Palo Alto, Calif., October 14, 2015: AnitaB.org, a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing announces the launch of ABI.Local, a network of locally organized communities that brings together women technologists in cities around the world.
Developed under the guidance of AnitaB.org and with seed funding from Google and an anonymous donor, ABI.Local helps technical women get connected, find new opportunities and meet their career goals. In a short period of time, ABI.Local has already reached nearly 1,300 people around the world, with widespread global interest from women technologists in the Middle East, Africa, Singapore and Minnesota, among other regions.
“We are thrilled to launch ABI.Local — this is a pivotal step toward expanding and strengthening the network of women technologists, including underrepresented minorities and LGBTQ communities, locally and around the world. Establishing and growing a strong community of women who share our interests and career goals is imperative to keeping women in the field and broadening the appeal of a technical career to young women,” said Telle Whitney, CEO of AnitaB.org. “We are very appreciative of the generous funding and support provided by Google and an anonymous donor throughout the development and deployment of this important program.”
ABI.Local launched communities in New York in 2014 and Delhi, India, earlier this year. Today, ABI.Local launches in eight more cities including Boston, Washington D.C., Austin, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Houston, and London, with plans to expand significantly in the coming year. The launch also includes the unveiling of the ABI.Local website in beta to serve as an online hub for women in these cities and other local communities around the world to connect and network.
On Friday, October 16, the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing (GHC) will hold a special session at 10:30 a.m. entitled SO YOU WANT TO START A LOCAL AnitaB.org COMMUNITY? Building blocks for creating a thriving ABI.Local community, with ABI.New York founding committee members representing BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, Thomson Reuters and Time, Inc.
ABI.Local communities will hold events in their local cities, including GHC/1™, a community-driven one-day version of the hugely popular Grace Hopper Celebration. ABI.Local events will also include technical talks, networking receptions, panels, hackathons and workshops featuring local women technologists.
In March, ABI.New York organizers hosted a GHC/1 event, which brought nearly 400 women technologists together from the tri-state area to network and connect at Time, Inc. in New York City. ABI.New York also held a 300-person networking reception at the BNY Mellon Innovation Center in September.
“I am incredibly fortunate that all I have to do to access such a supportive community of women in computing is take a bus across the Hudson River,” said Laura Barreto, a junior computer science major at Vassar College who attended the GHC/1 event. “ABI.New York’s GHC/1 event acted like an affinity space for me — we are all tri-state area women techmakers coming together to share our joys and woes of being involved in an industry that is run predominantly by men.”
In August, ABI.Delhi-NCR — which serves the Indian capital of New Delhi and the surrounding National Capital Region — held its inaugural networking reception, attracting 300 women technologists from the area.
“After attending the networking reception, I am geared towards a new outlook to my research and life,” said Ridhi Sethi, an attendee. “I learned the importance of valuing yourself, being original, getting out of your comfort zone and discovering your true self.”
Starting this week, 13 ABI.Local GHC viewing parties will take place around the world, including in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Washington D.C., Chicago and Silicon Valley. An expected 2,000 people will watch the events at the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration unfold.
“It has never been more important to have communities like ABI.Local that connect and support women technologists locally and globally. This sense of community is critical to breaking down the barriers — feelings of isolation, unconscious biases and a lack of visible role models — that keep women from pursuing and staying in technical careers,” said Nancy Lee, Vice President of People Operations at Google. “We’re thrilled that Google is a part of this exciting launch and look forward to seeing how the ABI.Local community grows and evolves across the globe.”
AnitaB.org for Women and Technology (ABI) connects, inspires and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, our reach extends to more than 65 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. AnitaB.org is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization. For more information, visit anitab.org. AnitaB.org partners with some of the world’s leading companies to advance women in computing. Learn more about AnitaB.org’s Partners here: http://anitab.org/partner-with-us/our-partners/.
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Our diversity efforts are a natural extension of our mission to increase access to information. We aspire to increase access to opportunity by breaking down barriers and empowering people through technology. We know that our products will only get better and become more useful if our workforce reflects the globally diverse audience that our search engine and tools serve. So being a diverse company not only makes great business sense, it’s also the right thing to do. Technology has the potential to change lives, and together we can create more ways for everyone to participate.