Commentary & Perspectives

#GHC17 Daily Download: Wednesday, October 4

Welcome one and all to the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration (#GHC17)! This year’s celebration is especially exciting for us, as our organization is going through some pretty big changes. We have a new CEO, a new logo, and a new name: AnitaB.org, a play on our founder’s name and a reminder of our nonprofit mission.

Check out some of the highlights from Day One of the celebration, and let us know what your favorite moments were. Tweet us at @anitab_org, or use the hashtag #GHC17.

Join the “I AM” Movement!

Faceted image with arrow pointing up and to the rightOur new logo, made up of intersecting colors and shapes, reflects the diverse group of women technologists we serve and support. Help us celebrate this incredible, dynamic community by coming to the AnitaB.org booth (#2529) and creating your own I AM sign that defines who you are in your own words. We can’t wait to see it!

Aicha Evans, AnitaB.org Board Member and emcee of the GHC 17 Keynotes, stands on the main stage with her "I AM" statement: "I AM a conductor for change."Need some inspiration? Here’s what a few of our attendees have written so far:

  • I AM a leader of future leaders. – Judy Forinash, attendee
  • I AM a developer and I want to mentor!!! – Erum Saba, attendee
  • I AM unbiasing the dataset of tomorrow. – Sherrell Dorsey (@Sherrell_Dorsey), attendee 
  • I AM a conductor for change. –  Aicha Evans, AnitaB.org Board Member and emcee of the GHC 17 Keynote Sessions

Changing the Direction

Keynotes: Leading Change in Tech

Melinda Gates stands behind a podium and talks on the main stage during the GHC 17 Wednesday KeynoteWe kicked off Day One with some AMAZING keynote speakers! Dr. Fei-Fei Li talked about her experience as an immigrant as well as her current work in artificial intelligence. “The A.I. of the future shouldn’t just benefit us all,” she said. “It should reflect us all as well.” Melinda Gates spoke about the importance of diverse teams, and shared key points for promoting diversity, including reaching out to girls at an early age.

Telle Whitney, our outgoing CEO, also took the stage to introduce our new CEO: Brenda Darden Wilkerson. It was a moving gesture when Telle passed her “I AM” statement to Brenda– “I AM the leader of this movement!” Thank you, Telle, for all that you’ve done! And thank you, Brenda, for joining us in our mission! We’re so excited at what lies ahead.

ABIE Winners: Sailing towards Success

Diane Greene, Winner of the Technical Leadership ABIE Award, revealed that as a young girl, her father used to let her steer their boat when they went sailing. “Sailing taught me who I am, and gave me a sense of self-sufficiency and calm in the face of adversity,” she said. This belief in herself and her ability to confront challenges led her to found VMware, which changed the world of computing.

Dr. Sue Black OBE stands behind the podium in front of a screen that says "2017 ABIE Awards" The desire to instill a similar sense of confidence in other women is what inspired Dr. Sue Black OBE to found #techmums, which empowers mothers and their families through technology. Mehul Smriti Raje, our Student of Vision ABIE Award Winner, helped ignite new technologists by organizing computing contests at her school, and directing the “Spectacular Female” YouTube series. Stay tuned for tomorrow, where we’ll learn more about some of our other ABIE winners

Top Companies Shout Out

Congratulations to Accenture, GEICO, and ThoughtWorks for winning our Top Companies for Women Technologists program, and to IBM for winning our new Momentum Award. These organizations made impressive gains in building more diverse and inclusive environments.

Are you biased? You might be surprised.

A GHC 17 worker stands in front of a poster of Grace Hopper that says, "Debugging bias"

How can people address gender bias within their companies? This was the primary focus of today’s session on “Consciously Tackling Unconscious Bias.” Participants took a real-time online quiz (“Project Implicit”) to identify their own bias and to learn how to overcome it. Curious? Take the test here.

 

Connect with the Community

Getting to Know Technical Leaders

Brenda Darden Wilkerson, CEO of AnitaB.org, smiles on the main stage as she gives a speech at the GHC 17 Wednesday KeynoteLots of eager attendees came to the AnitaB.org booth to meet Telle Whitney and former White House CTO Megan Smith. Attendees asked questions and expressed their excitement over GHC. “It’s a convention center full of smart women and they give you free coffee,” said Jenny Polodna, a computer science major at the University of Wisconsin. “I could not be happier.”

Attendees also got to hear some powerful advice from Brenda Darden Wilkerson at her featured session: “You were put here to do something uniquely… Fear is only the enemy if you give in to it… If you know it’s the right thing to do, go for it and succeed.”

#Systers30

Happy 30th anniversary, Systers! To celebrate, Systers held a panel made up of members who shared how the online forum changed their lives. “I could really relate to what they were saying, and I felt I was not alone,” said Neetu Jain. “The community is really active in giving the time to write thoughtful emails to help people they may not even know at all,” added Dilma Da Silva. Read inspirational stories from our Systers, and learn how you can join this fantastic support network!

BRAID: Supporting the Next Generation

Two Indian female students, a white female student, and a Muslim female student sit at a table for the 2017 BRAID Welcome ReceptionAt our BRAID Welcome Reception, faculty and students from our BRAID schools were ready to network and excited to be at GHC. “I hope to learn about companies and job opportunities,” said Rosetta Pendeleton. “Being here is a great confidence booster,” added Perrin Kern.

Points for Prizes

Enjoying the celebration? Share your favorite moments of GHC by participating in our Mobile App Game! Earn points by posting photos, sending tweets, scanning QR codes, and more. We’ll be giving out prizes every day of GHC at the AnitaB.org Booth.

Tweet of the Day

Be sure to join us tomorrow morning for our Thursday Keynote session! And don’t forget to write your own “I AM” statement. Pick up your “I AM” sign at the AnitaB.org booth, and share a photo of you with your statement on our mobile app.

See you tomorrow!