LadyHacks is a women-only* hackathon taking place in Philadelphia, PA. It is organized by women of the Greater Philadelphia tech community. We welcome women of all experience levels from a variety of technical and creative disciplines to participate in a collaborative, web-based project in an inclusive and safe space.
Proceeds from the hackathon will support Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. Through in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and their every day lives.
LadyHacks' secondary goals include:
- Provide women who are new to software development a welcoming environment in which they can get their hackathon feet wet, understand that it isn’t a scary place, and that, yes, they DO have the skills that are useful and necessary to participate in these types of events.
- Allow experienced women developers a chance to mentor up-and-coming developers.
- Have project groups walk away from the event with a working prototype for their portfolio, confidence in themselves, and the desire to participate in future hackathons.
- Added Bonus: Groups continue working together to expand their working prototypes.
Statement of diversity/Non-discrimination Policy
LadyHacks values diversity of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, physical ability, developmental ability, learning styles, nationality, religion, thought, citizenship status, and sexual orientation. We welcome all disciplines and interests, experience levels, and skill sets. We promote respect and do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or other discriminatory behavior or expression.
LadyHacks acknowledges the complicated nature of the word “women,” knowing it may not work for many, and can feel unwelcoming or alienating for some. We recognize the imperfection of language, and we use * to specifically and intentionally include cis women, trans, non-binary, agender, intersex, and queer people.
Safe Space Policy
LadyHacks is a learning space. It is a safe space. For us, safety is the “freedom from the fear or threat of harm (physical, emotional, or mental) and from danger, risk, or injury.” We define safe space as:
A place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person’s self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others. [via]
To further our mission of making this event a supportive, non-threatening environment, LadyHacks employs the following safe space policies:
- We enter this space with a commitment to mutual respect, mutual aid, anti-oppression, advocacy, conflict resolution, non-violence, direct democracy, and community building.
- We respect everyone’s names, preferred gender pronouns, expressed identities, and experiences. We avoid making assumptions, promote mutual appreciation, and understand that no one is required to share information about their identities or experience(s).
- We support the empowerment of each person and strive to continually acknowledge the histories and structures of oppression that marginalize some and divide us all.
- We commit to making spaces as accessible as possible; physically, socially, and personally.
- We do not engage in violence or threats.
- We obtain explicit consent for physical touch or using others’ belongings.
- We recognize that certain behavior can be triggering for individuals, such as trivializing or dismissing someone’s thoughts or experiences.
- We commit to hearing each other and creating opportunities for all voices to be heard.
- We accept a shared responsibility where we hold ourselves and one another accountable to these agreements, without violence, judgment, or assumption of intent.
- We encourage open minds and open hearts. We do not assume the intentions of others in order to foster a non-judgmental and accessible environment.
- We promote inclusive learning spaces. We encourage anyone who is feeling less than familiar with terminology, concepts, or context to ask questions in the spirit of personal growth.
Accessibility and Awareness
LadyHacks is dedicated to promoting accessible, safe, inclusive spaces throughout the event. Volunteers will be onsite and available to anyone requiring assistance or support in any capacity. Volunteers will be wearing clearly identifiable name tags in case of any issue that needs to be addressed arises.
In the event that a person is harmed or triggered by a situation or participant, or experiencing difficulty in any capacity, it is up to their discretion to bring it to the attention of LadyHacks organizers. We guarantee privacy and confidentiality in such an event and will do our best to honor the individual’s needs.
We respect confidentiality and protect all shared personal information. You can reach us here.
Over the past 15 years, Liz has worked on a wide range of projects ranging from web and app development to research regarding motivation, cognitive learning, and design theory. Her passion for User Experience was ignited by her work as an Urban Planner who assisted communities in making human-centered design decisions for neighborhood revitalization projects in both Western New York and Philadelphia. Having always had an interest in coding and design, Liz took on a second Master’s degree in Information Design and Technology while working as a Neighborhood Planner. In 2014, she cofounded Webjunto, a community and user experience focused web and mobile development company based in Philadelphia.
LeeAnn is a front-end developer and web accessibility advocate. Aside from helping with LadyHacks, she is also co-leader of Girl Develop It Philly and co-organizer of Ela Conf. In her spare time, LeeAnn loves being outdoors, hiking, biking, and camping. She can occasionally be found blogging about it at phillyhikes.in.
A graduate of Tyler School of Art’s Graphic and Interactive Design program, Alex Lash is a UI/UX Designer at Nuix. When not poking around the internet for inspiration, Alex is probably dreaming about travel, playing lots of Ultimate frisbee, or doodling.
A member of the Philly tech scene since 2012, Kelsey has continuously helped plan LadyHacks since the first hackathon and in real life freelances as a digital strategist with a focus on content, marketing, and user design. Her logos have appeared on shetechphilly.com, phillygivecamp.org, and more. When she’s not getting ready for the next LadyHacks, she organizes PhillyCHI events as the 2017 treasurer, volunteers for the Women in Tech Summit, ushers at local theaters, catches up on books with the Raven Society, attends fun events in the city, makes crafts, or bakes chocolate treats.
Laura works in Information and Interpretive Technologies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. No day is the same, and some more memorable moments include Sylvester Stallone and the Secret Service. She’s actively involved in the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It and TechGirlz. When she’s not at work or volunteering, Laura can be found installing Linux flavors, enjoying a latte, or running in Fairmount Park.
We're the LadyHacks organizers—if you see us at the event, please don't hesitate to say hello! We'd love to chat with you and make this a great hackathon experience for you.
Sondra co-organized the first three LadyHacks. She’s been a member of Girl Develop It and Girl Geek Dinners since she first discovered them. She’s been a GDI student, has volunteered as a TA, and teaches a class on Database Design. She came into development work via a round-about way. Her first degree from Tulane is in French. She went back to get a second bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Arizona after being motivated by cleaning up a failed data migration. She currently works as an independent software developer with an emphasis on data driven applications.
Having spent 10 years in Philadelphia where she spent the last half of her time heavily involved in the local game development scene and last two growing the women in tech community, Geekadelphia named Tristin the 2012 Geek of the Year. Tristin co-founded the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Geek Dinners, and she co-organized LadyHacks inaugural event that took place in Philadelphia on March 1-2, 2013. She now resides in Colorado and is the Operations Manager for the International Game Developers Association.
LadyHacks was founded in by some badass ladies in 2013.