I am using this opportunity to thank the Anita Borg Institute for women in Technology (ABI) and its ebullient President Ms. Telle Whitney and the award donor Fran Allen. Their vision actualized my dreams and the dreams of women from third-world countries by giving us the ability to attend one of the largest conferences in the world for women in computing. I am most grateful and appreciative of the award and all the opportunities it brought to me.
The award night was an eccentric blend of intellect and glamor. I was overwhelmed with the number of attendees who were women of substance from both an academic and governmental environment. This was my first time attending the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) or hearing its name and true to its theme it really made waves. It helped me to better understand the plight of women in science and technology and it even gave me hope when I realized that the problem wasn’t unique to a particular race, ethnicity, or color but a universal problem that must be solved collectively by all females.
The conference was very unique. The plenary sessions were very educational and captivating. Also interesting and very innovative were the poster technical sessions and the interaction between the various corporate sponsors and the participants who offered both employment and scholarship opportunities to interested participants. The idea of incorporating corporate sponsors’ events, employment opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and the treasure hunt into the conference were very interesting, entertaining, and educational at the same time.
Thanks to the networking I had with other GHC participants, I am planning to turn my pet project of “Take your daughter to work” into a non-governmental organization (NGO) where grants and scholarships can be sought from both local and international bodies. Through scholarships, grants, and workshops, I hope to encourage more females to study science and engineering. I spread the word about GHC to African countries, especially Nigeria, so that more women in the field of computing and engineering there will be aware of the annual conference and attend in order to exchange ideas and acquire more knowledge like I did. I strongly recommend expansion of GHC to Africa through workshops and seminars for women in the African continent.