From October 19 – 21, our Accenture Adventure Live Commentators attended the 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing where they networked with other women technologists, attended panel discussions, met other attendees, shared pictures and conducted video interviews with Accenture presenters at the conference. Here, Andrea, Katie and Danielle share some of their favorite moments from the conference, how they are championing technology careers for women, and advice for people looking to attend next year.
Being a female engineer, I have always been outnumbered. Attending the world’s largest gathering of women in computing—15,000 attendees—reminded me that doesn’t always have to be the case. New research from Accenture and Girls Who Code indicates that the share of women in the U.S. computing workforce could decline from 24 percent to 22 percent by 2025, so it’s important to encourage girls to pursue a computer science education. Positive interventions could triple the number of women in computing to 3.9 million, growing their share of technology jobs from 24 percent today to 39 percent in the same timeframe. Events like the Grace Hopper conference provide a means to take action.
|Being a champion for women in tech: The best part of the conference for me was having the opportunity to inspire students to pursue a career in technology. Talking with them about how I balance work, family, friends and hobbies showed them that Accenture can meet their needs. Having them thank me for making their decision clearer made it all worthwhile! I plan to attend more recruiting events and continue to promote technology as a career path for women.
Advice for 2017 attendees: Be prepared to be a role model everywhere you go. Some women may be scared to take on a male-dominated career; encourage them and let them know that there is plenty of space for them, too. I would also advise you to connect with the male attendees and thank them for their support. Through the network GHC has paved, we can attract and keep women in careers in technology.
Grace Hopper 2016 was a blast! It was empowering to be around so many smart and strong women dedicated to promoting careers in technology and closing the gender gap.
Being a champion for women in tech: This year I plan to volunteer to teach during Accenture’s Week of Code, which takes place during Computer Science Education Week.
CSEdWeek is held annually in recognition of computing pioneer, Admiral Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday—December 9, 1906. This year, it takes place December 5-11, and we’re partnering with Code.org and the Hour of Code Challenge.
|Advice for 2017 attendees: Now more than ever we need to advocate for women in technology careers. By participating in events like the Grace Hopper Celebration and Hour of Code we can help more women find rewarding careers in technology and close the gender gap!|
This was my first time attending and I was amazed at how many women came together to celebrate our progress in the field, and to learn more about the future of technology. Attending the different workshops was very insightful; for example, I attended a security tech node to get a better understanding of how hackers can identify gaps in security.
Favorite moment: Getting to try new virtual reality demos was one of the top moments for me. I loved being able to interact with characters that nobody else could see.
|Being a champion for women in tech: I’m involved with the Accenture Girls Who Code group in Houston and am working with our team to start a chapter at the local KIPP public charter school this semester. I also hope to start a chapter at my church, which is working to improve its college scholarship program. I feel that there is opportunity here to promote interest in technology careers, too.
Advice for 2017 attendees: Make sure to attend as many workshops as possible. Get there early for those that you are really interested in; if there’s a long line, don’t wait, go find your second choice. You can’t go wrong with any session you choose.