Attracting, Retaining, and Advancing
Women in Technology

Our Story

The concept for ARA began quite simply ― it started eight years ago at a quarterly dinner between three IT professionals and friends living in Chicago. The dinner offered a way to discuss general industry trends and advice for women working in IT.

Over the years, more friends and colleagues started joining in these dinners, offering insights, tips and career advice. Pretty soon, these “small dinners with friends” blossomed into major events each quarter – with a current list of 350+ senior women IT executives, the group officially named itself the Chicago Executive Women’s Networking Group.

Sensing an interest and need for a formal organization to provide opportunities for women in IT to learn and advance their careers, ClearEdge Marketing CEO and Founder Leslie Vickrey, McCann Partners Chief Growth Officer Jane Hamner, and McCann Partners President and Founder Megan McCann, formally founded ARA in early 2013.

Our Focus

We help businesses bolster the numbers and the influence of women working and advancing in technology roles, while helping women navigate IT career paths and challenges.
Events + Programs

Bringing the industry together to discuss the issues, trends and challenges facing women in tech

Check out our Upcoming Events

Thought Leadership

Providing organizations and their tech employees with networking and development opportunities and resources

Learn About our Leaders

Women In Tech Surveys

View Surveys by Year Below

2019      2018      2017     2016

Where We Are


Founding City in 2013 where ARA made its start. Now after many years Chicago is taking the world by storm, leading change.


Harvey Nash and a committed following in NYC made this our second expansion in 2013, taking a bite out of the Big Apple.


When Seattle was added to the ARA family it was raining with support from organizations to increase women in STEM.


Texas is a big deal and ARA members, supporters and enthusiasts are making a difference in the South.


Connecticut is rich with history on the East Coast and ready to make a difference by increasing Women in Tech.


Midwest meets Southwest in Dallas where female leaders and technologists are plentiful and ARA is connecting them.


A known epicenter of technology talent combines with ARA to enhance and increase Women in Technology.

About Us

The challenge that exists, the future landscape of technology, and the opportunities that evolve.

Across seven cities in the US and growing, ARA is making a difference for women in, aspiring and advancing in technology.
  • Not Enough Women in Technology
  • Lack of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Limited Talent Pipeline
  • Minimal Mentor Program Support
  • Job Opportunities will Flourish 
  • Will Women Be Part of the Equation?



Be an organization committed to attracting, retaining and advancing women in technology roles and leadership


PARTICIPATION: For the last 5 years women have made up only 21% of technical roles.

ATTRITION:  "Women working in STEM fields are 45% more likely than men to leave within the year."


We help businesses bolster the numbers and the influence of women working and advancing in technology roles, while helping women navigate IT career paths and challenges.
Make a Difference - Become a Sponsor

Our sponsors help us to provide programs and events that support women in technology careers.
Sponsorship opportunities include Annual Program Support, Event Specific, Mentorship and In-Kind Venue.

Are you Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Contact us at

Our Sponsors

Our Community and Industry Partners

Hear what ARA participants have to say...
See Event Recaps & ARA speakers in Action!


Artificial intelligence (AI) impacts every industry and each part of an organization. When used effectively, it enables businesses to improve customer experiences, operate more efficiently, make better decisions, and increase productivity and profitability. But it requires an understanding and responsibility to leverage it in the right ways. 

This session will showcase AI’s impact on business and the workplace, reveal the dangers of AI bias, and highlight our own roles in shaping the future of AI, regardless of our job position. Everyone has a role to play in AI. Do you know what yours is?

October 4th, 2023

We are an organization that aspires to Attract, Retain, and Advance women in technology, which is why we are pleased to partner with the Women of Enova for the seventh consecutive year of ChiWitCon. We hope you can join us during our exclusive panel at ChiWitCon.

Learn More!

About Our Speakers

We understand your resources are valuable and you want to see an impact when you apply them.
Learn about the network of sponsors, supporters, and collaborators here.

Experts in their fields who bring knowledge and inspiration to our members.


Speakers able to turn their knowledge and expertise into shared experiences our members can learn from and implement.


People who are excited about technology and how it shapes our world today and tomorrow.


Change agents and visionaries who see a way forward to more diversity and inclusion in IT.


We share interviews, tips to advancement, professional experience and so much more...

ARA delivers valuable insight, experience, tips!

From the "In Her Own Words" series to the interviews with female leaders from cities across the US with companies like Uber, Microsoft, Google, AON, McDonalds, and so many more our blog is designed to deliver great to-the-point tips that you can apply to Advance your career in technology.

December 8th Thank you to all who joined ARA’s “Shining the Light on Invisible Talent,” the final installment of our five-part Allyship, Advocacy and Taking Action series, produced in partnership with BWISE, Chicago Tech…
October 13th The World Economic Forum predicts full economic parity is 257 years away (roughly 8 generations!), and that was before COVID. At ARA, we say that’s far too long. In this Webinar, we…
September 15th During the discussion, our panel of experts explored how institutional racism shapes lives from childhood to adulthood in the United States, discussing where structural racism thrives in America’s institutions. We also examined…
The Hope Needs You
Recap and Celebration of our 1st Allyship, Advocacy & Taking Action Event “The hope needs you.”  Those are the moving words that helped bring to conclusion the first in ARA’s five-part Allyship, Advocacy &…

Get in Touch

We want to hear from you.
Send us a message today and start the conversation.