Grace Hopper Celebration 2018
In September 2018, 20’000 women from all over the world gathered in Houston, Texas, to celebrate being women in tech. The Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists and has been held annually since 1994, honoring Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist, and a pioneer in computer programming (she invented one of the first compiler related tools). This was my first time attending this event and it was wonderful to meet with the best engineers, entrepreneurs, data scientists, researchers and inventors of the tech world.
The event was filled with amazing workshops, keynotes and conferences for every career level. These inspiring talks were aimed to increase not only the number of women in STEM but also, they were focus in diversity of gender, origins and innovation.
The opening keynote by Padmasree Warrior helped us kick off GHC 18, where she discussed autonomous vehicles and women in leadership. She also gave three pieces of advice on seizing opportunities:
- Open doors and go through them;
- Keep your eyes on the stars and feet on the ground; and
- Work across boundaries.
“You have to learn more than your own discipline… [and] make sure you’re paying attention to being inclusive,” she said. [https://ghc.anitab.org/news/commentary-perspectives/ghc18-daily-download-wednesday-september-26/]
The conference was full of inspiration and creativity. Every talk and conference targeted areas of improvement in our careers, from how to network correctly (One of the most important skills on every profession), how to become a person of influence, guides for entrepreneurs, discrimination and lack of empathy, how to balance family-work and social activities, and much more.
I personally had the chance of interviewing and talking with the biggest tech companies and familiarize myself with the demands and requirements asked nowadays. My advice for all the young women starting a career in tech is this, you are not alone, there is a whole community of remarkable women who overcame every obstacle to be on the front line of their profession: being from another country, language barriers, first time generation college students, society impediments, impostor syndrome and other difficulties. Yes, we are still a minority, but we were also pioneers in the computer field for decades.
#wearehere to make a difference
This conference also helped me get an 12-weeks internship with Allstate, one of the best insurance companies in the country.