Women’s Foundation of Arkansas hosts annual Girls of Promise conference

May 6-12, 2019

Girls across Arkansas encouraged to “Plug Into Your STEMagination!”


The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) recently hosted its annual Girls of Promise conference April 11-12, 2019, at the Arkansas 4-H Center and the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel. Earlier this year, WFA announced a new partnership with Acxiom involving a two-year sponsorship of the Girls of Promise initiative, which is celebrating its 20th year.


Girls of Promise is an initiative of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas which encourages sixth-12th grade girls to pursue higher-level education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This event introduces specifically eighth-grade girls who have an interest in STEM to career fields that utilize these fields of study.


“This event focuses on the payoff of hard work and higher education in STEM related  fields, while showing these young women they can still have fun,” says Anna Beth Gorman, executive director of the WFA. “This conference is for the next generation of women leading our state, to encourage them to meet likeminded peers, hear from women in STEM careers, and follow their dreams.”


Attendees not only participated in fun activities throughout the two-day event, but they also heard from passionate women who work in STEM fields such as scientists, welders, physicians, computer systems engineers and coders. 


“It’s important for businesses to invest in the future of our workforce, not only for training potential new teammates, but also for the economic future of the state,” said Janet Cinfio, CIO and SVP of Technology Operations at Acxiom. “Acxiom is proud to support the Girls of Promise Conference and the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas to encourage and build up girls in the state of Arkansas.”


Keynote speakers this year were Barbara Sugg, vice president of information technology and chief security officer at Southwest Power Pool, and Special Agent Laura Garrett of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sponsors of the conference included Acxiom and AT&T.


AT&T specifically sponsors the Tech for Good competition, which is open to sixth-12th grade girls and takes place during the conference.


In addition to the Girls of Promise Conference, WFA regularly organizes coding summits for middle school and high school girls, film screenings, speaker series and panels that highlight issues important to advancing the status of women. WFA also conducts and publishes research in areas such as educational attainment, socio-economic circumstances, health, workforce participation, careers and barriers to success. As a grantor, WFA awards funding to organizations serving women and girls across Arkansas. Learn more at GirlsofPromise.org.


About the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas


Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’ (WFA) mission is to promote and foster programs, activities and opportunities that expand and strengthen the roles of women and girls in Arkansas. It is the only statewide foundation that focuses solely on improving their academic, economic and social well-being. To fulfill this mission, WFA serves as a grantmaker, a convener and a resource on the status of women and girls. It is the WFA’s belief that improving their lives not only advances gender equity, but also improves the health and wealth of families, communities and the state as a whole. Learn more at WomensFoundationArkansas.org.


About Acxiom


Acxiom provides the data and technology foundation for the world’s best marketers. The company enables people-based marketing everywhere through a simple, open approach to connecting systems and data that drives seamless customer experiences and higher ROI. A leader in identity and ethical data use for nearly 50 years, Acxiom helps thousands of clients and partners around the globe work together to create a world where all marketing is relevant. Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom LLC. For more information, visit Acxiom.com.


Source: Women’s Foundation of Arkansas 




Eighth graders at the Girls of Promise conference; many discussions involving leadership, self-esteem, confidence, and how to solve problems/challenges were held during the Conductor’s Innovation workshop. (Photo submitted)