Friday, October 2, 2009
I am at the Grace Hopper Conference today in Tucson Arizona - here as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology. Check out the video the team made last night (and which is at the top of Digg this morning) - it will make you smile and give you sense of the power of this group of young women.
The conference is a spectacular success - 1600 attendees - 99% technical women and 50% students. The energy and enthusiasm for technology is contagious and exciting to see.
The Institute is all about women AND technology: helping women come into and stay into technology - particularly computer science today although we are expanding - and helping the influence of women on technology. We've gone from barely surviving 6 years ago when Anita died to now being a thriving organization with a budget of over $3M and an annual conference that is a sellout even in a recession year - and I fully expect that we will continue to grow from here.
Today we are very strong in the IT sector - the majority of our sponsors like Google, HP, IBM, Sun, Cisco, Microsoft, NetApp (to name just a few) to our newer sponsors like SAP and Symantec - are in the IT business but we have strong interest from the financial services sector and the government and defense sectors. I bet today we are going to be talking about how we staff up and bring up some sectors specific programs to bring the leaders in financial services into the Institute. I had the pleasure of meeting with senior women from companies like Goldman Sachs and BP last night and no matter how diverse their businesses are they need and use technology and want diversity in the workforce - and we can help!