Wednesday, October 9, 2013

GHC and Gender Issues

I remember, as a child, learning the history of the oppression of women in my country and that in some countries far away, women were still not accepted as equals. This made me very uncomfortable and, admittedly a little outraged, but glad that I lived in a time and place where gender equality was prevalent. As a pre-teen, however, I learned (to my dismay) that even in my own country, women were still underrepresented in important fields like politics, science and technology (not to mention, often paid less than men in the same roles).

I believe that increasing the number of women in technology (and other important fields) enriches the field as it introduces new perspectives and talent. In most systems, diversity increases the quality of the output. Gender diversity in the workplace is no exception. An increased number of women in computing also amplifies the voices of women in society, coming one step closer to true gender equality. The relationship is symbiotic in that the field of technology enriches the lives of the women involved as well.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing puts these gender issues on the table and actively works to rectify them. It unites women in computing creating a community that celebrates, encourages and inspires thereby helping to keep women in computing in the field and encourage outreach. This conference offers a uniquely welcoming, supportive and fun (ice cream and dancing!) atmosphere, brilliant academic presentations and discussions as well as informative skill development presentations. The success stories of how women have leveraged technology to make an impact are truly inspiring. I would absolutely recommend this conference to other women in technology and will certainly be attending again in the future.