Dozens of students make trek from Pittsburgh to Orlando for the largest annual celebration of women in computing
Carnegie Mellon University is expanding its presence at the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world’s premier event for female technologists. Faculty, staff, alumni, current and prospective students are gathering this week in Orlando (Oct. 1-4) to share technological innovations, champion diversity in computing and network with one another to build confidence and grow their careers.
This year, the university supported more than 80 student scholars to attend. Ten CMU faculty and alumni will present on topics ranging from programming a quantum computer and scaling blockchain to intersectional sponsorship and returning to graduate school after a break. Produced by AnitaB.org and presented in partnership with the Association for Computing Machinery, the celebration is expected to attract over 25,000 participants. Last year’s event drew over 20,000 attendees from 78 countries.
“For students, attending Grace Hopper and being among so many incredible women leaders from industry and academia reaffirms their sense of belonging in computing fields, which are still heavily male dominated,” said Carol Frieze, director of Women@SCS and SCS4All. “CMU has been a national leader in recognizing the value of women in computing and in being committed to their success. Our commitment to GHC shows our commitment to all women in computing.”
In addition to supporting student scholarships, eight CMU units from across the university have joined together as sponsors to form a CMU “neighborhood” of adjacent booths in the Grace Hopper Career Fair and Expo.
More than 200 alumni and students are expected to gather for the CMU Grace Hopper Meetup on Thursday, Oct. 3.
For all participants, GHC provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with and learn from a global community of women.
“I love how so many women are passionate about being in tech and have strived through different kinds of challenges to make their mark and fulfill their dreams,” said Yaamika Dedhia, an information security master’s student in the Information Networking Institute (INI). “Listening to their stories is a huge inspiration to all the women out there.”
Luza Jaramillo, who graduated in 2011 with a master’s degree from the Information Networking Institute, is an organizer for GHC’s Latinas in Computing community. She is a four-time conference speaker and panelist, who first attended GHC in 2010 through a CMU scholarship. The experience inspired her to help create the Latin American Women in Technology Conference (LAtINiTY), a regional conference which held its fourth successful event this August in Costa Rica.
“We have to take action now if we want to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology and, once there, stay on track,” Jaramillo said.