Earlier this month, 18,000 people descended upon Orlando for the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Technology.
We live in an amazing time, where the influence and impact of technology permeates every aspect of our lives. We rely on technology to do our banking, stay connected with our friends, book our travel, and to manage our schedules. And yet women make up a relatively small percentage of the technical workforce.
Anita Borg and Grace Hopper both did tremendous work to change that dynamic. The Grace Hopper Celebration is an inspiring effort that encourages and connects women technologists from all over the world.
This year’s event was held at the Orlando Convention Center and brought together 18,000 technical women to hear inspiration talks from Melinda Gates, Megan Smith – as well as industry luminaries and deep technical talks – all in the spirit of furthering the advancement of women in tech.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights the growth in computer science related jobs over the next ten years – and the Grace Hopper Conference is a tremendous way for HR professionals to get connected with women technologists.
Every company is a tech company now – from insurance to bricks and mortar retail, to recreation and travel – education, banking, and finance – every business is being disrupted by tech – and there are not enough candidates to fill these jobs, particularly in the US. The next wave of engineers will be made up of women who attended the Grace Hopper conference.
This year featured some incredible speakers, but most notably, the passing of the torch from Telle Whitney – who founded the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) in 1994, as a gathering for women in computing to Brenda Darden Wilkinson, new president and CEO.
GHC is a magical conference – it’s highly competitive to get in to, tremendously difficult to meet the bar as a speaker – and as a result, offers a high caliber experience for women in technology to hear great presentations, attend great workshops, ad connect with amazing people.
To build on the energy, AnitaB.org has created regional chapters through ABI Local - which help connect women technologists at the local level. (Shameless plug for Seattle.)
HR professionals looking to recruit and hire women in tech, please consider Grace Hopper, Anita Borg, and ABI.Local as places to consider…