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Event leadership | 3 February 2016

Women’s Events Of 2016: Discover Over 50 Incredible Events

Kathleen Smith

Over the last few years, women’s only business events have becoming increasingly popular. This comes as no surprises as women now outnumber men in the workforce, but still find it difficult to reach senior level positions.

UPDATE: We really think you’ll enjoy the events that we’ve collected here, but for a more recent list, check out our Ultimate Directory for Women in Technology Conferences.

Women’s events have also become popular to help women in specific male dominated sectors like technology, to overcome common barriers.To help those searching with world-class womens events, we’ve compiled a list of 50 of the most incredible events happening this year. Throughout 2016, we’ll update our list of women’s events as more gatherings become publicized. 

To learn more about the women’s events listed, simply click on the links to go straight to each event website.

February Events

Women’s Growth Leadership Summit February 3-6, 2016

Denver, Colorado

Women Grow is an advocacy and networking non-profit for women in the cannabis industry. In addition to regular regional member meet-ups, there’s an annual summit for growers, advocates and entrepreneurs. Musician Melissa Etheridge has just been added to the speaking line-up.

Women of Wisdom February 11-15, 2016

Seattle, Washington

Though more on the motivational than the business side of things, career oriented women looking at alternative strategies to getting ahead might want to check out this annual exploration of physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Unlike some other women’s conferences, men are welcome to only some of these women’s events.

TED February 15th – 19th, 2016

Vancouver, BC, Canada


Another important annual conference for international movers and shakers, TED is all about the exchange of new ideas. You must apply to attend but once there you’ll be in the best of company: producer Shonda Rimes, choreographer Bill T. Jones and climate advocate Al Gore will all be presenting this year.

Wisdom 2.0 February 20 – 22, 2016

San Francisco, California

As Wired describes it, this generalist gathering for heavy-hitters is: “Where the technology and contemplative communities … hash out the best ways to incorporate these tools into our lives…” The event attracts a good mix of male and female speakers, this year including spiritual leader Ram Dass and clothing tycoon Eileen Fisher. Later in the year, watch for Wisdom 2.0 Asia, upcoming in Singapore. 

Sisters in Solidarity IBEW February 24 – 27, 2016

Los Angeles, California

Around the world, there are many female members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The sisters of the brotherhood meet every other year for talks, plenary sessions and workshops in advocacy and labour organization, it’s a very niche women’s event, but it’s perfect for women in the electrical trade.

Lesbians Who Tech Summit February 25-28, 2016

San Francisco, California

This is the only event focused on increasing visibility and tech participation in two historically underrepresented communities in tech: women and LGBTQ. Allies of all genders are also welcome for a full agenda of workshops and talks covering coding, robotics, and how to fight the patriarchy.

Get your own event featured on one of Bizzabo’s event directory. To apply to have your own event featured, click the button below!

   

March Events

Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference March 1-3, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

This international event consists of a three-day program divided into study sessions on leadership and empowering disadvantaged groups. Presentations are based on submitted papers, with time for open discussions related to key leadership issues. Author and motivational speaker Jane Hight McMurray (The Etiquette Advantage) is among the confirmed speakers.

Launch Festival March 2-4, 2016

San Francisco, California

While not a women’s only event, this is a must-attend for women in tech. This is the largest startup event in the world with 15,000 attendees, four stages, and 250 speakers focused on helping founders build, scale, and fund the next generation of outstanding companies. Female founders simply must attend this event, especially since female startup founders can go for free.

We Move Forward (WMF) March 3 – 6, 2016

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

This International Women’s Day conference, retreat and celebration takes a holistic approach to women in the workforce, offering sessions in mindfulness and wellbeing as well as career strategies. This year’s speakers include singer Bif Naked and journalist Paula Todd. Now in its fifth year, WMF takes place on the idyllic Island of Women, near Cancun.

Women’s Business Leadership Conference March 9, 2016

Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Center for Executive and Professional Development at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School for Business has been hosting this annual womens event for 25 years. Not surprisingly there’s a focus on intergenerational mentorship and support for women in business.

Variety Massive Entertainment Marketing Summit March 10, 2016

Los Angeles, California

There are lots of women speakers on the roster at this event dedicated to business and shared ideas between advertisers, studio and TV content partners, digital media brands and next-generation technology leaders. Also watch for Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in New York later in May.

Women in Aviation (WIA) Conference March 10 – 12, 2016

Nashville, Tennessee

If you are a woman involved in some aspect of aviation this is your go-to event.There are some fascinating speakers lined up – including Megan Barry, Mayor of Nashville and Jessica Cox, the world’s first certificated armless pilot – and a full slate of seminars, workshops and clinics for pilots, controllers, aerospace engineers, educators and maintenance workers. Not to mention, it’s all happening at the Opryland Resort.

South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive March 11 – 15, 2016

Austin, Texas

A major convergence of the tech, media, design, gaming and entertainment fields, this event is a must-attend for any women connected even tangentially to those disciplines. For product releases and networking, SXSW is the place to be. It is also a respected music and film festival with important niche sidebars such as Startup Village.

Global Tech Women Voices March 14-18, 2016

Virtual Event

This online womens event brings together women in technology from around the globe during International Women’s Day. Representatives from companies, institutions and academia discuss, collaborate and celebrate the contributions of women in tech, with all sessions recorded and available for view at any time.

Women Who Code Connect March 19-20, 2016

Seattle, Washington

This womens networking evemt presented by WWCode’s, is a tech conference will bring together industry leaders from around the world to share stories and expertise about tech trends and career advancement for women in technology.

PBWC March 22, 2016

San Francisco, California

This important annual women’s event features a jam-packed daylong program of workshops and networking opportunities. Keynote speakers this year (the 27th edition) include Venus Williams and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Women Leading Change March 29, 2016

Boston, Massachusetts

A one-day professional development event for women in business. Programming at this Simmons Business School-hosted conference is anchored by inspiring keynotes from the likes of actor Eva Longoria, attorney Anita Hill, actor Geena Davis and Morgan Stanley advisor Carla Harris.

Women in CyberSecurity March 31 – April 2, 2016

Dallas, Texas

The number of women working in this highly specialized male-dominated growth industry is shockingly low. Launched in 2013, this national annual womens event supports attendees who do with recruiting opportunities and professional development sessions.

April Events

Women in the World Summit April 6-8, 2016

New York, New York

High profile women sharing inspiring narratives across disciplines is at the heart of this annual gathering founded by influential publisher Tina Brown. This year promises presentations by actor Meryl Streep, journalist Megyn Kelly and Rula Ghani, the First Lady of Afghanistan, among other female leaders.

Dare 2 Aspire April 8-9, 2016

Atlanta, Georgia

Dare 2 Aspire Conference is an annual conference aimed at encouraging women and Moms to start and/or grow a small business. 

We Festival April 13-14, 2016

New York, New York

Founded by angel investor/blogger Joanne Wilson and educator Nancy Hechinger in 2011, We Festival started out with a focus on tech, but now offers a full slate of inspiring sessions for any professional women. Cooking personality Rachael Ray gives the keynote this year, other world-class speakers include Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder of Care.com and Gregg Renfrew Founder of Beautycounter.

Innotech’s Women in Tech Summit April 16, 2015

Dallas, Texas

Part of the larger conference Innotech Dallas Conference, this gathering is designed specifically for women in IT. The agenda includes a fireside chat, panel presentations, lunch and networking.

WNorth Conference April 20-22, 2016

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

WNORTH is the first of its kind- an experiential, destination conference for women in business on a leadership track. The material delivered during this conference will not only be impactful, it will be outcome-based. Each individual will be held to task by their fellow attendees through the creation of a community of women who are the next generation of senior leaders.

Watermark Conference April 21, 2016

San Jose, California

Actor Mindy Kaling is one of the high profile keynotes at this well-rounded gathering for women in government, business and the non-profit sector.

Mom 2.0 Summit April 27– 29, 2016


Dana Point, California

Mom 2.0 Summit is a gathering of over 600 influential mom bloggers and female entrepreneurs who create online content to facilitate an exchange between moms and marketers. The conference focuses on defining, developing, and building a growing movement of online publishing and new media. Topics for discussion include parenting, entertainment, food, politics, technology, social change, business, travel, design, and more.

May Events

Marketing2Women (M2W) Global Summit May 2-3, 2016

New York, New York

Both men and women will be interested in this premier marketing event. Learn about female consumers and what makes them tick from international executives and entrepreneurs such as best-selling romance author Maya Rodale and Clare Moffat, founder and CEO of Australia’s largest online news service.

Interop Top in Tech May 2-6, 2016

Las Vegas, Nevada

IT professionals of all kinds gather for Top in Tech, an important event for anyone trying to keep up with next generation technologies and innovations in cloud computing, wireless and mobility and networking. So far not a lot of female speakers have been announced – all the more reason for women to attend and be visible.

Men As Allies May 3, 2016

New York, New York

Presented by Working Mother Media as a very strategic and focused networking opportunity for men to join women in the struggle for equality and advancement. To further encourage both genders to fully hear the other’s perspective attendees are required to register as male/female leadership pairs.

99U Conference May 5–6
, 2016

New York, New York

Taking prolific inventor Thomas Edison as its poster child, 99U is a doer’s conference. Organized by Adobe’s Behance, this conference offers pragmatic tips for practitioners and a balm for burnt-out designers feelings stuck in their careers. Not strictly for women, but women interested in design and innovation should certainly go. Bonus: Attendees can schedule time with career coaches on-site.

Forbes Women’s Summit May 11-12, 2016

New York, New York

#redefinepower is the ambitious motto of Forbes Magazine’s annual conference for women. The theme of this year’s invite-only gathering states that success is no longer enough; significance is also imperative for women to succeed in business.

Women Deliver May 16-19, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark

The world’s largest global conference on the health, wellbeing and rights of girls and women in the last decade convenes for the fourth edition, this time in Denmark. It will bring together policymakers, advocates, journalists, researchers, and leaders of corporate companies and civil society to showcase what it means and how it works when girls and women become the focus of development efforts.

IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference May 23-24, 2016

San Jose, CA

Attendees will have the opportunity to create communities that fuel innovation, facilitate knowledge sharing and provide support through highly interactive sessions designed to foster discussion and collaboration. WIE ILC focuses on providing leading-edge professional development for mid-level and senior women.

June Events

Women in Technology Summit June 5-7, 2016

San Jose, California

Three days of keynotes (over 60 speakers this year) and interactive peer-to-peer educational sessions for women in tech. There’s also a highly regarded career fair/exchange featuring major players such as Expedia and Amazon.

Women’s Leadership Conference June 16-17, 2016

New York, New York

As the name suggests, this conference is for business executives and those who to aspire to be. This year’s roster of speakers includes Dr. Lisa Shipley at Merck, Dr. Nancy Carter a senior advisor at Catalyst, Leezel Tanglao of CNNMoney, and Robin Gerber, Author of Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way.

July Events

Wonder Women Tech Conference July 15 – 17, 2016

Long Beach, CA

Women Women Tech is a conference that highlights, celebrates and educates women & diversity within Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM). Keynote speakers and special guests include ‘Oprah’s Favorite Guest of All Time’, Dr. Terarai Trent, President of UN Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Almas Jiwani, Crunchbase Director of Content, Gené Teare and many more!

International Conference on Advances of Women’s Studies July 30 – 31, 2016

Buffalo, New York

This academic conference for global scholars is in its third year. Previous editions have been held in Sri Lanka and Toronto – it aims to be internationally representative of the latest academic research in women’s studies.

August Events

BlogHer August 4 – 6, 2016

Los Angeles, California

The decade-old annual BlogHer conference is a celebration of women content creators across social media, video, photos, and the Internet. Also watch for BlogHerFood for female food bloggers, coming to Austin, Texas in October 2016.

Women.Innovation.Technology. August 16 – 20, 2016

Tel Aviv, Israel

Female tech-entrepreneurs from around the world present their ideas and  business plans to tech bloggers and journalists from around the world. 

The Yellow Conference August 25-26 2016

Los Angeles, California

A California-based networking community for creative woman, Yellow holds an annual conference to reiterate its values of sharing and mutual support. This year’s speakers include actress Samantha Futerman (Twinsters) and Raven + Lily CEO Kirsten Dickerson.

September Events

National Women’s Business Conference September 18-20, 2016

Columbus, Ohio  

Who knows better than the National Association of Woman Business Owners (NAWBO) that female business owners are the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. economy, and that small businesses owned by women grow at a 50% faster rate than those owned by men? Also, that congresswomen only make up 19 percent of Congress; female CEOs only five percent of all Fortune 500 CEOs; and women business owners still face more challenges in starting and growing their businesses than men, from access to credit to procurement opportunities? Their annual conference works to improve those statistics.

International Women’s Forum Leadership Conference September 28 – 30, 2016

Chicago, Illionous

The International Women’s Forum was founded in 1982 as a membership organization to support women in business and government as pioneers of change. An international gathering in Tel Aviv in May, precedes the annual national convention.

October Events

Dreamforce October 4-7, 2016

San Francisco, California

This massive (participants just shy of the 200,000 mark) gathering pays special attention to education and the future in technology. In 2015, there were sessions for female hackers and coders and women’s leadership sessions – these events will be expanded in ‘16.

WomanCon October 6, 2016

New York, New York

Designed for female entrepreneurs, this massive networking event features a day- long schedule of inspiring speakers across cultures. Their high profile Pitch the Media panel is an annual favorite with delegates.

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women October 6, 2016

Philadelphia, Pennsivania

Affiliated with Austin and Boston sister events, this woman-centric conference is also huge, with sections for younger women and careers, a small business marketplace and networking centre in addition to keynotes, presentations and breakouts.

Emerging Women October 13, 2016

San Francisco, CA 

Emerging Women exists to support and inspire women to express themselves authentically through the work that they do. We strive to provide the tools, knowledge, and network to help women lead, start and grow their businesses in a way that integrates core feminine values like connection, collaboration, intimacy, beauty and heart.

Dynamic Women’s Conference October 14, 2016

Rolling Meadows, Illinous

The Dynamic Professional Women’s Network is a membership-driven national organization for career women and entrepreneurs. The annual conference is designed to motivate and inspire with a full day of authentic business building using real-world strategies and applications.

Most Powerful Women Summit October 17-19, 2016

Laguna Niguel, California

Hosted by Fortune, this gathering is driven by its annual list of most powerful women. As such it attracts a stellar lineup of speakers (including Michelle Obama in 2015) and a diverse mix of the esoteric (linking purpose to profit) and the practical (make-overs). Watch for sister events, MPW Internationals in Hong Kong and London, England.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing October 19, 2016

Houston, Texas

This is the world’s largest annual gathering of women technologists. Produced by the Anita Borg Institute and presented in partnership with Association of Computer Machinery (ACM), it is truly don’t miss for female engineers, scientists, programmers, academics and hackers – 11,702 attendees from 63 countries participated in 2015. PS – they provide free childcare

November Events

Lean Startup Conference November 1-7, 2016

San Francisco, California

The 7th Lean Startup Conference isn’t programmed for women per se, but they acknowledge the gender visibility problem in business culture by committing to The 50/50 Pledge, ensuring that half the speakers programmed will be women.

BeBlogalicious November 3–5, 2016

Atlanta, Georgia

This large annual gathering is a place for female content creators to network with social media influencers, industry leaders and leading brands. There is a great selection of speakers doing master classes on a variety of topics from monetization to running a blog full time.

Web Summit 
November 7–10, 2016

Lisbon, Portugal


Titans of tech assemble at this annual conference that features start-ups as well as Fortune 500 companies such as Google, IBM, Amazon, Twitter and Apple.Big bonus: The conference gives complimentary tickets to women working in the tech industry as part of a global initiative to even out the gender ratio at their events, and in the greater tech industry.

Women In Leadership November 8-11, 2016

Projections show that at the current rate of advancement, women and men won’t be equally represented in leadership until 2085! The harsh reality is that the talent pipeline is leaking at all levels, and women just aren’t stepping into enough key roles that would allow them and their companies to realize their full potential. Why is that and what can we do, as a collective group, to help women leaders advance more quickly in the workplace?

Join us at Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™ in Dallas, Texas, on November 8-11, 2016 to dig deeper into these questions and challenges, and to be a part of the thinking and potential solutions.

The Texas Conference for Women November 15, 2016

Austin, Texas

This is a well-rounded and well-attended (7000 participants last year) conference for Texas women in business. The 17-year old event offers opportunities for networking, professional development and personal growth with sessions ranging from personal finance to health and wellness to career advancement.

Awakened Women Conference November 20-27, 2016

Bali, Indonesia

The Awakened Woman Conference is a convergence of female leaders around the world gathering in Bali. Understanding that Feminine Leadership is a holistic balance, the conference brings together Leaders in Personal Development, Conscious Business & Female Leadership, Sexual Empowerment, Spirituality and Health & Wellness. 

December Events

The Massachusetts Conference for Women December 8, 2016

Boston, Masssachusets

Like its sister events in Austin and Philadelphia this event tries to cover all the angles for women in business. There are keynotes, breakouts, networking opportunities and practical professional development sessions, including resume reviews and career coaching.

WIN Conferences Various dates and locations throughout 2016

Working to get a critical mass of women into decirsion and policy-making roles, Women’s International Networking (WIN) hosts several annual events around the world. Watch for conferences in Europe, Delhi and Tokyo in 2016.

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