As Pittsburgh evolves from the City of Steel to a city of technology, women and nonbinary individuals remain highly underrepresented. In fact, studies show that women hold only 25% of the tech jobs in Pittsburgh – some would argue these numbers are even lower. When broken down further on a national level, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 5% of computing jobs are held by Asian women, 3% are held by Black women, and only 1% held by Latinas. Moreover, Pittsburgh ranks very low on the best cities for women in tech to work and live. We are number 46th to be exact. Women In Technology Pittsburgh (or WIT PGH for short) offers a fresh new take on the #womenintech movement and continues to authentically build connections with folks from all ages and industry backgrounds in order to create and retain a pipeline of strong talent.
WITPGH is a community of women, womxn, non-binary folks, and allies championing for the diverse and intersectional experience in tech. Our mission is built on the concept of industry structure having the ability to be continually shaped and molded rather than accepted with imposed constraints. With the content & resources WITPGH provides, we aim to have a transformative impact on the Pittsburgh tech industry by pushing for unprecedented equity and advocacy.
*This platform is for anyone who identifies as she/her, she/they, and they/them. Please remember to respect the pronouns of others and to not judge based off of appearance or names used Thanks!
President: Alison Falk (she/her)
Alison is the founder of Women In Tech Pittsburgh. She is a previous software developer with experience in startup and corporate environments. Alison is currently a cybersecurity master’s candidate at the George Washington University and a recipient of the (ISC)2 Center for Cyber Safety and Education award for her research in sextech. She has also been awarded the RedChair Pgh scholarship for leadership as a mid-career woman in IT and recognized as one of fourteen individuals shaping the Pittsburgh tech scene by The Incline’s Who’s Next in Technology 2019. She has been featured in WIRED, WIREDjp, New York Post, Female Tech Leaders, Women of Silicon Valley, PGH City Paper, and has spoken on the CyberSexurity panel at DEFCON, Abstractions, Google, CISCO, Three Rivers InfoSec Symposium, LinuxFest and more. She is passionate about deep learning, & agency and consent in data privacy as it relates to her studies in policy and compliance and digital advocacy. Through WIT PGH, Alison hopes to shine light on the hard conversations around issues such as tech gentrification and surveillance technology that exacerbates harm on the very communities that companies aim to empower through their D&I initiatives. She believes inclusion needs to be a priority so that people who are currently underestimated and therefore underrepresented in technology also have an equal stake in designing their future.
Vice President: Gina Winstead (she/her)
Gina is a wearer of many hats around Pittsburgh. She is the Director of Member Engagement, the Keystone Innovation Zone Coordinator and as a strong advocate for tech equity, inclusion and entrepreneurship, Gina was named the first-ever Director of Diversity and Inclusion all at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. She is a founding board member of the 412 Black-Jewish Collaboration and an Emerging Leader of the Western Pa Conservancy. She recently joined Carlow University’s College Advisory Council for the College of Learning and Innovation.
Gina likes to disrupt systems and build creative solutions that advance education, mentorship, deal flow and access to diverse networks. That’s what her driving force is as the Vice President of WIT PGH. As a connector and native Pittsburgher, she is bridging untapped communities into the technology sector and developing bold opportunities for its ecosystem to innovate and thrive. She believes the world should be better connected to all of the resources Pittsburgh has to offer. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with her degree in Psychology and a 2019 graduate of EDGE Women’s Leadership. Although the challenges are still arising, Gina looks forward to being a cultural ambassador for tech in the region and having the tough conversations of today to build a better tomorrow.
COO: Shani Banerjee (she/they)
Shani Banerjee is a Pittsburgh native and an advocate for out of school tech education initiatives. Shani currently works as a software developer at LUMA Institute, and has both taught and created programming for organizations such as Remake Digital Learning, Sprout Fund, Tech Shop, and Girls Rock! Pittsburgh. She attended the AcademyPGH bootcamp, and holds an Adv. Cert. of UX/UI from RIT, with a BA in Photography and Film from the Maryland Institute College of Art & Chatham University. She is an active member of the art and music communities in Pittsburgh, she received a 2018 Martin Guitars x Ace Hotel Up & Comin’ grant for her work with Maenads, and in 2019 was lead performer and creative team member of the children’s play My Traveling Song, and released her first LP with her band, Empty Beings, on Play Alone Records.
CMO: Lilliana Dee (she/her)
CCO: Marissa Russo (she/her)
Marissa is an SAP Security & GRC Consultant at PwC, focusing on SAP S4/HANA and SAP GRC implementations. Marissa is a regular volunteer at BSides Pittsburgh and tries to stay active in the security community.
Her goals as part of WITPGH is to reach non-technical and technical folks alike, to ensure all benefit and understand new and upcoming technology and how it affects our everyday lives. Although originally from Plum, PA and an alumni of Penn State New Kensington, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Information Science and Security Risk Analysis, she can be found traveling almost every week for either business or pleasure.