It’s the season where pitches and topic submittals to speak at SXSW is happening! In case you are not familiar with SXSW (South by SouthWest®), it’s only the biggest interactive, music and film conference + festival ever, which takes place every year in March in the city of Austin, Texas. Many startup companies have launched at SXSW and independent music artists gained mainstream popularity because they performed at SXSW. It’s the place to be seen and be heard which is why it’s equally important for women, Latinx/a, women of color be given the mic!

Looking ahead to 2020, we found these great panel discussions with topics that are important towards the advancement of Latinas/WOC and we hope one or all make it onto the SXSW stage when deliberation happens. Let’s keep an eye out at SXSW 2020!

Here is a list of Latina-led and driven topics straight from SXSW PanelPicker, no specific order – 

1. LATINAS & DISABILITY: INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM

When we talk feminism, women with disabilities tend to be the forgotten sisters. When we talk about diversity, disability rarely is part of the conversation.

How can we make disability a bigger part of the global gender, diversity and inclusion conversations? Why is it that disability as an identity is rarely considered crucial in gender movements? And how does this look from a Latinx approach

Through a disruptive conversation centered on LATINAS WITH DISABILITIES, we will show how the Latinx and disabled community are portrayed or represented in several influence platforms (from media, corporate initiatives & entertainment industry) and how this has the power to create a narrative that shifts stereotypes, discrimination and fosters inclusion and innovation in the gender equality fight.

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2. ADVANCING ALL WOMEN IN TECH

The theory on “intersectionality” by Black feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw has informed and transformed the U.S. workplace, activist organizing spaces, and the tech industry to ensure that innovators are more diverse and creating their best work. Leading and innovating with an intersectional lens is a major tool in the arsenal of employers and allies. Four women in tech from various sectors (political activism, a tech nonprofit, a journalist and published author, and tech entrepreneur) discuss how their intersectional lens and ability to bring their whole selves to the tech industry has advanced their causes and helped lift all women in the sector. The panelists represent different organizations aimed at giving voice and advancing the work of women in tech by leveraging an intersectional lens.

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3. EMPOWERING LATINAS: EDUCATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Through education and opportunity, Latinas are making strides towards economic success and security by embracing entrepreneurship. Still:
* 27% of Latinas live below the poverty line
* 20% drop out of high school
* Only 15% of adult Latinas hold college degrees
A candid discussion about creating more economic opportunity through STEM education, mentorships, and apprenticeships, and by equipping Latinas with the training and capital they need to develop meaningful careers and businesses.

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4. THE FUTURE IS FEMALE AND HISPANIC

Hispanics represent 29% of the country’s population and account for $1.7 trillion in purchasing power, yet only 7% of the U.S. Congress come from a Hispanic background, as well as a mere 5% of America’s CMOs and 5% in the media. The wage gap for Hispanic women is also larger than that of any other racial or ethnic group. At the median, they earn 63 cents for every dollar American men earn, compared to 81 cents for women overall. Nevertheless, Latinas are the only demographic group to surpass their previous record for labor force participation. Join us as we talk with some of the most influential Latinas working to change this scenario and that are bringing key indicators around multicultural segments to the same level of importance they have when it comes to size and economic power.

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5. THE FUTURE IS FEMALE AND LATINX

ProjectDiane Latinx 2018, a report by Digitalundivided found that, while Latina-owned small businesses are the fastest growing business segment in the United States, less than 2% of funded startups in 2017 were led by Latinx founders. Join this panel of first-generation Latinx women trailblazers as they discuss the journey of being the first in their family and their community to go to college, create a startup, and build generational wealth.

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6. THE STATE OF WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY

In recent years, we’ve seen more representation of women in technology; we see women leaders, team members, founders and students joining and thriving in STEM fields. Yet, a number of studies have shared that women cite tech culture as a primary reason for choosing to leave. How can the technology culture be improved to be more inclusive? In this panel discussion, Josepha Haden of WordPress, Christine Barry of Bluehost, and Jasmine Vallejo of Latinas in Tech will share trends they see in the ongoing journey toward equality in the workplace as well as tactics they use to ensure inclusive spaces in their own communities.

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