Part of my job at Computing Reviews (CR) is to attract more reviewers to contribute their opinions, which led me to the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) and my first Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Computing (WIC). The people I met at the conference were more than scientists--they were artists, humanitarians, educators, and mothers. They want to make the world better.
The camaraderie of the group was astounding–3,600 women involved in technology, almost half of whom were undergraduates seeking guidance and encouragement. Even for professionals like me, the inspirational spirit was inevitable. Some highlights from the sessions were: “Publishing Your Research,” presented by one of our reviewers, Maria Gini; “Letter to My Younger Self,” which provided some great working advice to both students and professionals; and keynotes by Nora Denzel and Anita K. Jones. These were among many interesting and informative talks; however, my favorite hours were the lunchtime table topics and the networking events, where I feel I was able to make some great connections with amazing people of all ages.
I had the pleasure of meeting with the President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, Dr. Telle Whitney, who held the first Grace Hopper WIC conference with Dr. Borg in 1997. The ABI mission is to “increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology and increase the positive impact of technology on the world’s women.” I left the conference feeling smart, empowered, and ready to change the world, starting with Computing Reviews. Our current reviewer base is made up of less than 15% women. Unfortunately, this low percentage is equally common in technology workplaces and CS departments throughout the world. In the coming years, we hope to join ABI’s initiative to address this. Stay tuned for more developments, and feel free to share your ideas with us!