Keynote of the “Women in Technology” Luncheon

Both men and women will benefit from attending the “Women in Technology” luncheon during the Symposium that will be held the day before the SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition.

On Monday, October 22nd during the lunch break for the Symposium which precedes the official SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, the “Women in Technology” luncheon will be one of the events that makes the SMPTE 2018 experience so special.

At 12:15 in the Hollywood Ballroom of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, HPA Women in Post and SMPTE invite both men and women to gather for the opportunity to share insights with leading women working in fields of technology and entertainment while they discuss the status of the roles women find available in the media industry.

Rachel Payne will give the keynote address, and wants attendees to know that the dialog generated by the people participating in the luncheon will be as important as any presentation.

“Over the last few years there has been a rising awareness of the need to encourage women’s voices as decision makers as well as workers in technical fields,” Payne said. “A lot of this has to do with creating diversity in the industry so we have a greater pipeline for advancement on all levels.”

Payne’s own career has taken her through the heart of the technology evolution, having served as the senior program officer on the founding team of Google.org and spearheading their early strategy and charitable operations. In Payne’s global strategic alliances role for Google, she worked with top executives across the company to develop comprehensive strategies for their largest global partners, including Sony, Disney, NewsCorp and Samsung. She also helped start several successful Silicon Valley ventures including Hotwire (acquired by IAC), Billpoint (acquired by eBay), she co-founded inDplay (acquired by Discovery Media Group) and has served on the board of directors for multiple NGO and social purpose organizations, including BRAC USA, KCET/LinkTV public media company and CREDO Mobile (Working Assets).

Payne’s most recent undertaking is as CEO of FEM Inc., a holding company founded by women who in 2015 launched Prizma, an AI platform that specialized in analytics and predictive viewing algorithms. Prizma was acquired by Nielsen Gracenote in May 2018.

At the “Women in Technology” luncheon she wants to encourage other women to consider a similar vocational path.

“I think part of the challenge today is getting more women to choose the tech field as a profession,” she said. “Some young women are intimidated by the lack of role models, and the scarcity of funding for women to get onto a career path.”

Over the course of her career, Payne has seen a significant drop-off in women going into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields.

“Women's share of employment in computer occupations declined from a peak of 34% in 1990 to 25% in 2015,” she said. “That strikes me as a huge waste of human capital, and we need the best minds we can get entering into technical careers.”

Rachel Payne will give the keynote address during the

Rachel Payne will give the keynote address during the "Women in Technology" luncheon.

She says this is reflected by the fact that the amount of investment capital going into ventures headed by women is down to only 3% and this situation is part of what Payne’s keynote address will be dealing with.

“A major factor is the necessity of having senior mentors who can help young women along the way,” she said. “Another large necessity is the need for outreach. The women are out there, but they need to be recruited. So I encourage people to think about how they bring women into this industry and how best we can find them.”

After all, she points out, the talent field is quite inclusive. But we still have almost a million tech jobs that are unfilled.

“We need to challenge ourselves to think more holistically about who is going to bring the best perspective to those positions. Basically, who is going to do the best job.”

She very eagerly wants to encourage men to attend this luncheon, too.

“It is very important for everyone that we develop this diversity,” she said. “After all, this is a conversation about inclusion, and that benefits all of us.”

Since the “Women in Technology” luncheon does require a special ticket, Payne wants us to understand that “as we grow more senior in this industry, it is important for us to become more mindful of those who will come after us. The ideas we will share at this gathering will help all of us to sort of ‘pay it forward’ for the general benefit of everyone in the industry we have all helped to grow.”

The “Women in Technology” luncheon has been organized by Kari Grubin and Loren Nielsen from Women in Post.

Special tickets are required so you should think about purchasing them as soon as possible because, based on past years, it is bound to sell out.

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