That’s a Wrap, 2021

We believe it’s important to celebrate wins, big and small. As we wrap up the year, we want to take a moment to shout out our community and our team.

Here are a few milestones that we’re celebrating as we look back on 2021.

Our community has a new private space to connect!

Community has always been at the heart of Women Talk Design. Y’all have shown up for one another at events and on social media, offering one another advice and cheering each other on. We wanted to make sure that you had a dedicated space to connect with one another and we were thrilled to launch our new digital community space this year. To date, the space has 250 members that have welcomed one another, shared upcoming speaking opportunities, celebrated achievements, offered advice, and shared helpful resources.

“Putting yourself and your ideas out into the world can be terrifying. And sometimes it’s easier to opt out than jump in. That’s why I’m so grateful to have found a community to hold me accountable for speaking up, share their strategies and experiences, and cheer me on from planning to presenting!”

– Jen Dionisio

48 alumni graduated from our new Present Yourself 8-week program

We ran our first Present Yourself public speaking program in 2017 and after dozens of cohorts and many iterations of the program, we launched a newly designed 8-week hybrid program that we’re quite proud of. This online program allowed participants to join from all over the world and get access to advice from a dozen Women Talk Design speakers as they worked through modules from identifying topics that matter to presenting with confidence. At the end of the cohort, participants presented, got feedback, and set goals for what’s next.

I loved the support and encouragement in this program. It felt like a safe place to learn and explore. I finish this program knowing that I have a long speaking journey ahead, but feeling empowered by the tools and frameworks it thought me.

Zoraida Cabrera-Mieles

Our speakers shared their expertise

Last year we started our Speaker Stories event series, where we invited a speaker from our community to share their path to public speaking and their advice in front of a live audience. This year, we featured seven incredible speakers from a range of backgrounds, including tech ethnography, activism, brand design, and more. You can look back at all of the Speaker Stories conversations on our “For Speakers” resource page.

“Make sure you know what you think. I think public speaking feels a bit like a rite of passage [or] a thing you need to say you have done. And sometimes I think people do it for the sake of doing it as opposed to recognizing, ‘Hey I’m allowed to have an opinion and to share my opinion.’ When I’m walking through talks with people or they’re saying they want to speak about something I’m like, ‘Okay, work on making sure you really get what you think. Formulate your opinion, know where your boundaries are, know how you think about it.’ Everything else is just learning, everything else is practice. The forming an opinion part is where you need to start every single time.”

– Lola Oyelayo-Pearson

In addition to sharing their advice through events, our speakers also facilitated short workshops for the community this year. A special thank you to Kemi Amin, Margot Bloomstein, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Alexis Wong, Alla Weinberg, and Claire Slattery for helping us plan with purpose, refine our presenting style, say what we want to say, and take the lead through these workshops:

Plan on Purpose with Kemi Amin 
Use your purpose to help you plan your next steps and make your goals a reality.

Building Trust from the Stage with Margot Bloomstein
Engage and empower your audience the next time you need to present.

Take the Lead with Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Uncover your inner leader, and get more comfortable communicating your perspective.

Own Your Presenting Voice with Alexis Wong
Learn how to warm up and use your voice effectively while presenting.

Say What You Want to Say with Alla Weinberg
Join us if you are ready to let your thoughts and ideas be heard.

Improv(e) Your Virtual Presentation with Claire Slattery
Come ready to play, participate, and practice skills you can immediately apply to your current and upcoming talks!

Our team grew!

While we’ve always had mentors, advisors, instructors, and volunteers supporting Women Talk Design, this year our core team really started to grow! We’re thrilled to introduce you to Liz, Frances, & Jessica. Say hello to them in the community space and on social media.

Liz Francis headshot

Liz Francis, Marketing & Strategy

Liz is a practiced storyteller using her background in marketing and customer experience to help companies communicate. A proponent of the human-to-human approach, she has developed strong identities for multiple small organizations across industries.

Frances headshot cropped to a square

Frances Bagette, Operations

Frances has extensive experience in customer service and the entertainment industry, coupled with her leadership experience in hospitality, marketing, and events, Frances helps companies drive engagement and implement innovative process improvements.

Jessica Hinkle headshot

Jessica Hinkle, Social Media

Jessica is a Creative Professional with passion for uplifting people through community. She is a published photographer, writer and LA based clothing designer. Self-taught in multiple mediums, she believes in removing limits and life-long learning.

We also want to give a special shout-out to Rhea Reid, who helped us start our community space earlier this year. While no longer on the Women Talk Design team, she’s still an active member of the Women Talk Design community as she begins to share her expertise as a UX designer through public speaking!

Relationships with partners strengthened

In 2018, Facebook Design became our first Global Sponsor which allowed us to begin hosting monthly events and workshops and curating resources for the community. Since then, corporate relationships have been an important part of Women Talk Design’s sustainability and growth.

This year, we teamed up with Dropbox Design, Zendesk, and Shopify to offer community scholarships to our Present Yourself program.

We also partnered with organizations including Dropbox, Zendesk, Adobe, Simply Good Foods, and Salesforce to bring our public speaking workshops and programs internally to their teams. Here’s an article one of our partners shared on finding courage and confidence through our programs.

Absolutely wonderful session, one of the most engaging workshops I have attended lately, didn’t realise where the 2hrs went.

– Corporate workshop participant

We also continued to work with community partners like Seattle Women in UX and Design, Ladies that UX Boston, and Students of UXD.

If you’re an organization interested in partnering with us, please email:

Looking ahead to 2022

As we wrap up the year, we want to say thank you. Thank you to the 1000+ community members who showed up for events this year. Thank you to the supporters who helped spread the word about Women Talk Design. Thank you to the community members who joined and contributed to our new community space. Thank you to everyone who attended a Lightning Talks event to support speakers as they practiced talks. Thank you to our 800+ speakers in the Women Talk Design Directory for raising your hand to speak and being the role models we all want to see on stage. Thank you to our partners and community members for continuing to invest in and support Women Talk Design’s mission.

2022 is just days away and we’re looking forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with our community and offering programs and resources to help you speak up, share your ideas, and be heard.

See you soon!

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