The Grace Hopper Women Celebration of Women in Computing drew 14,000 women and 1,000 men from 83 different countries to Houston this week. Hundreds of tech companies hosted recruiting booths for current and prospective women engineers. In addition, universities, policy institutes and media outlets added a unique flavor to the event. The GroundTruth Project was on the scene to cover a variety of perspectives:
Name: Maybellin Burgos
Title: Anita Borg Institute, Latina Women in Computing
What is the significance of Latina women in computer science?
There’s a lack of representation of [Latinas] in computer science. We’re all so heavily involved in tech, and it’s a really important part of our daily lives. When there’s a lack of representation, there’s a lack in everything we do. For example, with Apple’s racial emoticons, I’m sure it was a person of color who pointed out, ‘Hey, I don’t feel represented in this.’
Name: Pedram Farjad
Title: Recruiter at Concur (SAP)
What is the importance of women in tech?
I’m a huge fan of women in tech in general. Any kind of diversity just adds [to it]. It’s nice to have a mix, whether it’s in technology or in another industry, and I think women have a lot to offer. Whether it’s gender or race or background or education or whatever it is, I think that the difference in background is great for the industry. My company is a sponsor here for a diversity initiative. We’d like to increase our female presence at SAP. We’re hoping to expose ourselves to women in technology and also do the opposite and expose women in tech to us.
Name: Michal Segalov
Title: Software Engineering Manager at Google Play
What is your message to women?
I’m here because Grace Hopper is an awesome conference celebrating women in computing and I’m a computer scientist, so I care about this type of thing. When people do what they love and what they are passionate about, that’s great. If that’s computer science, then that’s great, but it doesn’t have to be.
Name: Ann Ming Samborski
Title: Boston University student
How can women become more involved in tech?
OK, so, I’d like to say that I’m a firm feminist on this issue, but I’m not. I think the issue with women in tech is not necessarily that women aren’t accepted in the field, but more so that they’re not exposed to it … I think this conference is incredible because it puts out a lot of publications and public opinions in general, advertising for women in tech to discuss and learn about. But if I can recommend one thing to the field, it’s just to put computer science in more schools.
Name: Caleb Frankel
Title: Director of Account Management at Yello
What brought you to GHC?
I work for a small company out of Chicago which does [the] recruiting software that you see here at this conference. There are about 100 groups here that use our software to help their candidates source quality, incredible women in technology. Our technology enables people to track those candidates. Big data’s the big thing that we believe in, understanding where really talented women in technology are and where they want to be – and how they are growing as individuals – and incorporate that type of marketing in messaging to candidates.
This story was written as part of a Women in Tech fellowship sponsored by the GroundTruth Project and SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Other stories reported from the Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Houston can be found at the TechTruth Women in Tech site.