Los Angeles

700 Expected at Conference Promoting Women in Tech, Science, Math Careers

A conference was being held this weekend to help inspire women to pursue careers in science

Hoping to inspire more women to male-dominated fields of science, math and tech, "Wonder Women Tech" kicks off a first-of-its-kind conference in Los Angeles this weekend.

While there are many women in science, math and tech, they are leaving in large numbers, according to a Harvard Business Review report.

"We crack from that pressure of being in a man's world and not being understood the way that we would like to be understood," said Lisa Mae Brunson, the founder of Wonder Women Tech. "We can feel like this is too much for us."

As part of the meeting, held at The Hangar in Playa Vista, women and girls will get hands-on training in a 36-hour "Hackathon."

At the event, participants, including graphic designers, web developers, filmmakers and technologists, will compete in a number of challenges. Women and girls will develop projects aimed to raise awareness and solve challenges.

Entrepreneur Shannon Hematian said women need to make their voices heard because they are also consumers.

"We need to be on the other side, deciding what to make for women," Hematian said.

Noramay Cadena, an aerospace engineer, co-founded Latinas in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to get more Latinas into the field.

She recently asked her boss to make small changes that will make the workplace more welcoming for women.

"It takes a small critical mass to really create enough comfort to then say, 'OK, guys now let's slow down and let's really talk about the environment we have here,'" she said.

She knows what it's like being in a job where most of her colleagues are men.

"You find it difficult to speak up because you don't want to be 'that woman,'" she said.

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