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The annual WiSTEM Conference (Women in STEM), a core initiative of MKF, announced new dates and a new affiliation with the Mobile World Congress Americas event. WiSTEM 2017 will be held September 11-12 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco, with a VIP reception scheduled for September 10 and an awards dinner on September 11, providing multiple networking and education opportunities for guests.

“We are thrilled to announce this affiliate partnership with Mobile World Congress Americas,” states Meera Kaul, founder and chair of MKF.  “Our global efforts to expand opportunities for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) will be greatly enhanced with the synergies that this partnership will provide to both groups.  WiSTEM was founded on the tenets of quality both in content and interaction, and we are confident that WiSTEM 2017, San Francisco will carry on this tradition.”

Beware the danger of Feminism Lite. It is the idea of conditional female equality. Please reject this entirely. It is a hollow, appeasing and bankrupt idea. Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of men and women, or you do not.

Feminism Lite uses analogies like “He is the head and you are the neck.” Or, “He is driving but you are in the front seat.” More troubling is the idea, in Feminism Lite, that men are naturally superior but should be expected to “treat women well.” No. No. No. There must be more than male benevolence as the basis for a women’s well-being.

Feminism Lite uses the language of “allowing.” Theresa May is the British prime minister, and here is how a progressive British newspaper described her husband: Phillip May is known in politics as a man who has taken a back seat and allowed his wife, Theresa, to shine.

Allowed. Now let us reverse it. Theresa May has allowed her husband to shine. Does it make sense? If Phillip May were prime minister, perhaps we might hear that his wife had “supported” him from the background, that she was “behind” him or that she’d “stood by his side,” but we would never hear that she had “allowed” him to shine.

“Allow” is a troubling word. “Allow” is about power. A husband is not a headmaster. A wife is not a schoolgirl. Permission and being allowed, when used one-sidedly — and it is nearly only used that way — should never be the language of an equal marriage. Another egregious example of Feminism Lite: men who say, “Of course a wife does not always have to do the domestic work; I did domestic work when my wife traveled.”

Our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. And so she is policed. We ask of powerful women: Is she humble? Does she smile? Is she grateful enough? Does she have a domestic side? Questions we do not ask of powerful men, which shows that our discomfort is not with power itself, but with women. We judge powerful women more harshly than we judge powerful men. And Feminism Lite enables this.

At first glance, woman interrupted may seem like a small problem, but it reflects deeper issues of gender inequality at work and in society. Women struggle every day to get their space in the workplace and the right to express themselves. When they get there, manterrupting reduces their participation. Women want men to ask themselves: Am I doing this without even realizing it? After all, what’s the point of having more women in a meeting room if nobody hears what they have to say?


Now in its fourth year, the annual WiSTEM Conference and Awards has become the premier global event for women in STEM. Nearly 50 top media partners and supporting associations from four continents have signed on to promote the event and add thought leadership to the program.  An all-star cast of prominent presenters drawn from the technology industry highlight the event, led by Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures.

Other presenters and speakers include Ram Gupta (Nexus Venture Partners, WebMD), venture capitalist Kanwal Rekhi (Excelan, Inventus Capital Partners), Ajit Singh (Biomagene, Artiman Ventures), Lisa Lambert (Westly Group), Sanjay Dhawan (Harman Kardon), Andy Tang (Draper Associates), Carol Sands (Halo Fund, Angels Forum), Rashmi Gopinathan (Microsoft Ventures), and Will Bunker (GrowthX, Match.com).

“We welcome WiSTEM as an Event Affiliate Partner at the inaugural Mobile World Congress Americas,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “Their participation will help increase the inclusion of women in the mobile industry and across STEM fields and positively aligns with GSMA initiatives in this area.”

“We are not just another ‘me-too’ event for women in technology,” adds Kaul.  “Our content has traditionally been unique, our speakers and influencers world-class. Our mission is to establish gender parity in whatever we do and therefore you will see an event where men are taking an equitable role in nurturing an ecosystem of women in STEM. We continue to create new opportunities and synergies for women.”

“In our mission to make the best opportunities in the world available to our impact ecosystem, we bring the best minds in STEM to interact and influence our delegates.  WiSTEM is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with the most influential game changers. Stay tuned!” 
MKF is a non-profit that works to nurture the social, economic and intellectual potential of women. We create opportunities for unlocking the potential of women in areas of their expertise, to support the sustainability of their careers, and enhance their personal growth and stability. 


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