Dare to Transform at the Grace Hopper Celebration

Women technologists are underrepresented across tech, but thanks to organizations like Anita Borg, the world is moving towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world. Inspired by the legacy of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, AnitaB hosts the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), an annual flagship event to “bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront, and highlight the contributions of women to the tech world.”

Over 30,000 women in tech, allies, and sponsors spanning 115 countries came together virtually from September 27-October 1, 2021 to connect, inspire and drive inclusive technology that will share the future.

The School of STEM Division of Computing & Software Systems sponsored the celebration to increase the talent pipeline of women in tech and support the Anita Borg commitment of promoting intersectional gender equity in the global technical workforce. As part of the sponsorship 13 master’s degree students — 11 Computer Science & Software Engineering and 2 Cybersecurity Engineering — were awarded a complimentary registration and year-long membership to AnitaB.org.

Dare to…

The 2021 GHC theme was #DareTo — a call to action for everyone who dares to…push boundaries, change the landscape of technology, defy expectations, build something bigger, make technology inclusive, sit at the table (and then flip it over!), dream, lead, create, mentor, transform, inspire, and connect!

President and CEO of AnitaB.org, Brenda Darden Wilkerson kicked off the event with the amazing host and Emmy-winning television and radio personality Jeanne Sparrow (pictured on the right, next to Brenda). The celebration was full of virtual keynotes, sessions, workshops, competitions, awards, and mentoring and networking opportunities. Early, mid, and senior career women had a chance to attend mentoring circles to seek advice in small, targeted groups. A multi-day career fair gave attendees the opportunity to visit virtual booths to learn more about school and company sponsors.

Breana in a blue shirt on the left of Jeanne in a red shirt, on the stage for GHC

STEM Graduate Admission Advisor Dini Colabewala hosted a virtual career fair booth where she met with women in tech looking to take the next step in their career with a graduate degree. Attendees could pre-book Career Fair+ individual meetings at a specific day and time, or pop into the virtual booth to see live chats with prospects in real-time.

Sponsorships give back

The Division of CSS sponsorship supports diverse recruitment and gives STEM graduate students the opportunity to engage, learn, and work on their career development while in graduate school. A portion of each GHC sponsorship helps fund a year-round tech inclusion program for women who have been historically excluded from computing and tech, including women of color worldwide.