Frequently Asked Questions

We hope our FAQ answers your questions about ACT-W! If you have additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

General FAQs

What does ACT-W stand for?

ACT-W stands for Advancing the Careers of Technical Women. Our conferences, held year-round throughout the United States, are dedicated to helping technologists of marginalized genders feel empowered and stay educated. We welcome people from all backgrounds, including people who are just starting out in tech, people who have never been involved in tech, unemployed individuals, students, top level executives, and experienced technological professionals. ACT-W has something for everyone!

How did ACT-W get started?

Answering to a growing need for community and diversity inclusion in tech, ACT-W began in 2013 as a successful one-day event in Portland, Oregon. We have since expanded to hosting conferences virtually and in eight different cities around the United States. Learn more about our past conferences and the history of ACT-W.

Are there any volunteer opportunities available?

Yes! ACT-W conferences run on the energy of our volunteers who care about empowering women, non-binary people, and allies in technology. Our volunteers are a vital part of our work and help us create a welcoming and outstanding experience for conference participants and ACT-W+ members. Volunteers opportunities range from pre-event planning and management to various day-of event duties such as staffing a registration/information booth, crowd management (for in-person events), assisting speakers, and helping us spread the word about our programming. People of all genders are welcome to volunteer. As a thank-you to their dedication and efforts, our conference volunteers receive a free ticket to their regional ACT-W Conference. You can learn more about becoming a volunteer here.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes. It is very important that all participants adhere to it. Please take a moment to read our Code of Conduct before you attend an ACT-W event or join our membership community.

ACT-W Program FAQs

Who can attend an ACT-W event or join the ACT-W+ platform? Are men allowed?

ACT-W programs are designed with inclusivity and acceptance at center stage. We welcome students, participants just starting out in tech, people who’ve never been a part of tech at all, unemployed individuals, top level executives, and experienced technical professionals. While we focus on the needs of women and non-binary individuals, we welcome people of all genders, backgrounds, races, faiths, and beliefs who support our mission to promote diversity in technology and agree to our Code of Conduct.

We believe in the importance of allyship, and encourage men to join and learn from our community, too! Men attending ACT-W events can look forward to engaging with outstanding content and diverse participants, showing an active commitment to allyship, and supporting ChickTech’s mission of increasing diversity in the technology workforce.

I am not very experienced in tech; should I still attend an event?

Yes! Just like our high school students who attend ChickTech youth programs without any previous background in technology, ACT-W strives to make the tech industry more accessible to everyone. Whether you have no experience in technology or are a lifelong coder, ACT-W has something for you. Alongside our technical learning sessions, our speaker tracks also include valuable lessons in career development, diversity, and leadership.

What’s included in ACT-W Conference registrations?

All talks, workshops, keynotes, and breakout session options are included with your registration. Depending on the conference, you may need to register separately and/or pay an additional registration fee to attend an in-person conference happy hour.

Each ACT-W conference includes:

  • Engaging and inspiring programming
  • A community of empowerment and support
  • The chance to network with like-minded participants and organizations
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and coffee breaks throughout (in-person conferences only)
  • Opportunities to meet organizations looking for talented technical professionals

Do you offer discounts for students and unemployed individuals?

Yes! We strive to make ACT-W Conferences and ACT-W+ memberships as accessible as possible. We offer special discounted rates for full-time students and anyone who is currently unemployed at time of payment.

If you do not qualify for one of these discounts and need assistance in order to attend, please apply for a conference scholarship or ACT-W+ scholarship to cover the full cost of your participation, generously provided thanks to our partners and sponsors.

Do you offer group discounts?

We offer ACT-W Conference ticket discounts for groups of 5 or more. Please contact us for more information or to purchase bulk ticket packages.

What is your refund policy?

Refunds are not typically available. If you are unable to join us for the conference or event, you can donate the cost of your tickets to support ChickTech’s work in providing technology empowerment and education to under-served adults and youth. If you choose to donate the cost of your tickets to support ChickTech (thank you so much!), you can contact us at [email protected] to request a donation receipt.

To request a refund, please contact us at [email protected] and provide the ticket purchaser’s first and last name, as well as the reason for the refund request.

What accessibility features are included at your programs?

We do our best to create in-person events with accessibility in mind, and ensure all our in-person events are wheelchair accessible. Online events include closed-captioning available through Zoom.

If you need additional accessibility options or support in order to fully enjoy any of our programs, please let us know! When registering for our events, you’ll have the option to include any accessibility needs. We welcome you to contact us at [email protected] for additional questions or concerns.

How do I access past sessions and event recordings?

Individuals who have purchased tickets or registered for an event will receive a follow-up email within one week of the event with the recording and any additional materials from the presenter. Recordings are available for one month after this email has been sent. Premium ACT-W+ members can access all previous sessions from our on-demand library of content.

Speaker & Presenter FAQs

What type of speaking engagements are available?

We currently offer speaking opportunities through all of our ACT-W programs. You can apply to speak for the next upcoming ACT-W Conference, or as a stand-alone ACT-W+ event here.

Will my presentation be live or pre-recorded?

You can choose between doing a live webinar or a pre-recorded video. Live webinars give you the opportunity to connect with attendees in real time, answer questions that may come up, and provide space for discussions. A ChickTech staff member will be present for all live webinars to introduce you and help navigate and operate logistics in real time. Pre-recorded videos can be made on your time, whenever and however it is convenient for you.

Will the webinar be recorded? Can viewers watch it at a later time?

All ACT-W webinars and sessions are recorded and stored in the ACT-W+ on-demand video library. Individual event registrants receive access to the event’s recording for 30 days after receiving access. Premium ACT-W+ members receive on-demand, free access to view all recorded sessions and videos.

After the webinar, you can request a copy of your presentation at any time or request to withdraw it from the ACT-W membership platform on-demand library by emailing [email protected] with a 30 day notice.

Who will be in the audience for my webinar or session?

The ChickTech community is comprised of students and professionals of all genders, ages, and technical skill-sets. Our programs focus on the needs of women and non-binary individuals, but we welcome allies of all genders into our community as we fight to create more opportunities and empowerment in the technology industry.

The audience size for our events range widely depending on the format, content, and date/time. You can expect anywhere from 10 to 100 participants at your session. We are happy to provide registration numbers to you leading up to (and after) your event upon request.

Will viewers be able to ask live questions during my session?

This is up to you! If you decide to have a Q&A portion, the audience can address their questions through the Zoom chat function or by un-muting themselves at that time. You can also choose to take questions throughout the presentation.

It is strongly encouraged that our speakers save about 15 minutes at the end of the session to answer any questions from audience members. We also welcome you to share your contact information (LinkedIn, email, or website) to attendees who wish to connect with you outside of the session.

Can I share my slides, presentation, or additional resources with the audience?

Yes! If you choose to share your screen or presentation throughout your talk, your screen will be visible and included in the recorded video. If you’re willing to provide your slides or any additional resources for participants to view at a later date, that is more than welcome!

Please reach out to [email protected] with your materials or any copy you’d like us to include in our post-event email to attendees.

What days and times are available for me to speak?

This depends on the format of your session and which ACT-W program you would like to speak at. For all sessions, we require events to be scheduled least a month in advance to ensure we have enough time to effectively communicate the event to our community.

We will provide suggested days and times for you to choose from if you would like to do a live webinar through any of our programs. Scheduling for ACT-W+ is flexible, and sessions can be scheduled in the daytime or evening. ACT-W Conference sessions follow a more rigid schedule, and must be presented during the days of the conference.

Recorded talks or presentations can be posted onto our platform at any time.

Can I do a practice run?

Yes—we encourage this! Once a date and time is selected, a Zoom link will be provided to you. From there, you are free to test it and do a practice run at any time prior to the scheduled meeting.

We also ask that live presenters jump onto the Zoom link about 15-20 minutes before the scheduled live webinar to ensure everything is working properly.

What software/equipment will I need?

You will need a device that can download Zoom Video Conferencing software. This will require internet access, speakers, webcam, and a mic. We recommend a laptop/desktop computer. A tablet or smart phone will also work, but the screen sharing feature (to share presentation slides) may not be available.

What topics can I speak about?

We are proud to offer a well-rounded selection of content to our community. Our content generally falls into four categories: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); Leadership; Career Development; and Technical Skills. If you have any other ideas, we would be more than happy to hear them!

What are the legal implications in terms of intellectual property?

At ChickTech, we strongly believe that you own your recorded content. You can request a copy of your presentation at any time or request to withdraw it from the ACT-W membership platform on-demand library by emailing [email protected] with a 30 day notice.

As part of the speaker agreement, you must agree to not copy or modify in whole or in part, the material or branding of the ChickTech and ACT-W programming and not rent, lease, distribute, sell, or create any derivative works of ChickTech-owned material, beyond your recorded talk.

Information shared during your talk will stay yours and will not be shared by ChickTech beyond ACT-W+ without your written approval and consent.

All session recordings will include a watermark to prevent redistribution. Additionally, our members must agree to our terms of use which includes agreeing to not copy, modify, distribute or sell ACT-W+ content in part or whole.