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A Report on 2017 Grace Hopper Conference by PhD Student Rashida Hasan

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Rashida Hasan was one of the 679 GHC scholars among 18,000 women from all over the world who gathered in Orlando, Florida to attend Grace Hopper Conference which is popularly known as Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  It is the world’s largest gathering of women in computing to bring the research and career interests of all women in the field of technology. Every year Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery organize this conference.

This year, Rashida attended Grace Hopper Conference as a GHC scholar and she was also awarded travel grant as well stipend to attend this conference. This conference was held in Orlando, Florida from October 4, 2017 to October 6, 2017 . Many technical luminaries adorned the event by giving keynotes, technical sessions during this 3 day conference. The stories shared by keynote speaker inspires her a lot.  Melinda Gates (Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) was one of the keynote speakers who left the audience awestruck by her intrepid remarks "not every great idea comes wrapped in a hoodie and that right now, there is a girl in elementary school whose ideas will one day change the world. it’s time everyone starts seeing her that way."

There were around 100 technical sessions, talks, professional development workshop during the 3 day conference. Some of the talks Rashida attended include “Data Science Research”, “Confidence: How do I get more”, “Recommendation Systems and Personalization”, and “Building a career around your passion”. The conference also included a career fair which was an all-day event where over about 300 companies participated. It was a great opportunity for her to talk with industry people from Amazon, Google, eBay, Microsoft and so on. If you are prepared with your resume and if there is a match between your research interests with that of the company, GHC is great place to grab a lucrative job.

As a GHC scholar, she got an opportunity to talk with other influential women, engage herself with other women in computing and make connections with them. In fact, she learned more about herself, her passions, strengthens, weakens. Moreover, she was incited with the talks of some incredible women including Melinda Gates, Dr. Fei Fei Li, Diane Greene, Sue Black.

Rashida also enjoyed the Orlando city a lot. She got a chance to visit Universal Studios, Daytona Beach and Madam Tussauds Museum. She came back from GHC with a lot of energy, stimulus and with a vision to work for gender equality in the technology world.

And, Yes, individually women are powerful and together they are unstoppable.