If I told you I created Women in Voice while finishing my PhD, living in my parents’ basement, and navigating the job market, you might not believe me- but it’s true.
In July 2018, I spoke at the inaugural VOICE Summit and that August I launched Women in Voice. From half-decade in academia, I was normalized to being surrounded by women and men from all around the world conducting internationally groundbreaking research. Much as that conference inspired me in many ways, I did not want to be complicit in normalizing the behavior I saw normalized there. I took action.
Women in Voice was launched on Twitter and WordPress with a basic logo and mission statement. It seemed relatively dinky, but I shortly realized that I was not alone in the desire for change. Through a brief Google Form, I recruited 27 women to join leadership within a few weeks. Women from all over the world and who work at tech companies big and small. Today, Women in Voice is a thriving organization that reaches thousands of people internationally. We are proud to grow and evolve our brand and mission. I would write the number of chapters and followers, but that number would be out of date the moment this is published.
We believe in the celebration, amplification, and empowerment of female talent in the voice tech field, and all tech, and frankly all of society.
Wildly brilliant, disruptive ideas do not come from one small homogenous population. Voice tech is poised to disrupt human computer interaction as we know it, and including a respect for diversity can be brought to the forefront from the first waves of voice technology in the tech ecosystem.
In our community, I hope you find confidence, guidance, and strength to pay it back and pay it forward, to the people who have come before us and those yet to come.
Joan Palmiter Bajorek
Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek is based in Seattle and is the Founder and CEO of Women in Voice.
Ranked the #4 Voice AI Influencer in the world by Voicebot.ai in 2020, “Top 11 Influencer of Voice” by Voicebot.ai 2019, WeWork Labs Entrepreneur in Residence 2020, “Top 15 Influencer” by SoundHound 2018, “Executive of the Year” Finalist 2019, Bajorek is a leader in the voice tech field domestically and internationally. Previously a Senior Conversation Experience Designer at Nuance, the Head of Conversational Research at VERSA Agency, and Principal User Experience Researcher at the University of Arizona, Bajorek has 8+ years of experience in strategy and execution for conversational AI products across healthcare, telecom, utilities, transportation, government, and customer service verticals.
Speaking with global audiences, she has been a featured speaker or keynote speaker at CES, VentureBeat, Alexa Devs, VOICE Summit, L3-AI by Rasa, Voice Tech Summit India, GeekGirlCon, The Voice Den, Girls Who Code, Rosetta Stone, Women in AI Summit, NewVoice Summit by Google Assistant Brazil, among others.
As a researcher and scholar, her PhD research and thought leadership pieces have been featured in Harvard Business Review (HBR), Cambridge University Press, Adobe XD Ideas, SoundHound, Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal on TBS, and UXmatters, exploring the future of voice products, bias in AI, platform disruption, and multimodal and multilingual interfaces of the future. Her article in HBR was featured on the homepage of the website and was so popular it was translated into Brazilian Portuguese as well. She holds a PhD from the University of Arizona in the field of speech language technology and an MA in Linguistics from the University of California, Davis. She lives in Seattle, WA.