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ARA IN THE NEWS: ARA’s Mission to Advance Women in Tech Expands to New Markets, Reaching More Than 2,500 Event Attendees Across the Country

With its first event in Silicon Valley on Thursday, August 20, ARA is poised to ensure more women advance to tech leadership positions

Chicago — Aug. 18, 2015 — More than two years after its inception in April 2013, ARA, an organization committed to supporting women in technology by helping Attract, Retain and Advance women in the IT industry, has grown from its Chicago roots and expanded into four major markets – New York, Seattle, Houston and Silicon Valley, with plans for continued growth.

Since ARA’s initial launch, the organization has seen nearly 1,500 people register for the mentoring program and more than 2,500 registered event attendees to date, with 5 additional events planned across the country yet this year. Building on this momentum, ARA continues to receive an outpouring of requests from diversity groups within organizations to launch programs in even more markets.

Sponsored by Harvey Nash, KPMG LLP and Mozilla, ARA’s first event in Silicon Valley is planned for Thursday, August 20, at 5:30 p.m. PT at Mozilla offices in Mountain View, Calif. The free event will feature opening remarks from Leslie Vickrey, Founder & CEO, ClearEdge Marketing and Co-Founder of ARA, where she will discuss trends straight from the recent Harvey Nash CIO Survey in association with KPMG, followed by a panel discussion with prominent executives in the Silicon Valley market, including Martin MacDonald, Senior Director of SEO, Orbitz Worldwide; Barbara Massa, Senior Vice President, FireEye; Anita Scott, Director of Global Operations, eBay; and Sylvie Veilleux, Vice President of Information Technology, Mozilla Corporation. Dana Shaw, who was recently announced as a Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, a member of ARA's advisory board and the President and COO of ICon, will moderate the panel.

“Recently we have seen headlines announcing women leaving tech ‘in droves’ and high-profile discrimination lawsuits. ARA continues to keep its mission focused on pushing the discussion forward, helping women overcome challenges and showcasing the success stories of women working in tech,” said Megan McCann, Founder & President, McCann Partners and Co-Founder of ARA. “We know there is an undeniable lack of women in IT, and it is imperative that men and women alike collaborate and share their perspectives on what is necessary for women to play a more significant role—both in volume and influence—in the tech industry. Our goal is to advance women into leadership roles within the IT community, regardless of market, and to help overcome and change known stereotypes.”

To ensure the organization achieves its goals of attracting, retaining and advancing women in technology, ARA has created an advisory board to provide strategic guidance, advice and expertise. Board members include Ellen Barry, Principal, The EBarry Group, Jane Ehrenstrom, Co-Founder and Former Executive Vice President, The CARA Group, Inc., and Dana Shaw.

“During my career, I’ve seen the challenges women face in IT-related careers, and without proper role models or a strong community, success stories of women in technology are few and far between,” said Shaw. “I joined the ARA advisory board because I’ve already seen the incredible impact ARA has had on the lives of women in tech. My goal is to drive ARA’s strategic mission to advance women in the IT industry across the country.”

Future plans for ARA include the creation of a community for women in tech and those companies interested in diversifying their workforce.

Ways to get involved
To register for the upcoming Silicon Valley event or scheduled events in other markets, please visit the ARA events page.

To learn about becoming a mentor, mentee or sponsor, visit www.aramentors.com.

About ARA
ARA aspires to Attract, Retain and Advance women in technology by cultivating relationships via mentorship, events and programs. ARA aims to nurture strong female leaders who bridge the talent gap as they support, influence and advance in the IT community. All three co-founders, Jane Gilligan Hamner, Megan McCann and Leslie Vickrey, were recently named to the Chicago TechWeek 100 and BlueSky Innovation Vault in recognition for contributions to women in technology.