By Edwina Dueñas, Communications Associate
Ten TechWomen fellows attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) from October 14-16 in Houston, Texas. This opportunity was made available to fellows by the Anita Borg Institute, which provided the TechWomen program a $35,000 award for sponsorship.
2014 fellow Mai Temraz from Palestinian Territories was honored with the Change Agent ABIE Award at GHC. This award recognizes international women creating opportunities for women and girls in technology. She also participated in the Change Agent and Social Impact ABIE Award Winners Panel on October 16. Mai serves as the mentorship and women’s inclusivity program coordinator at Gaza Sky Geeks, and was hosted at Everwise with mentor Katy Dickinson last October.
Fellows reconnected with their peers, spearheaded new connections with technologists around the world and gained new insight and inspiration from leaders in the field, including Megan Smith, United States Chief Technical Officer; Hilary Mason, Founder and CEO at Fast Forward Labs; and Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.
Below are some highlights of the women’s experience at GHC.
- Alaa Fatayer (2014, Palestinian Territories) and Josephine Ndambuki (2013, Kenya) joined TechWomen Director Arezoo Riahi on the Global Women Technical Leaders Program for the panel, “After the Grace Hopper Celebration: Building and Sustaining Community.”
“I was honored to be a part of the panel on building and sustaining community after GHC. After the session one lady reached out and wanted me to assist her form a community in her workplace. That was really exciting. We are already in communication. I look forward to being of help. Such is the power of networks.”
– Josephine Ndambuki, 2013, Kenya
- Hanan Youssef (2013, Egypt) also participated on the Global Women Technical Leaders Program for the panel, “Accessing Global Seed Funding: Supporting International Innovators.”
“My biggest take away was the power of women-focused events in energizing and rekindling all of us. I met and heard from successful, powerful and smart women that share many of the struggles I deal with every day and are still shining and breaking walls. On a more technical side, I loved the talks around open government, as well as many talks from technology companies. It was a magnificent experience and I leave the conference bigger and richer and I thank TechWomen and ABI so much for this opportunity.”
–Hanan Youssef, 2013, Egypt
- “The biggest takeaway I gained from GHC is networking. All the panels and sessions I attended were great opportunities to meet interesting speakers, staff of big companies and project managers. I established a lot of contacts for my personal project and for IT & web communities in Africa, especially for Cameroon. It was also a great opportunity for sharing experiences and building some business relationship between African and Arab Women in Computing through the dedicated reception and meetup. I also learned a lot through open source day and the exhibition hall.”
– Dorothee Danedjo Fouba, 2014, Cameroon
- “My experience here at the GHC has been an amazing journey of discovery, partnerships and networks. I met the woman who I had been speaking to virtually on the Systers platform! The plenary sessions and workshops were the most exciting experience for me as I met with thought-leaders who inspired me to be bold and take the risks and steps toward implementing my vision of starting an innovation acceleration and commercialization enterprise for women and girls in Africa. I know now how to go about making it a success and watch this space!”
– Rumbidzayi Rosemary Mlambo, 2013, Zimbabwe
- “GHC expanded my network because it introduced to me many interesting and amazing role models working in the technical field, as it brings the best and the brightest women from around the world together to exchange ideas. Through GHC, I established the network with different tech companies and NGOs that empower young girls in technology.”
– Marie Claire Murekatete, 2014, Rwanda