Frequently Asked Questions About ACT-W

What does ACT-W stand for?

ACT-W stands for Advancing the Careers of Technical Women.

How is ACT-W different from other WIT Conferences?

• Focus on community and helping each other
• People of all genders are welcome
• People of all backgrounds, regardless of how technical they are, are welcome
• Cheaper registration, with food still included (and that meets your dietary needs)
• Our strong focus on lowering barriers
• Programming around making new people feel like “part of the family”

Where will the conference take place?

The conference will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center in the South Building. For directions to the Convention Center, click here.

How did ACT-W National get started?

Answering to a growing need for community and diversity inclusion in tech, ACT-W began five years ago as successful regional events and expanded to seven different cities last year. This year we’re excited to bring these events under one roof for the first time and include you in our growing community.

Who is the ACT-W National Conference for?

ACT-W is built for people like you! Everything about this conference is designed around inclusivity and acceptance. We receive 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 technological professionals. We welcome people of all genders, backgrounds, races, faiths, and beliefs who support our mission to promote girls and women in technology and agree to our Code of Conduct.

I’ve never done anything in technology before; is it still worth it?

Yes! Just like our high school girls 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’ve had zero experience in technology or are a lifelong coder, ACT-W has something for you. Besides technological learning, our speaker tracks also include valuable lessons in career development, diversity, and leadership. Check out our speaker topics here.

Can men attend?

Yes! At its core, ACT-W is a place for people of all genders, backgrounds, races, faiths, and beliefs to find a community that welcomes them and supports their interest in technology. As a male, attending ACT-W not only gives you access to outstanding content, but shows your commitment to serving as an ally, supporting ChickTech’s mission of increasing diversity in the technology workforce.

What’s included in registration?

• Admission to 3-days of engaging and inspiring programming
• A community of empowerment and support
• The chance to network with hundreds of like-minded participants and businesses
• 3 keynotes, 10 lightning talks, 8 workshops, and 42 breakout sessions
• Three breakfasts, three lunches, and coffee breaks throughout
• Networking events and celebratory happy hours
• Community and career fair

When do we start and end on each day?

To get things kicked off, we’ll be hosting an evening get-together/pre-check-in event on Tuesday, April 10 from 6-8pm. Wednesday, April 11 opens with check-in and the Networking Breakfast at 8am, programming from 10:30am-5pm, and happy hour celebrations at 6pm. Thursday, April 12 has the same schedule. On Friday, April 13, the Networking Breakfast will begin at 8am and programming runs from 9am-4:30pm. ACT-W National ends at 4:30pm on Friday, April 13. Check out the complete ACT-W Schedule here.

Where are the after hours events?

On Wednesday, April 11th we’ll be hosting the ACT-W National Welcome Reception in partnership with GitHub at The Duce from 6-9pm. On Thursday, April 12th we’ll be hosting a happy hour to celebrate the power of women in technology at CO+HOOTS from 6-8pm.

Directions to The Duce: Take a left onto SW 3rd, turn right onto E. Lincoln and head west to Central Ave. The Duce will be on the right at 525 S Central Ave. (12-minute walk, 4-minute drive).

Directions to CO+HOOTS: To take the lightrail, get on at the 3rd St/Washington stop. Get off at Central/Indian School in 8 stops. Walk south on Central to Indianola, turn left onto Indianola and walk a block and a half east. The building is on the south side of the street between 2nd and 3rd St.  

To drive, take Jefferson east to 5th St, turn left onto 5th St and head north. 5th St becomes 4th, then becomes 3rd. Continue on 3rd St. to Indianola (small street without a light halfway between Osborn and Indian School Rd), turn left onto Indianola. Head west for half a block, the building is on the south side of the street between 2nd and 3rd St. Park in the lot under the building or on the street. Note: There is construction blocking cars from turning onto Indianola from Central Ave.

We hope to see you there!

I’m coming from out of town; where should I stay?

We have a negotiated room block offering plenty of quality rooms at a variety of price points in the heart of and surrounding the city of Phoenix. Stay among your peers and fellow tech enthusiasts. With every room booked, a donation is made to ChickTech’s mission of increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers! Visit bit.ly/2DiezHn to book your room today! April is the busiest season in Phoenix so we encourage you to confirm your housing as early as possible.

What if I’m a student or currently unemployed?

We strive to make ACT-W National as accessible as possible. We offer a special rate of $195 (60% discount!) for full-time students who can show proof of enrollment upon check-in on April 10-13, 2018. This rate also extends to anyone who is currently unemployed at time of payment.

Why is the cost so low?

ChickTech believes strongly in removing barriers to entry. We thank our generous sponsors for allowing us to provide subsidized tickets to students and unemployed individuals.

Do you offer group discounts?

We offer discounts for groups of 8 or more on Regular price registration ($495). If you are registering before February 1, 2018, the Early Bird pricing is your best option. To inquire about special pricing for your group after January 31, 2018, please email [email protected].

Do you offer one day passes?

Yes! One day passes are available here.

Can I register onsite?

Yes, however, we encourage you to secure your spot and register online as it is the best way to guarantee your attendance.

What is your refund policy?

Full refunds are allowed before January 1, 2018. Partial (50%) refunds are allowed until March 1, 2018. Any refund requests after March 1, 2018 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Is transportation available to/from the airport (PHX) and downtown?

The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is only a 10-minute drive away from the Phoenix Convention Center (South Building), where ACT-W National is held. There are ample rental car options, or you can catch the Valley Metro Rail West toward Dunlap for $2 one way. Take the lightrail 4 stops to 3rd Street and Washington. From there the Phoenix Convention Center (South Building) is a 1-minute walk. Alternatively, we encourage the use of Lyft and use promo code “ACTWNATIONAL” to receive $10 off your first ride (valid for new Lyft users only).

What parking is available?

There are several nearby parking lots, the closest is the East Garage.

Most street parking nearby is metered, with a max time of 15 minutes to 2 hours. You can use the Parkmobile app to add time throughout the day.

There are Park & Ride lots run by the Valley Metro transit system throughout the valley. You can park in the lots for free, then ride the light rail to the 3rd St./Washington stop closest to the South Building of the Convention Center.

What food is provided? Will it meet my dietary needs?

Breakfast and lunch are provided everyday at the conference, and we’ll have light appetizers available at our happy hours. It is important to us that your dietary needs are met. Please include any dietary restrictions during registration and we’ll make sure a meal is ready for you at the conference that keeps you well fueled.

Are there any volunteer opportunities available?

Yes! Volunteer registration opens on February 1, 2018. To express your interest, please visit act-w.org/volunteer-registration.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes. It is very important that all attendees adhere to it. Please take a moment to read the ACT-W Code of Conduct here.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes. It is very important that all attendees adhere to it. Please take a moment to read the ACT-W Code of Conduct here.

Can you accomodate accessibility needs?

Yes! If you have accesibility needs, please contact [email protected] and we’ll do our absolute best to make you feel comfortable.here.

What’s with the random lady on the motorcycle?

When we started running official ACT-W conferences in 2015, we decided we wanted a cool element that could change every year. As a team, we chose a retro sexist sci-fi poster and changed it to something amazing and empowering to women. Then, we picked a headline that highlighted the change we wanted to see in the tech industry! This started a trend, and each year we’ve chosen a new poster and headline. As you can see, 2018’s is based on the fabulous poster from Tron! Check out the previous years’ designs here.