Blog Posts by Telle Whitney and Guests Tech Her
Inspiration and Enthusiasm at the Grace Hopper Celebration India
Last week was our third Grace Hopper Celebration in India! I just returned over the weekend, inspired, jet lagged and excited about the future of technical women in India.
We had over 800 attendees, including about 200 students. The quality of the conference content was outstanding. What was most exciting to me was the engagement of the committee, there were many people who felt ownership of their sessions, and it showed.
The keynotes were all good this year:
Kirthiga Reddy from Facebook launched the event. She is head of Facebook in India, and a star in the Indian Business Community. She asked the question, what would do if you weren’t afraid? It was a great opener for the conference.
Nora Denzel gave an updated version of her keynote from the Grace Hopper in Minneapolis. It was very well received; she was surrounded by interested attendees every time I saw her.
Raji Arasu, an Indian woman and the CTO at StubHub, welcomed the students to the Career Fair.
Meena Ganesh, an entrepreneur and MD provided the Friday morning keynote about her entrepreneurial journey.
All of these keynotes are available as video through the Grace Hopper Celebration website on YouTube, follow the virtual link.
What else was different this year? There were a lot more students. We had 200 students, and the entire conference atmosphere was different – you could feel the energy and enthusiasm from the students. Students were constantly surrounding all of the speakers and leadership, including me. We had help from ACM India, IEEE as well as NASSCOM and several India leaders to reach out to the students, and were able to provide 80 scholarships.
The women’s entrepreneurial quest, in its second year, featured six inspiring entrepreneurs – each with experience and savvy. Many had companies that were up and running. You can view their pitches on YouTube.
For the first time I walked away seeing the community of technical women in Indian coming together. I walked away with hope of an extraordinary future for the Anita Borg Institute in India, of making a difference for technical women.
Jagruti Bhikha is the Anita Borg Institute’s new Director of Grace Hopper India, and she did a fabulous job.