Anita Borg Institute adn the Grace Hopper conferences have been instrumental in keeping me form leaving the computer field! It is so hard to work with all men and without the support of these folks adn the Systers list I woudl have give up long ago!
Thank you, Kari! It's wonderful to hear that our Systers community has provided such support. And also wonderful how you've given back by volunteering.
I went to GHC in 2008 for the first time. Being involved with the online communities truly enhanced my conference experience. I was able to meet several people online before the conference and then meet them in real life! After the conference, I've kept in touch with the women I met through the communities. Prior to the conference, I submitted my resume to the conference resume database. From that, I was contacted by several companies for interviews at the conference. As a direct result, I received a job offer! It was great to know that GHC really supports students by offering resume workshops and encouraging companies to recruit at GHC. At GHC 2008, my good friend, Ashley, and I started a video blog, Ed & Ashley's 5 Minute Show. Our aim is to create visible role models. Volunteer-created content is highly encouraged in the communities and we've loved speaking with lots of inspiring women. Thank goodness the Anita Borg Institute gave us such a great opportunity!
Thanks for sharing your story, Erin! We love the way students like you keep coming back to the Grace Hopper conference after graduation, and giving back to the community by volunteering, speaking, and serving as role models yourself. The Anita Borg Institute staff loves the way your video program, Ed & Ashley's 5 Minute show, highlights technical women. We share your desire to update our websites. Resource limitations keep us focused on our programs, but it's definitely on our list.
Wow -- where do I start? I first became aware of ABI when I attended GHC 2006. It was the first conference I had attended that was female dominated, and what a difference it made! Instead of being exhausted by constantly having to put myself "out there", I could relax and enjoy the technical and non-technical conversations, sessions, and networking. I came back to work invigorated, motivated, and energized. ABI has also been invaluable in hosting a community for Latinas in Computing, where we've been able to reach out to Latinas throughout the world to promote and develop them as they move through their career stages. The staff is dedicated and tireless in their advocacy, and their leading edge research has greatly benefited the women in my organization. Participating as part of the conference team has been tremendously rewarding, knowing that you are positively impacting the lives of women in computing.
Thank you so much, Patty! Your story is a great example of why we do this work. And Latinas in Computing is a model of what happens when we facilitate and support technical women in coming together. And while we are completely in favor of you winning Powerball :-) our partners in academia, industry and government do a fantastic job of supporting our work. We are grateful to them every day!
When I went to my first ABI conference, it was a life-changing experience. I was first introduced to ABI through Systers, and ABI program via email community for technical women. It was enlightening to know that other technical women share my struggles and career goals. Being able to share and vent was comforting, but also inspirational because I received incredible advice on my career track, how to tackle the "woman" issue in the technical world, and most importantly, how do I encourage other young women, including my own daughter, to pursue careers in technology. Thanks ABI for the continuous encouragement.
We completely agree that K-12 is a critical part of the pipeline. While our focus is on university and beyond, we collaborate with partners like the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) K-12 Alliance http://ncwit.org/alliance.k12.html You might want to check out the National Girls Collaborative Project, which has a national database of STEM-focused programs for girls: http://www.psctlt.org/ngcp/
I first learned about the Anita Borg Institute when I won a scholarship from them and Google. I travelled to New York City, where I met a group of amazing fellow women in computer science, most of whom I still keep in touch with. They were my first network of women in same field I ever had. While in New York, someone from the institute spoke to us via video link, and told us about the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC). I attended later that year with fellow co-founders of our school's Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group after I convinced them that we really could raise the funds and make it there. I strongly believe that GHC is the main reason our WISE group has succeeded as much as it has, and my own career has greatly benefited from the networking and learning opportunities there. I always feel re-energized to keep pushing myself to be the best I can in my career when I return. Now I try to pay it forward and give back to the Anita Borg community every way I can.
It is the commitment of volunteers like you that make GHC work! We look forward to hearing your ideas for Canadian outreach.
The Anita Borg Institute has touched me in many ways over the past few years and provided me with priceless opportunities to grow professionally as a Computer Scientist and also to expand my network. I have had the opportunity to travel, speak at conferences, and meet many valuable connections through their Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) and their scholarships and awards programs. Because of the wonderful experience I've had dealing with them through these activities, I decided to get involved as a volunteer to 'give back' and hopefully help others find these opportunities as well. Currently I am a volunteer as a member of the GHC Communities Committee, where I am working with other committee members to encourage and promote our online communities and reach out to women in Computer Science. I can honestly say I have never heard anything discouraging or negative from any of the Anita Borg Institute staff or volunteers. They have been very welcoming and open to new ideas and are genuinely happy with any effort, big or small, that volunteers can contribute. Having done a lot of volunteering throughout my life, I find it refreshing that they are as interested in my growth in skills, experiences, and professionalism as I am in helping them achieve their goals. I would highly recommend the Institute to anyone who would like to get involved or work with them on projects, events, or other activities.
We hope you'll take a look at the Industry and Technical tracks when we post this year's program (coming soon). We always work to balance the program between academic and industry tracks. We welcome your input on how to improve that balance, and how to help recent graduates transition to attending as professionals.