By Amy Juelsgaard, Program Associate
Numerous TechWomen fellows and mentors attended the Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), in Houston, October 19-21, which brings together women in computing to discuss research and career interests. The event also highlights the success of female technologists through the institute’s ABIE Awards. This year, two fellows received ABIE Awards, including Janet Bih Shufor, 2013 fellow of Cameroon, and Amanda Gicharu, 2016 fellow of Kenya. Janet accepted the A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award for her work teaching girls to code and developing technological products. Amanda, who co-founded Tech Republic Africa, a startup that creates technology education experiences for youth to increase capacity, engagement and innovation within the science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) fields, received the Change Agent ABIE Award.
— Katy Dickinson (@katy_dickinson) October 21, 2016
The event included presentations on various topics and professional development activities. TechWomen mentors Katy Dickinson and Raewadee Parnmukh participated in panels and delivered presentations on, “Doing Good with Data: Human-Centered Data Science for Social Good” and “How to Make a Microchip,” respectively. A 2011 Professional Mentor and Vice President of Engineering at Google, Anna Patterson, won the Technical Leadership ABIE Award in recognition of her contribution to technology and achievements in enhancing women’s impact on technology.
— Mai (E41MT-KD9CJN) (@AmateurClub2) October 20, 2016
GHC served as an opportunity for TechWomen fellows and mentors to connect with like-minded individuals and develop a powerful network. “We are talking about innovation with 15,000 people present from 83 countries. This is a movement of women in technology aimed at shaping women in innovation. It is amazing to have women at the table creating technology, making devices smarter and building the foundation of the next generation of innovators,” Sophie Ngassa, 2014 fellow of Cameroon and 2016 GHC Scholar, said.
On the final day of the event, Open Source Day, participants had the opportunity to develop projects with global impact in a day-long hackathon. Francisca Oladipo, 2016 fellow of Nigeria, worked on a project for Systers to teach adolescent girls about reproductive health and self-esteem through an educational mobile application called PowerUp.
Other alumnae in attendance included, Mai Temraz, 2014 fellow of Palestinian Territories and 2015 recipient of the Change Agent ABIE award; Nour Al-Khalil, 2012 fellow of Jordan and 2016 ArabWIC Scholar; Nisreen Deeb, 2013 fellow of Lebanon and 2016 ArabWIC Scholar; Estelle Ndedi, 2016 fellow of Cameroon; Arielle Kitio, 2016 fellow of Cameroon; Ndisha Mwakala, 2016 fellow of Kenya; and TechWomen mentors Erica Lockheimer, Ishita Majumdar, Saura Naim, Larissa Shapiro and Benedicte Richardson, among more fellows and mentors.
Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer for the United States, gave the keynote speech on Friday sharing untold stories of women in science and technology. Embodying the spirit of the TechWomen program in its mission to empower women in STEM by creating a global network, she said, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”