Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
|Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing|
|Publisher||Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and Association for Computing Machinery|
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) is a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the world's largest gathering of women in computing. The celebration, named after computer scientist Grace Hopper, is organized by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery. The 2020 conference was held virtually at the end of September 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 1994, Anita Borg and Telle Whitney founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. With the initial idea of creating a conference by and for women computer scientists, Borg and Whitney met over dinner, with a blank sheet of paper, having no idea how to start a conference, and started to plan out their vision. The first Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing was held in Washington, D.C., in June 1994, and brought together 500 technical women. More than a dozen conferences have been held from 1994 to the present; the second was held in 1997 and the conference has been held annually since 2006. The sold-out 2010 conference attracted 2,147 attendees from 29 countries. Beginning in 2011, the conference has been held in a convention center to accommodate its growing size.
The Grace Hopper Celebration consists of a combination of technical sessions and career sessions and includes a poster session, career fair, awards ceremony, and more. The conference features 650 presenters. Potential presenters submit proposals for panels, workshops, presentations, Birds of a Feather sessions, New Investigators papers, PhD Forum, and Poster Session, including ACM Student Research Competition.
The Grace Hopper Celebration features 20 tracks:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Systems Engineering
- Data Science
- Emerging Technology (new for 2019)
- Hardware (new for 2019)
- Human Computer Interaction
- Interactive Media
- IoT/Wearable Tech
- Mentoring Circles
- Open Source
- Organizational Transformation
- Poster Session
- Products A to Z
- Software Engineering
- Tech Meetups (new for 2019)
- Tech for Women
- Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (new for 2019)
The Grace Hopper Celebration features prominent women in technology as Keynote Speakers, Plenary Session Panelists, and Invited Technical Speakers. Speakers have included: Sheryl Sandberg, Shirley Jackson, Carol Bartz, Duy-Loan Le, Nonny de la Peña, Maria Klawe, Frances E. Allen, Mary Lou Jepsen, Barbara Liskov, Susan Landau, Jennifer Mankoff, Vivienne Ming, Susan L. Graham, Melinda Gates, and Fernanda Viegas. Speaker presentations are available to watch online after the conference.
Poster Session and ACM Student Research Competition
The Grace Hopper Celebration features one of the largest technical poster sessions of any conference, with over 175 posters. Presenters can choose to have their posters considered for the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) at the Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest SRC of any technical conference.
The Abie Awards honor women technologists and those who support women in tech. There are a total of eight Abie Awards: the Technical Leadership Abie Award, Student of Vision Abie Award, Emerging Technologist Abie Award, Educational Abie Award in Honor of A. Richard Newton, Social Impact Abie Award, Technology Entrepreneurship Abie Award, Emerging Leader Abie Award in Honor of Denice Denton, and Change Agent Abie Award. Each year, five Abie Awards are presented at Grace Hopper Celebration (the Technical Leadership Abie Award and Student of Vision Abie Award are awarded every year, while the remaining awards alternate each year). Past Abie Award winners include Ruzena Bajcsy, BlogHer, Elaine Weyuker and Unoma Ndili Okorafor.
CRA-W Career Mentoring Workshops
The Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) sponsors a series of sessions at the Grace Hopper Celebration aimed at undergraduates, graduates, and early career researchers. Sessions cover topics such as applying to graduate school, publishing papers, networking, work-life balance, and more.
K-12 Computing Teachers Workshop
Hosted by the Computer Science Teachers Association and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, the K-12 Computing Teachers Workshop is a two-day event for K-12 teachers, covering challenges and ways to involve more girls in computer science. The workshop began in 2009, attracting more than 650 applications its first year.
Technical Executive Forum
Begun in 2007, the Technical Executive Forum convenes high-level technology executives to discuss challenges and share solutions for recruiting, retaining, and advancing technical women. In 2010, 65 executives attended the event, from companies including Microsoft, Google, and Symantec.
Senior Women’s Summit
The Senior Women's Summit is a one-day event held at the Grace Hopper Celebration, that brings together senior-level women to discuss issues facing senior technical women and provide a learning and networking platform.
Grace Hopper Open Source Day
Grace Hopper Open Source Day was held for the first time in 2011. One-day registration is open to the public and included for all conference attendees. The event includes a codeathon, skill-building workshop, and exhibition space featuring open source projects.
Participating organizations have included Google Crisis Response, Mozilla, Sahana Software Foundation, The Women's Peer-to-Peer Network, Open Data Kit, Microsoft Disaster Response, OpenHatch, Wikimedia Foundation, E-Democracy, Systers, WordPress and OpenStack.
The Grace Hopper Celebration features a career fair with over 70 high-tech companies, government labs, and universities.
Students make up approximately half of the attendees at the Grace Hopper Celebration. The Anita Borg Institute offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students to attend the conference. The scholarship includes:
- Individual registration for the three-day conference
- Hotel accommodations
- Meal card for use at the convention center during the conference
- Travel stipend
In 2010, 321 scholarships were awarded. In addition to the GHC Scholarship, Anita Borg Institute offers the ABI-Heinz College Partnership Program. This is designed for students who have successfully completed their bachelor's degree, have been named a GHC Scholar by AnitaB.org, and are interested in obtaining a master's degree from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. GHC Scholars who are accepted into master's programs at the Heinz college are eligible for tuition scholarships of a minimum of $6,000 per semester.
Childcare and nursing mothers' room
The Grace Hopper Celebration offers free childcare to all attendees, as well as an on-site nursing mothers' room.
The GHC conference has been criticized for a lack of diversity, particularly racial diversity, and financial inaccessibility due to the high cost of attendance. In 2019, the cost of registration, not including hotel, transportation, or other costs, was $450 for students, $600 for academics, and $1,150 for general registration.
In 2015, GHC faced criticism, including from engineer Erica Baker, when two White men and zero black women were featured as "headline" speakers. The organization responded by targeting more diversity in speakers and collecting race and ethnicity data at the following year's event.
GHC does not pay its speakers. In past years GHC required speakers to purchase their own conference ticket, but as of 2020, speakers receive complimentary registration. (In the case of two selected poster presenters, only one will receive complimentary registration.) Speakers are not paid and travel and hotel expenses are not covered. The "pay to speak" approach has been criticized by people including author and software engineer Gayle Laakmann McDowell.
List of Grace Hopper Celebrations
Past and future Grace Hopper Celebrations include:
|Year||Location||Theme||Date||# of attendees||Links|
|2020||Virtual event||"Together We Build"||Sep. 26, 29 - Oct 3||Website|
|2019||Orlando, Florida||"We Will Change the World"||October 2-4||25,000||Website|
|2018||Houston, Texas||"We Are Here"||September 26–28||20,000||Website|
|2017||Orlando, Florida||October 4 – 6||18,000||Website|
|2016||Houston, Texas||October 19 – 21||15,000||Website|
|2015||Houston, Texas||"Our Time to Lead"||October 14 – 16||11,702||Website|
|2014||Phoenix, Arizona||"Everywhere. Everyone."||October 8 – 10||7,830||Website|
|2013||Minneapolis, Minnesota||"Think Big. Drive Forward"||October 2 – 5||4,758||Website|
|2012||Baltimore, Maryland||“Are We There Yet?”||October 3 – 6||3,592||Website|
|2011||Portland, Oregon||“What If…?”||November 9 – 12||2,784||Website|
|2010||Atlanta, Georgia||“Collaborating Across Boundaries”||Sep. 28 – Oct. 2||2,070||Website|
|2009||Tucson, Arizona||“Creating Technology for Social Good”||Sep. 30 – Oct. 3||1,571||Website|
|2008||Keystone, Colorado||“We Build a Better World”||Oct. 1 – 4||1,446||Website|
|2007||Orlando, Florida||“I Invent the Future”||Oct. 17 – 20||1,430||Website|
|2006||San Diego, California||“Making Waves”||Oct. 3 – 7||1,347||Website|
|2004||Chicago, Illinois||“Making History”||Oct. 6 – 9||899||Website|
|2002||Vancouver, Canada||“Ubiquity”||Oct. 9 – 12||630|
|2000||Hyannis, Massachusetts||“Interconnections”||Sep. 14 – 16||550|
|1997||San Jose, California||Sep. 19 – 21||600|
|1994||Washington, D.C.||June 9 – 11||500|
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