Commentary & Perspectives

#GHC17 Daily Download: Thursday, October 5

Welcome back to Day Two of #GHC17! It was another exciting day here in Orlando, with so many great sessions and inspirational speakers. Here are just a few highlights.

What was your favorite part of today? Tweet us at @anitab_org, or use the hashtag #GHC17.

I AM…

The back of Erica McDonnell's "I AM" sign, which says, "I Am determined to push open doors and hold them open for those who follow."Our “I AM” movement continues with some great statements from our attendees! Among them:

  • I AM determined to push open doors and hold them open for those who follow. –Emma McDonnell (@ej_mcdonnell)
  • I AM fitting only in my own molds! –Sofia Yfantidou
  • I AM an engineer and ready to change the world. –Katherine Shim
  • I AM excited that it’s never too late to make a difference! #GHC17 –Mary VanBuhler

Write your own “I AM” statement at the AnitaB.org booth (#2529), and be sure to share a photo of it on our Mobile App!

Creating Change

Keynotes: Don’t Clip Your Wings

Debbie Sterling talks on the main stage at the GHC 17 Thursday KeynoteDespite her many impressive accomplishments, including helping to create groundbreaking technology in digital cinema, Mary Spio wasn’t immune to gender bias during her career. “I got kicked out of the company I helped launch, just because I was pregnant,” she said. She continued to soar, however, thanks to the inspirational words of her father: “Don’t clip your wings to fit someone else’s mold of you … Your difference is what’s going to allow you to do something different.”

This same mindset drove Debbie Sterling to start GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company. Debbie was determined to create an engineering-based toy aimed at young girls, despite the fact that few investors believed in her at the time. “They’re mired in the past, and it’s our job to build the future,” she proclaimed.

ABIE Winners: Empowering Girls through Education

Marie Claire Murekatete. winner of the 2017 Change Agent ABIE Award, stands in front of a screen that says "2017 ABIE Awards" and gives a speech behind her podium on the main stage during the GHC 17 Thursday KeynoteBoth of our ABIE Award winners, who appeared on the main stage today, spoke of their efforts to support and equip the next generation of female technologists. Mercedes Soria, winner of the ABIE Award for Leadership, has mentored women from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Marie Claire Murekatete, winner of the Change Agent ABIE Award, was a vice president of GIRLS IN ICT Rwanda, which empowers young girls to pursue STEM careers.

Mercedes and Marie Claire spoke in depth about their inspiring journeys and contributions during their ABIE Panel. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s ABIE Panel, and join us at the Friday Keynote to meet the last of our ABIE Award winners!

Taking New Paths

Looking for a Job?

Whether you’re looking for job opportunities, an internship, or really cool swag, the Career Fair has it all! There are a ton of booths for you to visit and learn more about the schools and organizations that sponsor GHC 17. “It’s awesome being around people who are smart, into technology, and want to change the way people look at women,” said Cara Sciorilli, a sophomore at Northeastern University.

Participating in the Mobile App Game? Be sure to drop by the AnitaB.org booth tomorrow at 1 p.m., where we’ll be giving our grand prize to the person with the most points!

Advice from a Tech Superstar

Dr. Telle WhitneyDuring her session, Telle Whitney, our outgoing CEO, spoke about life changes, something many of us fear. “Transitions are hard,” she admitted, “but if you approach your life with joy, openness, and through the eyes of friends, they are exciting. In fact, transitions can be the best part of your life.” We wish you the best of luck, Telle, as you start a new chapter in your own career!

Is Board Work Right for You?

During the Senior Women’s Program, AnitaB.org Board Member Nora Denzel delivered nonstop practical advice for how to know whether you should be on a Board. Her best suggestion? “Date” the company you want to join! Approach the Board, express interest, then let them come to you.

Together, We are Strong!

Fighting Unconscious Bias, One App at a Time

It can be disheartening to read stories of harassment in the workplace or manifestos arguing the inferiority of women technologists. But Stephanie Lampkin saw this problem as an opportunity to find a solution and make a change. She started her own company: Blendoor, a mobile app that combats unconscious bias during the hiring process by concealing irrelevant data such as gender and age. It’s time for people to judge others based on merits, not molds!

Finding Your Support Group

Our Community Socials allow members of our Systers affinity groups to identify themselves culturally and network with other women in tech. Brenda Darden Wilkerson, our new CEO, attended our Black Women in Computing Social as well as our Women of Color Social, where she told the crowd, “I want you to reach out to people, and know that together, we can get anything done.”

Attend one of our Socials tomorrow, and find your support group!

Tweet of the Day

 

We can’t wait to see all of you for our final day of #GHC17!