The energy is still going strong here at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration! We had a ton of great sessions today, including a Fireside Chat with our CEO and COO about the efforts of AnitaB.org to reach 50/50 intersectional tech equity by 2025. #WeWill persevere until we create a world where everyone has equal opportunity to reach their full potential.
See some of our favorite moments from today, and don’t forget to share your favorite moments with us! Tweet us at @AnitaB_org, or use the hashtag #GHC19.
We Will. I Will.
What will you accomplish? How will we change the future of tech? Download and fill out your own “We Will” or “I Will” statement, and be sure to share it with us on social media. Use #WeWill or #IWill, along with the hashtags #AnitaB and #GHC19.
Here’s what some of our attendees are saying:
- #WeWill work hard to be successful women in computer science. — Xinyan Li, Undergraduate Student at the University of Minnesota
- #IWill empower those around me to make sure that all voices are heard and respected, so we aren’t afraid to be ourselves! — Arushi Patel, Facebook
- #WeWill keep supporting one another and empowering one another. #IWill continue to be an advocate for young children and educate them about technology. — Klaudia Krawiecka, Ph.D. Student at the University of Oxford
Initiatives for Inclusion
Dance for Diversity
It was quite a sight to see an audience full of technical women do a choreographed dance! But, as Yamilée Toussaint Beach revealed during her session, “Making STEM Education Accessible Through the Immersion of Dance,” coding and dancing aren’t so different. Both require creativity and innovation, and most importantly, both are fun to learn! Yamilée, Founder and CEO of STEM From Dance, taught members of the audience a dance that mimicked a function in programming, explaining that this integrated approach helps her own students better understand technical concepts. Learn more about how STEM From Dance empowers and educates young women of color.
Getting Ahead as a Woman of Color
Women of color are under-tapped in the tech field, especially in leadership roles. Luckily, our speakers shared some great tips on how to resolve this issue during the session, “Represent! Getting Ahead as a Woman of Color in Tech Leadership.” Check them out!
- Find a sponsor or an ally to echo your good ideas.
- Come prepared to meetings. This helps increase your confidence, especially for introverts.
- Put everything in writing so that you can reference back to your ideas and use them as evidence for reviews and raises.
Advocates for Accessibility
People with disabilities often feel unsupported in the tech field. During the session, “Navigating the Tech Scene with a Disability,” our speakers talked about their own experiences living with a disability, and how it has affected their work life. Most importantly, they shared great advice on how to talk to others about disabilities, how to find support in school or the workplace, and the best ways to advocate for people with disabilities. We hope more organizations will focus on creating inclusive and accessible workplaces where everyone can thrive!
Reaching 50/50 by 2025
We at AnitaB.org are committed to achieving 50/50 intersectional tech equity by 2025, but how exactly will we reach this goal? Sara O’Brein of CNN Business spoke with our CEO, Brenda Darden Wilkerson, and COO, Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland, during the session, “AnitaB.org Vision: A Fireside Chat” to learn more about how AnitaB.org and our allies can help change the future of tech.
“The workplace should look like the world,” Brenda said. “If we’re going to get to an equitable work environment, it’s going to take everybody standing up and talking about what’s right.” She encouraged everyone to increase the visibility of women technologists, and for organizations to be transparent about their diversity numbers and create initiatives to improve them.
“This is a human rights enterprise,” stated Jackie. “We are putting a stake in the ground… and we remain, in the end, optimistic.”
We also gave away registrations for next year’s GHC to 20 lucky winners at this Fireside Chat. Congratulations to our winners, and see you next year!
Reversing the Narrative
Be Your Own Advocate
Data shows that businesses with diverse teams perform better, so why do so many women still face discrimination and unconscious bias in the workplace? Romy Newman of Fairygodboss revealed how women can combat this bias in her session, “Become A Gender Equality Superhero: Seven Ways To Thwart Gender Discrimination.” She encouraged women to seek out promotion and leadership roles, brag about their skills and accomplishments, and support their female colleagues in order to raise their visibility.
“When we all get to the top,” Romy said, “we’ll change the world.”
Each year, we present the Student of Vision Abie Award at Grace Hopper Celebration. Today, we heard from former winners Alyssia Jovellanos, Mehul Smriti Raje, and Chiara Amisola, along with this year’s winner Jhillika Kumar during the Student of Vision Award Winner Panel, “Building on Your Vision & Impact.” These young women spoke about how they got into tech, the people who supported them on their journeys, and what inspired them to found their companies. They also encouraged other women to create their own solutions to whatever issues they’re passionate about.
“If you’re not going to do it, who else is?” asked Alyssia.
Nominate someone you know for a Student of Vision Abie Award or one of our other Abie Awards!
Leaders in Politics
Staffers from key House Committees came together to discuss their work for the 116th Congress at today’s special session, “Opportunities to Lead — Women’s Voices in Today’s Tech Policy Landscape.” They highlighted key areas where subject matter experts are needed and how technologists can contribute to the evolving field of federal tech policy. They also spoke about Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson from Texas, the first African-American and the first woman to chair the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and of her signature bill, the STEM Opportunities Act.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this session was their advice to reach out to legislators to discuss important issues. “If you get an opportunity to be in front of your Congress member,” said Cate Johnson, House Science Minority Staff, “tell them one story about how you got into tech. They hear facts all day, but if you can tell a compelling story, that will stick.”
Coding for Change
We had multiple attendees at all technical levels join us for Open Source Day. During this code-a-thon, participants learned (or taught others) how to use open source software (OSS), and worked together to create humanitarian projects. They then got to show off their projects at the Open Source Day Gallery Walk and talk about them with other attendees. Thank you to all of our participants, mentors, and sponsors for helping make Open Source Day a success!
Join the AnitaB.org Family
There was plenty of networking going on at the Communities Hall today! For Elizabeth Bautista, founder of Filipinas in Computing, meeting all these new people is her favorite part of GHC. She was especially excited this year since, thanks to our scholarships, we were able to send four students and one faculty members all the way from the Philippines to GHC.
“Come to GHC to meet, collaborate, learn, and be inspired,” Elizabeth encourages all those interested in attending the Celebration.
If you are interested in learning more about our communities and programs, visit the AnitaB.org Booth (#631). You can also stop by to meet GHC Speakers or make a donation. Those who donate $25 or more will receive a commemorative gift as a token of our appreciation. You can also donate via the GHC 19 Mobile App.
Watch the Livestream
Missed the Opening Keynote or PitcHER competition? We’ve got you covered! Watch the Keynote recording here, or see the PitcHER session recording on our YouTube channel. Be sure to also check back to our livestreaming site on Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET to watch our coverage of the Closing Keynote.
For those of you who signed up for Virtual GHC, make sure you return to our livestreaming site tomorrow to watch exclusive coverage of some of our other sessions. Remember: You must be logged in with the same email you used to sign up for Virtual GHC.
Tweets of the Day
It is such an indescribable feeling of power and pride to be in a room full of black women in tech. It almost drives me to tears I love this so much. #GHC19
— Marietta Asemwota (she/her) (@Masemwota_) October 3, 2019
Arrived at #GHC19. This year’s theme is I WILL. What will you do for equity in tech? #IWILLinspireandempower #ABIEwinner pic.twitter.com/WwCxQLzi3W
— Aysegul Gunduz (@brainmappinglab) October 3, 2019
Remember to join us tomorrow (in person or via livestream) for the Closing Keynote. We’ll see you all soon!