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June/July 2010

Diversity/Careers June/July 2010 Issue




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Grace Hopper Celebration slated for Atlanta in the fall

“Collaborating across boundaries” is the theme of this year’s tenth anniversary conference

Each Hopper includes awards and honors to outstanding women in technology. Here, ABI president and CEO Telle Whitney, left, presents change agent awards last year.In response to last year’s record-breaking attendance, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (www.gracehopper.org) has added a fifth day of speakers and workshops to its 2010 gathering. The conference will be held in Atlanta, GA, September 28 to October 2, 2010. Put on by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI), this is the largest technical conference for women in computing.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of “Grace Hopper.” The conference theme is “collaborating across boundaries,” a good name for a get-together which drew attendees from twenty-three countries last year. The last two conferences were held in Arizona and Colorado, so the return of the gathering to the East Coast is expected to draw even greater attendance.

“To be a growing conference, especially in this economy, is very exciting,” says Jerri Barrett, VP of marketing for ABI.

“We had substantial growth in the number of attendees last year. The final count was 1571, and we expect to hit between 1800 and 2000 this year!”

Standing room at some sessions
One of the hottest sessions in recent years addresses “the Imposter Syndrome,” experienced by women who have trouble believing in and internalizing their own accomplishments. “It’s usually standing room only,” says Barrett. “Our other speakers all say, ‘Please don’t put me up against Imposter!’ so we’ve decided to make it a plenary session this year.”

The Imposter panel features an array of technical women who will talk about their own self-confidence challenges. “It will help the attendees recognize that they are not alone,” Barrett says.

Great speakers expected
Sponsor night, a good dinner followed by a really great party, is the opportunity to dress up and have a wonderful time with friends old and new. This is the ‘09 version The first keynote speaker is Duy-Loan T. Lee, Texas Instruments’ worldwide advanced technology ramp manager. She oversees development projects, and has twenty-three patents of her own with seven more pending. In 2002 she was the first Asian and the first woman to reach Senior Fellow rank at TI, joining just four men already there. She’s still the only woman ever to hold the title at the company.

Also keynoting is Carol Bartz, CEO and a director of Yahoo! Bartz was formerly executive chair, president and CEO of Autodesk, Inc, and before that VP of worldwide field ops and an executive officer at Sun Microsystems.

2009 ACM Turing Award winner Barbara Liskov speaks at a third keynote session. Liskov is institute professor at MIT’s department of EE and CS. Her current research includes Byzantine-fault-tolerant storage systems, peer-to-peer computing, and support for automatic deployment of software upgrades in large-scale distributed systems.

Many other women of note can be found on the slates of technical speakers: great to listen to, even greater to rub elbows with at the fellowship-oriented breaks that form a treasured part of every Grace Hopper.

Noteworthy changes
Organizers are introducing several changes designed to enhance the conference for people with specific interests. They include an additional track focused on open source computing; a career fair layout rearranged for easier access, and a K-12 computing teachers’ workshop series put on in conjunction with the Computer Science Teachers Association.

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