Become a Speaker
AnitaB.org’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) is the largest gathering of women and non-binary technologists in the world, where attendees learn, network, and celebrate their achievements. Submit a proposal to be one of the 300+ speakers of 200+ sessions at GHC 23.
- GHC 23 will take place September 26-29.
- Sessions will be presented in-person and online September 27-29 between 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
- The submission deadline is Wednesday, April 26, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Contact email@example.com with questions.
- Thursday, February 23 – Call for Participation (CFP) Opens
- Tuesday, March 7, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time – Info session and Q&A (Recording to come soon.)
- Wednesday, April 19, 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time – Info session and Q&A (Register Here!)
- Wednesday, April 26, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time – CFP Closes
- June – Proposal Status Notifications sent
- July – Guides and Resources
- August – Orientation and Training
- September 26-29 – GHC 23!
We aim to have GHC speakers that represent the talent and rich diversity of our community. We welcome speakers of all levels and backgrounds. Speakers may be students, interns, early-, mid-, or senior-career, or entrepreneurs/founders. Prior conference speaking experience is not required.
Speakers will receive support and training from AnitaB.org staff, the ability to network with and learn from a community of speakers from around the world, and complimentary GHC registration.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Systems
- Data Science
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
- Extended Reality (VR/AR/MR), Media, and Gaming
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Open Source
- Non-Traditional Tech/Emerging Tech
- Product Management
- Public Interest Tech
- Software Engineering
GHC 23 will feature lightning talks, lectures and panels, skills-focused workshops, networking, open-source projects, and more. We are looking for technical, career, or community-focused content through the following session formats:
Career Conversations: Host a Career Conversation to help attendees better understand how you got your job, promotion, or grant. Career Conversations are 45-minute sessions with 10-15 minutes for setting up the topic and the rest for audience Q&A. These sessions may have 1-2 speakers and will be presented in person or virtually. All speakers of in-person sessions must be present on-site.
Lectures: Your typical conference presentation session with 1 or 2 speakers. GHC lectures are 45 minutes long with 30 minutes allotted for content and 15 minutes for audience Q&A. Lectures will take place in person—all speakers must be present on site. These sessions will be recorded for virtual attendees.
Level Up Labs: Workshops for learning new skills, co-creating resources, or solving problems. Attendees should expect hands-on activities. Labs are 60-minute, in-person sessions with 2-4 speakers. All speakers must be present on site. (Labs may add additional mentors to support attendees on site.)
Lightning Talks: 30-minute technical sessions with 15 minutes dedicated to presenting the topic and the rest for audience Q&A. Lightning talks will be presented virtually. These sessions may have only 1 speaker.
Networking Sessions: Mix and mingle with fellow technologists who share an identity or affinity at a GHC-facilitated networking session. Facilitators (aka “speakers”) will lead activities to help attendees meet and make valuable connections. These 60- to 90-minute sessions may have 2-4 facilitators and will be offered both in-person and virtually. All speakers of in-person sessions must be present on-site.
Open Source Day Projects & Workshops: GHC’s annual Open Source Day (OSD) is a day of coding and learning about all things Open Source. GHC 23’s OSD will take place virtually, during the conference. We seek proposals for workshops and projects that offer attendees the chance to gain knowledge and make real software contributions.
- OSD projects must have at least one woman or non-binary core maintainer and provide mentors and triaged, technical-focused, good first issues for the event. Maintainer/mentor teams will introduce the project, answer questions, and support attendees in making contributions. OSD projects will gain visibility and same-day contributions, as well as help grow the pool of future contributors.
- OSD’s hands-on workshops are for learning new skills, co-creating resources, or solving problems. These are 60-minute, virtual sessions with up to 4 speakers. We are seeking workshop proposals for all skill levels and backgrounds about technologies, projects, processes, community, and more to help attendees level up their Open Source contribution skills.
Panels: Topical discussions between a group of experts with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. GHC 23 panels are in-person, 45-minute sessions with 3-4 speakers and 1 moderator. Panels are not series of presentations or one-on-one panelist interviews—a moderator will guide the discussion and prompt audience questions. No slides are used. Panels will be recorded for virtual attendees.
The GHC call for participation (CFP) is competitive. We typically receive thousands of submissions for only a few hundred session slots. Do not let this discourage you from submitting. Responding to a call for participation is good practice. Review the tips included on this page and ask for guidance when you need it.
Proposals will be evaluated by our diverse team of volunteer reviewers, co-chairs, and AnitaB.org staff and scored using several criteria including:
- Diversity of the speaking team, if applicable
- Inclusivity of the content
- Coherence and clarity
- Timeliness of content and potential interest and value to attendees
- The extent to which the session offers clear inspiration, lessons, tools, and/or innovative ideas
- Feasibility of proposed activities
- Balance of organizational representation
Those who submit proposals for a panel or lecture may opt-in to be considered for a feature session. These elevated sessions are focused on the highest-quality content in specialized areas of expertise and will take place on our featured stage. We will reach out if your session is a good fit for our featured programming.
Proposals that are incomplete, not relevant to AnitaB.org programming, or are focused on selling products or services will be automatically rejected.
- Review the entire CFP page, especially the Evaluation Process and Fine Print sections.
- Download a copy of the CFP questions to draft your proposal.
- Gather a diverse speaking team, if applicable.
- Choose an appropriate session format and track based on the descriptions from this page.
- Use plain, concise, and inclusive language. Avoid or define jargon. Spell out acronyms.
- Reach out to friends, colleagues, and mentors for help—do not be shy, your community wants you to succeed!
- Submit early so you can make changes to your submission before the deadline.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
- Speakers may speak in a maximum of 2 sessions.
- All speakers of in-person sessions must be present on-site.
- GHC participants must review and abide by the GHC code of conduct.
How to Submit
- Review this GHC 23 call for participation page and the following submission instructions and communication details.
- Go to the form that corresponds to the session format you wish you submit a proposal for.
- Click the Continue button below to create an account on the GHC 23 CFP platform. These credentials are not connected to other AnitaB.org or GHC accounts.
- Enter session and speaker information. Click the Complete button to submit. Note that content is not saved automatically. To save progress, we encourage submitters to submit regularly or draft their responses in a separate document and paste finalized content into the submission platform. (See full list of CFP questions.)
- Submitted submissions can be edited via the GHC 23 speaker portal until Wednesday, April 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Anyone connected to the session proposal can edit the submission. The session submitter/primary contact (see Session Communication section below for more information) can access the proposal with the credentials they used to submit it. Other speakers connected to the proposal can make edits by creating an account and logging into the CFP platform with the email address entered in the session submission.
Set up your submission so the appropriate person receives session communications.
- All sessions must have a single primary contact who is responsible for coordinating the session and distributing communications between AnitaB.org and the speaking team. This person may or may not also be a speaker for the proposed session.
- The primary contact should use their email address to create an account on the GHC 23 CFP platform and submit the proposal.
- The primary contact should enter their information on both the Session Info and Speaker Info tabs.
- On the Speaker Info tab, enter the primary contact’s information first (the Person 1 position) regardless of whether they are a speaker of the proposed session. Additional speakers can be added using the Add+ button at the top of the form.
- Confirmation messages, status notifications, and speaker communications will come from “Grace Hopper Celebration 2023 <email@example.com>.” Please check your spam folder if you do not see it in your inbox.
Ready to Submit a Session?
After you’ve read through the information above, click on the format you’ve selected to complete your submission.
- Career Conversation
- Level Up Lab
- Networking Session
- Lightning Talk
- Open Source Day Project
- Open Source Day Workshop