2018 Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference: Governance and Innovation in STEM
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Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals: April 2 - August 6, 2018 (CLOSED)

Call for Proposals Guidelines

Third Annual Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference: Governance and Innovation in STEM

Location: Beus Center for Law and Society | Arizona State University (ASU) Downtown Phoenix campus



Thank you for your interest in facilitating a breakout session at the 3rd Annual Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference: Governance and Innovation in STEM which will take place Thursday, October 4 to Saturday, October 6, 2018, at the Beus Center for Law and Society at ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

By sharing your time and talent, you help to expand access and opportunities for women and girls of color in the business, culture, and governance in STEM industries.

This page provides guidelines for preparing a proposal for consideration. Please review carefully before submitting a proposal.


Conference Overview

The annual Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference is an evidence-based, asset-building approach to the advancement of women and girls of color in STEM that:

  • highlights the accomplishments of women and girls from diverse communities,

  • educates women and girls of color through knowledge sharing and capacity building, and

  • encourages institutions and industries to recruit and retain women and girls of color in STEM fields.

The conference is a signature program of the National STEM Collaborative, a consortium of higher education institutions and non-profit organizations that advocates for women and girls of color in STEM by providing research and evidence based practices, networking resources, programs, and initiatives that may be seamlessly implemented in p-20 education settings.

Initiated by the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology at Arizona State University in 2015, the collaborative equips fellow advocates with the tools to expand opportunities for women and girls of color to enter, persist, and succeed in STEM both academically and professionally.


Guidelines for Potential Speakers

One-Page Proposals

You are required to upload a one-page narrative that includes:

  1. Presenter’s name and contact information

  2. Secondary presenter’s name and contact information

  3. Title and a short description

  4. Learning outcomes for participants

  5. Time breakdown of content and activities

  6. Interactive components (exercises, group discussions, etc.)


Speaker Compensation

We do not compensate breakout session presenters to speak at or travel to our conference and do not accept unsolicited proposals for keynote engagements. We do, however, greatly value your time and contribution to our educational program and are honored to have you attend the conference as our guests. If selected to present, you will receive a separate registration link to register at no cost to you.


Conference Logistics

The conference will be held at the Beus Center for Law and Society (BCLS) at ASU Downtown Phoenix campus in Phoenix, AZ. The kick-off reception and keynote will be held at the W.P. Carey Foundation Armstrong Great Hall located at the BCLS on Thursday evening.


Target Audience

The conference seeks to bring together scholars, researchers, practitioners, corporate professionals, policymakers, lawyers, students, community members, and anyone who is looking for an opportunity to grow in their entrepreneurship and advocacy capacity.

There will be business, culture and governance tracks, so speakers should cater their presentations based on the respective track's target audience as outlined below. Conference attendees, however, will be allowed to register for breakout sessions from multiple tracks.

We encourage speakers to be mindful of all social identities including gender, race, ability status, and religion when creating their presentations. Our goals for this conference are not only to bring together a network of diverse individuals but also ensure that every person has the opportunity to participate in a safe and equitable environment.

  • Capacity of breakout session rooms

    • 50–100 people

  • Target audience’s knowledge level

    • All levels

  • Track Target Audience

    • Business: Students, early-stage founders, and aspiring women of color entrepreneurs are the target audience for the business track. These individuals are interested in attending the conference:

      • 1. To connect with women in their field in a safe space

      • 2. To network

      • 3. To access and learn about resources that can help them with their current and future endeavors

    • Culture: Corporate leaders, nonprofits and academics are the target audience for the culture track. These individuals are interested in attending the conference:

      • 1. To learn about the challenges impacting women of color in entrepreneurship and STEM

      • 2. To learn how to improve the success and retention rate of women of color in STEM

      • 3. To network and connect with women of color or industry professionals

      • 4. To find and recruit women of color for their organizations, programs or companies.

    • Governance: Policymakers, government officials, lawyers, and individuals seeking a greater understanding of the interaction between law and STEM are the target audience for the governance track. These individuals are interested in attending the conference:

      • 1. To gain a greater understanding of intellectual property, patents, and copyrights

      • 2. To learn more about small business regulation

      • 3. To learn more about employment law


Tracks and Topics

The call for proposals is open to many topics related to business, culture and governance. Sessions focused on the promotion and/or sale of books, products, or services will not be accepted.


  • Business – Strategies to start and grow your STEM-based business.  

  • Culture – Sharing your experience as a woman of color in a male-dominated industry.  

  • Governance – Legal information on business development and technology policy.


  • While not an exhaustive list, we invite proposals that engage the following topics within the context of business, culture and governance.

Business organizationsXX
Implicit bias XX
Recruiting and retaining women of color XX
Creating an equitable, inclusive workplaceXX
Employment lawX
Intellectual propertyXX
Funding of venturesXX
Regulation of small businessX
Business relationshipsXXX
Entrepreneurship law and strategyXX
Educational achievement and advancementXXX
Activism and advocacy including leadership and organizing and translating research data into policyXX
Voices and images in popular culture and mediaX
Research practices, particularly best practices to increase involvement and representation of people of color in STEMXX
Branding practicesXX

We welcome other topics that align with the conference tracks and look forward to broadening knowledge and building capacity through our educational offerings.


Selection Tips

Proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Identify a topic that aligns with one or more of the conference tracks.

  • Clearly explains learning outcomes.

  • Based on research or proven practical methods. Evidence through qualitative or quantitative data is a plus.

  • Describe the method of delivery. Interactive sessions are highly desired.

  • Submitted online no later than 5:00 pm MST on August 6, 2018.


Accessibility Expectations for Presenters

We expect presenters to create accessible and inclusive environments for individuals with disabilities. Presentation materials must be submitted to CGEST no later than Wednesday, September 5, 2018, for conversion into accessible formats. More information will be provided upon acceptance of proposal.


Submission Information

All proposals must be submitted online starting Monday, April 2, 2018. The deadline for proposals is 5:00 pm MST on Monday, August 6, 2018. Please be mindful of word counts.


Next Steps

A review team will evaluate your proposal based on the following matrix:

  • Alignment with conference theme and track(s)

  • Use of evidence-based data or proven best practices

  • Proven and/or potential impact on advancing girls and women of color in STEM

  • Level of interactivity and engagement

  • Quality of submission

If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified on a rolling basis.


Important Dates

Proposal submission portal opens — April 2, 2018

Deadline for submission — August 6, 2018

Notification of acceptance — rolling

Deadline to request special presentation setup — September 6, 2018

Deadline to submit final version of presentations – October 1, 2018

Conference — October 4–6, 2018



Please email Nathaniel Boettcher at npboettc@asu.edu or call (480) 965-7181 for questions regarding the conference or the call for proposals.