ABI Comes to New York
On the evening of Tuesday, March 12, 100 technical women (and some men who support them) gathered at Facebook in New York to network and learn about the Anita Borg Institute. ABI has been asked by people in the New York community to bring our expertise to their exploding technical scene. We want to help make sure that women are positioned to participate fully in the innovation which is creating the future there.
The evening program started with a welcome by Francine Berman, Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Vice-Chair of the ABI Board of Trustees. Fran inspired the women in the room to each appreciate themselves for the positive impact they have on the world, through their contributions to their organizations as technical women. Next, Jody Mahoney, ABI VP of Business Development, told the audience about the Anita Borg Institute and what we hope to bring to New York. Our MC was Barbara Gee, ABI VP of Programs, and she kept the whole evening running smoothly.
Our headlined speaker was Hilary Mason, Chief Scientist at bitly. She spoke about data science, and showed us new and interesting ways to think about data. Today’s study of big data allows us to look at human behavior through large data sets, in ways that were impossible only a decade ago. Hilary showed a number of examples of how to look at data in ways that can solve important problems, or that are just interesting ways to investigate how people behave in different environments.
Finally, Telle Whitney, ABI CEO, closed the evening. She encouraged the women of New York to join us as we build a movement to transform the technical workplace, and drive action on behalf of technical women.
The excitement in this room of technical women was awe-inspiring! Women from BlackRock said, “It’s so good to know there is a thriving tech community in New York.” Many women commented on how exciting and inspiring it was to see so many local technical women. Women from CA Technologies said it was “the best event they had been to in years.” Many attendees offered to join an organizing committee or get involved in any way that they can. Women were networking (and laughing!) until the very end when we had to close the room.
This event was ABI’s official debut in New York. We are investigating how we can best bring our expertise in inspiring and advancing technical women to this already vibrant technical community. We plan to bring programs of value to the community, with the quality that ABI is known for. We wish to augment the many resources that already exist in New York, and perhaps help knit those resources together and fill in gaps where we can add value. Our desire is to work with the technical women in New York to see what their needs and barriers are, and address those.
ABI would like to thank the sponsors of our New York Kickoff: Facebook, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and CA Technologies.
If you are a New York technical woman, and would like to help design and build this new ABI local community, please join our LinkedIn group.