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Lean in Circles

NC Tech Lean in Circles have launched. Sign up now to join a circle! NC Tech x Lean In x Lean in Circle

For many women, finding connection and support at work is a challenge. About 20% of women say they’re often the only woman in the room at work. And since most senior leaders are men, women have less access to mentors, sponsors, and role models who can relate to their experiences. For women of color and women with other marginalized identities, it’s even harder to find support to navigate challenges or chart a unique career path.

That’s why NC TECH is excited to launch Lean In Circles - a space where women can come together in small groups across roles and levels to get peer-to-peer mentorship, connect with each other, recognize and combat gender bias, and build leadership skills. Whether you need help navigating your new normal at work or are looking for support from women who understand what you're going through, your Circle can give you the boost we all need.

Circles Are Now Open for Enrollment

Circles are now available for women to join. Circles are a place to come together (virtually) to give and get advice, celebrate each other’s wins and help each other achieve their goals. Whether you need help navigating work or are looking for support from women who understand what you’re going through, your Circle will give you the boost you need. Circles will meet virtually once a month for the next 6 months.

It's Now Time to Join a Circle

25+ women have signed up to lead a Circle. Please review the descriptions by clicking below and review preferred meeting times (virtual) to see which may be the best fit for you to participate. Then register for your preferred Circle HERE by Thursday, November 30.

There is a maximum number of women per Circle and registration will be closed when the maximum is reached. (Note: please join only 1 Circle as there is a limited number of opportunities.) When open enrollment ends, we will follow up and make Circle introductions.

Lean In Circles at full capacity will be indicated by a full circle icon. There are a few spots open for those still interested in joining a circle - please register below or reach out to Alex Taylor.

Enroll in a Circle

Lean In Circles

Katy Kingsbury

Advocating for Yourself (+ Others) in (+ Outside) the Workplace Full-Circle-Graphic.png

I envision this "Circle" to be a diverse and inclusive space for women to participate, without judgement, in open discussions about their experiences in achieving their personal and professional goals. Women at differing intersections of demographics and experience undoubtably have a wealth of stories, tips, and questions about navigating life and work as a woman. I intend for our discussions to center around empowerment and skill building, producing tangible advice on how to, through advocacy, progress our goals specifically in, but also outside, the workplace.

Leader: Katy Kingsbury, Government Relations Advisor – Brooks Pierce

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 2:00 PM EST

Jennifer Whaley

Ally All Stars

I am a firm believer that allyship is a very important ingredient to an organization. Statistics show that 89% of people want their companies to be inclusive of all diverse backgrounds. How can we help drive the allyship movement with ourselves, our teams, our organizations and make this 89% become 100%? We will talk about many different topics that can drive this change and other changes in the workplace. Let's all LEAN IN!!!

Leader: Jennifer Whaley, NA Director Partner Enablement – Lenovo

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 11:00 AM EST

Donna DeCapite


Juggling work and family can be extremely challenging. Let’s explore strategies on where to place our energy.

Leader: Donna DeCapite, Principal Staff Scientist – SAS

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays (1x per month) at 3:00 or 4:00 PM (TBD by Circle)

Wilmarie Boisvert

Building our Own Table  Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Find a balance and be successful. Asking for it! Understanding our worth and making sure it's known.

Leader: Wilmarie Boisvert, Enterprise Account Executive – Conterra Networks

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 4:00 PM EST


Jenny Amari

Career Growth (Circle Will Meet In Person) Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Sharing our experiences as we grow and advance in our careers. This Circle will meet in person.

Leader: Jenny Amari, Customer Delivery Leader – Cisco

Preferred Meeting Time: Second Wednesday at 5:30 PM

Jaye Anna Hill

Clarity Today Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Join us to discuss Lean-In Leadership Fundamentals. Transformation leadership, recognition at work and negotiation are a few topics we discuss. This will be safe place for us to grow together.

Leader: Jaye Anna Hill, Cyber Security Manager – Truist

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 4:30 PM EST

Katherine Hostetler

Finding Your Confidence Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Let’s talk about ways to become more confident in a role dominated by men. We need to learn to speak up and express our opinions and learn to challenge others in a professional way.

Leader: Katherine Hostetler, Regional Sales Manager - Devo

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 4:00 or 5:00 PM EST

Cindy Luttrell

Goal Diggers Full-Circle-Graphic.png

We are an inclusive community of women who are passionate about achieving their dreams and reaching their fullest potential. We believe that every woman has the power to set and pursue her goals, and we are here to provide encouragement, resources, and support. Our mission is to create a safe and inspiring space where women can connect, share their aspirations, overcome challenges, and celebrate their successes. We are committed to fostering personal and professional growth, building resilience, and helping women achieve their goals, no matter how big or small.

Leader: Cindy Luttrell, Dean of Information Technology – Wake Technical Community College

Preferred Meeting Time: Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 6:00 PM EST

Laurie Schaefer

Growing With Grit  Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Grit is not talent, Grit is not luck … Grit is passion and perseverance. Perseverance is one of the most important factor in predicting long-term achievement. We will walk a journey of growth together building on continuous learning, a growth mindset, and the power of communication. Looking forward to exploring how we harness the power of YOU and build your “grittiness” for success!

Leader: Laurie Schaefer, Vice President + IBM Consulting Technology Leader – IBM

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 4:00 PM or Fridays at 11:00 AM EST

Polina Nikolova

I Am Enough: Battling the Imposter Syndrome Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Imposter syndrome was with me when I started my career. Fifteen years later, as a wife, a mother, a partner in one of the largest professional advisory firms in the Southeast, with years of experience and knowledge behind me, imposter syndrome is still here. It may always be with me. Let's explore how to recognize it, how to confront it, and how to cope with the unwelcome thoughts of self-doubt.

Leader: Polina Nikolova, Associate Director Technology Services – Dean Dorton

Preferred Meeting Time: Fridays at 10:00 AM EST

Kasey Wilson

Imposter Syndrome Who? Full-Circle-Graphic.png

A group of women leaning in to foster relationships, fight imposter syndrome, showcase their accomplishments, celebrate the women around them, and prioritize themselves. Let's empower each other, as a rising tide lifts all boats! If this idea resonates with you and makes you laugh - this group is for you! "An app where you can transfer your imposter syndrome to people who shouldn't be in positions of power" -@NatashaVianna

Kasey Wilson, Customer Success Programs Manager -- RingCentral

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 5:00 PM EST or Fridays before 4:00 PM EST

Rosanne Taft

Jedi Training

Let's explore how to navigate politics at work and how to empower ourselves through negotiation, and collaboration. How can we identify cultural and language barriers so that we can communicate more effectively.

Leader: Rosanne Taft, Senior Project Manager – BlueMatrix

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 4:00 PM EST

Ripley Reynolds

Knowing Your Worth + Realizing Your Power Full-Circle-Graphic.png

We'll dive into knowing your worth and what that means in and out of the workplace, as well as realizing the power you have and learning how to use it most effectively. The patriarchy has engrained in us to not take up space, to be submissive, to stand aside, etc., but this circle will help us break down those barriers and become more comfortable being assertive, asking for what we want/need, knowing when to walk away, and more.

Leader: Ripley Reynolds, Executive Assistant & ESG Coordinator – CloudWyze

Preferred Meeting Time: Mondays 2-6pm EST Wednesdays 9:30-11am EST, 2-6pm EST

Note: These are windows of availability, the meetings would only be an hour and I am flexible depending on the group's needs

Shannon Webster

Leadership Fundamentals Full-Circle-Graphic.png

We need more women leaders. How can we not only do the work, but learn how to be recognized for it as well (without feeling like we are boasting)? How can we be assertive and not be called that other word that starts with a B? How can we be authentic and open and not be labeled emotional or soft? Let's explore leadership fundamentals together and invest some quality time in the most important person…you!

Leader: Shannon Webster, SVP and Executive Director, IT Strategy & Architecture – First Citizens Bank

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 8:00 AM EST

Ann Markley

Leadership in Tech  Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Are you a leader? Let's explore our leadership styles. How to lead teams and employees, interact with peers in leadership and be authentic, strong, and vulnerable at the same time. Let's share the challenges and opportunities together.

Leader: Ann Markley, Strategic Partnership Manager – IBM

Preferred Meeting Time: Mondays PM, TBD with Circle.

Becky Scott

Leadership + Growth Full-Circle-Graphic.png

We all want to be leaders, but what happens when the opportunities don't open for us in our jobs? We'll explore leadership and the ways you can find to lead outside of your job and still grow as a professional. And support each other in the process.

Leader: Becky Scott, Head of Community – JumpCloud

Preferred Meeting Time: Third Thursday of the Month at 10:00 AM EST

Liz Cummings

Lean In: Learn, Grow, and Serve Full-Circle-Graphic.png

This group is to support women who simply want to learn, grow and serve in their careers and life. Share ideas on overcoming challenges, navigating the present and finding ways to serve. I attend conferences and get inspired to mentor and give back to my community. Where do I start? What should I do? How do I begin? Let's explore how we make our mark on the world and make it a better place for us being there.

Leader: Liz Cummings, Director IT Support – UNC Pembroke

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 3:30 PM EST

Kelli McKinney

Let’s Build + Not Tear Down

Let's explore how to use stress to our advantage to still live in a work life balance, to learn to destress appropriately, and to be kind along the way without getting run over. What should work/life balance look like in your life? What feeds your energy or drains your energy? Let's focus on what really matters to each of us knowing that as the saying goes, we shouldn't sweat the small stuff.

Leader: Kelli McKinney, Senior Consultant -- AHEAD

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 4:00 PM EST

Jennifer Wilcox

Moving at the Speed of Girls

Explore creative and meaningful ways that women in business leadership can navigate their professional journey while paving the way for girls in the future workforce. Identify barriers and develop action plans to make meaningful connections between women and girls in local communities.

Leader : Jennifer Wilcox , CEO -- Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont

Preferred Meeting Time: Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 7:30 AM EST

Starr Christen

Reshaping Life Experiences Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Explore our life experiences impact on career paths and seasons of life. What propels our choices? Our successes? Our failures? What constrains our successes? Our choices?

Leader: Starr Christen, Enterprise Architect – North Carolina Department of IT

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 4:30 PM EST

Tina Ruark-Baker

She Can | Female Leaders of Tomorrow Full-Circle-Graphic.png

The Future of Work - Breaking Barriers; Health & Wellness - Investing in Yourself; Being Heard - Compelling Narratives & Negotiation and Paying it forward

Leader: Tina Ruark-Baker, Chief Growth Officer/Marketing – Reveal Global Intelligence

Preferred Meeting Time: Tuesday to Friday between 9am-12pm EST

Chitra Jagannathan

Strategy + Leadership Excellence Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Description: Coming Soon

Leader: Chitra Jagannathan, Cloud Lead – Cisco

Preferred Meeting Time: TBD with Circle

Katharine Mitchell

The Only Woman at the Meeting

Finding creative ways to ensure your voice is heard when you are the only woman at the meeting.

Leader: Katharine Mitchell, VP, Enterprise Programs – Abrigo

Preferred Meeting Time: Tuesdays at 5:00 PM EST

Carol Edenton

Women Building Confidence Full-Circle-Graphic.png

This group will build each other up discussing ways to overcome self-doubt, be assertive, find sponsors and allies and achieve our goals.

Leader: Carol Edenton, Project Coordinator – UNC Health

Preferred Meeting Time: Flexible, TBD with Circle

Jen Fix

Women Supporting Women Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Providing a space to connect and build relationships, amplify and encourage each other, and learn from our collective experiences.

Leader: Jen Fix, Sr. Manager, Security and Compliance – RTI International

Preferred Meeting Time: Flexible, TBD with Circle

Janay Bridges

Working Moms Finding Your Voice and Celebrate Wins

Exploring women being the only one in their field for example I'm the only women of color on my team in an IT setting I'm also a mom of small children. Being a working mom is another challenge all on its own having other moms that understand is more comforting, it gives you an inclusive feeling. Being able to confront Imposter Syndrome and finding your voice. Creating a safe space to be vulnerable, vent, and celebrate your wins in a way that is truly you not you put on at work.

Leader: Janay Bridges, Program Manager – Avalara

Preferred Meeting Time: Wednesdays or Thursdays at 6:00 PM EST

Personal Branding + Agile Work in Tech Full-Circle-Graphic.png

Let's explore how to build and maintain a strong presence to showcase our expertise, network with industry professionals and advance our tech career. While we adopt agile methodologies and adaptability in tech work environments

Leader: Blessing Oni, Team Leader, Portfolio Management – Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina

Preferred Meeting Time: Fridays at 12:00 PM EST

Women Facing Challenges and Sharing Experiences

We meet to discuss common interests and challenges we face in the workplace. We provide support, networking opportunities, and achieve our goals. We can also bond and share our experiences with other women who understand where we're coming from.

Leader: Cynthia Massie, MIS Support Manager – Fayetteville Tech Community College

Preferred Meeting Time: Thursdays at 5:30 PM EST

Enroll in a Circle