Inspiring speakers, thought-provoking sessions, and 25,000 talented women technologists all in one place. That can only mean one thing — the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC 19) is finally here! We are so glad to be with you all here in Orlando, and are excited to see what amazing things #WeWill do together. Check out some of our favorite moments of Day One of GHC, and be sure share your favorite moments as well! Tweet us at @AnitaB_org, or use the hashtag #GHC19.
We Will. I Will.
This year’s theme is “We Will/I Will,” inviting our attendees to share their plans for and visions of the future. Download and fill out your own statement, and be sure to share it with us on social media. Use #WeWill or #IWill, along with the hashtags #AnitaB and #GHC19.
Here are some our favorite statements so far:
- #WeWill ignite the genius in every child. Whose genius are you going to ignite? — Ana Roca Castro, Founder and CEO of Genius Plaza
- #WeWill own who we are. — Dr. Natalya Bailey, CEO and Co-founder at Accion Systems and winner of the 2019 Emerging Technologist Abie Award
- #IWill change the world and help others. — Dr. Sanna Gaspard, CEO of Rubitection Inc. and First Place Winner of the 2019 AnitaB.org PitcHER™ Competition
Already have a plan in place for how to change the future? Download our Action Plan Template!
50/50 by 2025: The Vision of AnitaB.org
The energy in the room was high with anticipation as our CEO and President, Brenda Darden Wilkerson, welcomed the crowd at the Opening Keynote. “Have you ever seen so much talent, so much potential, and so much tech brilliance in one place?” she asked. Brenda spoke about our mission to reach 50/50 intersectional tech equity by 2025, and explained how individuals can help promote our cause.
“Increase the visibility and eliminate the erasure of women in tech,” Brenda said, asking everyone to use the hashtags #unErasable and #Overrepresent to highlight women technologists. “Commit to help,” she added. “And, bring others with you.”
“We are a microcosm of the power of women and our allies,” added our COO, Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland. “Together, we will move the world to 50/50 tech equity by 2025.”
“Take the Path Less Traveled.”
Ana Roca Castro, Founder and CEO of Genius Plaza, is no stranger to feeling discouraged. After coming to the U.S. at age 14, she was put in a low-level, bi-lingual math class (despite her aptitude for math) because she could not speak English. Luckily, her volleyball coach helped Ana get into a specialized bi-lingual class that was at her level, allowing her to excel in her studies. Now, Ana is supporting other students through Genius Plaza, a multilingual platform dedicated to closing the achievement gap, particularly among children of recent immigrants and at-risk students.
“The only way to find true happiness is to live a life of service. I dare you to do it,” she challenged the crowd.
Aicha Evans, CEO of the startup Zoox, also took the stage to discuss her work creating the first purpose-built, fully autonomous electric vehicle. Aicha left her position as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intel Corporation to work at Zoox, a decision that surprised many considering her and the company’s success. However, as she told the audience, taking risks is a great way for a person to learn and grow.
“I encourage you to take the path less traveled,” Aicha said. “Tackle the jobs and challenges others are afraid to.”
Meet the Winners
Abie Award Winners
“It’s okay to feel small. I still do sometimes. But together, we can be big enough to accomplish anything.” — Dr. Fei-Fei Li, winner of the 2019 Technical Leadership Abie Award
Celebrating its 15th year, our Abie Awards program honors distinguished women technologists and those who work to empower women. Today, we honored three of our 2019 winners on the main stage: Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Dr. Natalya Bailey, and Jhillika Kumar for the Technical Leadership, Emerging Technologist, and Student of Vision Abie Awards, respectively. We are so grateful for their contributions to their fields and for serving as great role models for women technologists around the world. If you know someone who is making a difference in tech, nominate them for a 2020 Abie Award!
Congratulations to Bank of America, Ultimate Software, and The New York Times, the winners of the 2019 Top Companies for Women Technologists program. These three companies had the highest overall score, categorized by the size of their technical workforce. Learn how your organization can pre-register for the 2020 Top Companies program!
Congratulations to the winners of our annual AnitaB.org PitcHER™ contest! During today’s contest, we heard from 11 leading women entrepreneurs about their startups, and were blown away by their hard work and success.
Thank you to our finalists, judges, and sponsors for your participation in this incredible event. And thank you to our GHC 19 audience for joining us for the session and voting for your favorite! Learn more about the winners of PitcHER below.
- First Place — Dr. Sanna Gaspard, Rubitection Inc.
- Second Place — Kristen Fang, SrattyX
- Third Place — Shanel Fields, MD Ally
- Audience Favorite — Lin Zhu, Loro, Co.
Excitement in the Expo
Connect and Learn
Whether you’re looking for a new job or want to learn more about the innovative technology the next generation is dreaming up, the GHC Expo is the place for you. Visit the booths from our GHC 19 Sponsors, meet with recruiters, or attend our many Poster Sessions. And don’t forget to pick up a bunch of cool swag to take home!
If you want to see the latest and greatest tech demos from our sponsoring companies, you’re in luck! The Technology Showcase is being held at the GHC Expo. All presentations will occur in the Technology Showcase Theater throughout the week. Click here for more details.
Visit the AnitaB.org Booth
Stop by Booth #631 to learn more about AnitaB.org, or attend Speakers Corner to meet Keynote and Featured Speakers, Abie Award winners, and Community Leaders. You can also make a donation to support our AnitaB.org/365 programs either at the booth or through the GHC 19 Mobile App. Those who donate $25 or more will receive a commemorative gift as a token of our appreciation. We hope to see you there!
Changing the Culture
Confronting Bias in the Workplace
During their session “How to Confront Sexists, Racists and Other Offenders Like a Boss,” Jennifer Plummer and Marie Mendoza from PROS Inc. explored the best ways to deal with inappropriate comments or actions in the workplace. They shared their three steps to solving this issue: Acknowledge the comment or action, articulate what was offensive about it, and address why it was offensive. Although you may feel awkward or nervous when confronting people at first, both women stressed how important it is to do so.
“Feedback can influence a company’s culture, especially when openly offered and received,” Marie said. “Just feel empowered to be your own self advocate.”
Inclusivity, Diversity, and Creativity.
Research indicates creativity is the most in-demand soft skill in the marketplace. But what exactly does “creativity” mean? “Creativity is generating ideas and innovation is implementing those ideas,” explained Sarah Yang during her session, “Unlocking Creativity Through Diversity.” She stressed the importance of having a diverse workforce, as diverse teams will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table, thereby driving creativity and innovation.
“But diversity alone will not unlock creativity and maximum performance,” Sarah said, noting that companies cannot attract or retain diverse employees without first creating an inclusive work environment. “We need a space for everyone to freely share ideas, a S.A.F.E. space where all can Share, Accept, be Fair, and have Empathy for creativity and diversity to abound.”
Connect with Us at Communities Hall
Want to network and collaborate with your peers? Looking for tips on how to further your career? Interested in joining one of our AnitaB.org communities? Join us at the Communities Hall (Hyatt Florida Ballroom B) for curated programming, community fairs, and meetups and socials! Use #CommunitiesHall to Tweet your photos and experiences from these sessions.
Watch the Livestream
Missed the Opening Keynote or PitcHER competition? We’ve got you covered! Watch the Keynote recording here, or visit our Facebook page to watch the PitcHER session recording. 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
Grace Hopper for me represents the power of “we”, an expression of unity where we look at each other as one people, no classification, no limitations, no negatives. Just powerful people coming together to impact technology & leadership. #AnitaB #GHC19 pic.twitter.com/AJJPTKrcvw
— Michele D. Guel (@MicheleDGuel) October 1, 2019
Less than 24 hours in and I'm already over the moon. It's such an overwhelming feeling to see the thousands of women attending #GHC19 I am proud of us all. ?
— Genesis Hernandez (@TheGenesis__) October 1, 2019
Looking forward to what Day Two brings! Until tomorrow, everyone!