in the future, the BWiS Network is keen to be a unified voice, impacting legislation and influencing change so that black women feel comfortable and supported in their careers. As an inclusive network, BWiS is also keen to consult with companies and organisations that wish to better understand the realities of what it is to be an African and/or Caribbean woman in the


Black Women Talk Tech BWTT featured

Network Spotlight: Black Women Talk Tech

Black Women Talk Tech BWTT

Tell us a bit about your network

Black Women Talk Tech, Inc., co-founded in 2016, by Regina Gwynn, Esosa Ighodaro and Lauren Washington, is a collective of black women tech founders who have a unique understanding of the challenges black women-led startups face in the industry, but most importantly they understand the contribution of these innovators. The organization seeks to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the host of an annual conference “Roadmap to Billions” which was developed to provide an empowering experience for black women tech entrepreneurs to learn about business growth strategies and connect with investors and other tech founders.

The BWTT community is now over 3,000 founders, engineers, technologists and developers that engage with local chapters in Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Today there are 6 chapters, three more (LA, Austin and Miami) planned for 2019. Each chapter is led by 2 chapter leaders who are tech founders.

To learn more about Black Women Talk Tech please visit www.blackwomentalktech.com and our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@blackwomentalktech).

What is your network’s prime objective?

Our mission:

We are a collective of black women tech founders who have a unique understanding of the challenges we face in the industry, but also of the advantages we can bring. We’re here to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion dollar business.

How is your network helping women to progress in the workplace?

We implement our mission and vision of assisting black female founders to create billion dollar enterprises by offering an interactive deep learning experience at our annual “Roadmap to Billions” conference and by offering members access to ongoing technical expertise and support through our chapters.

Tell us about your events?

Our annual conference “Roadmap to Billions” is the base event that started the inspiration, support and identification of the need for a continual support network.

The Chapter Events

Each chapter’s desire is to inspire, support and provide members with the tools and access to funding opportunities they need to scale their businesses.

Events include meet ups and expert speaker presentations with Q&A and networking. Speaker events highlight various experts who cover topics such as technical needs, access to funding, successful pitching and how to develop your tech team.

What should we expect if we join?

We embrace the power of collaborations. Collaborations provide opportunities for expanded programming and networking opportunities that can assist with growth of members and their tech startups.

How do our members join your network, is there a fee?

Currently, membership is free. We have an application process and follow up communication to make sure the members are a fit.

What advice would you give to anyone who is joining a network for the first time?

Our advice is to be open to learning, networking and bringing your expertise to the group. Each member offers an expertise that may assist another member or members.

Members are offered a discount to the annual conference and other BWTT events.

Any top tips for new networkers? Why is building your network important?

Learning to become a power networker is important to building capital and other tools your business may need for growth.

it’s important to perfect your pitch and remember building a network is about building relationships by providing value and assistance.

Relationships - It is also good to remember that people do business with people they like and know.

Finally, what’s next for your network?

We plan to continue the growth of our network of founders and create additional programming that will assist founders with the growth of their businesses.