ABI’s Specialized Program for Women Technologist Peer Groups Develops Skills for Tech Sector; Encourages Career Growth in Computing
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — October 2, 2013 – The Anita Borg Institute, (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing, and LeanIn.Org, a private foundation focused on encouraging women to pursue their ambitions, today announced the launch of ABI Lean In Circles at ABI’S annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, commencing today in Minneapolis, MN. ABI is developing a curriculum specifically designed for women pursuing careers in technology that complements Lean In’s growing library of free online lectures from Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and other well-known experts.
Lean In Circles are small peer groups that meet regularly to learn and share together. There are currently over 9,000 registered Circles in all 50 states and over 50 countries.
“Lean In Circles are pivotal to our overall mission at Lean In,” said Rachel Thomas, president and founder of Lean In. “Connecting women together, and providing opportunities for them to support each other, builds strong networks and fuels the exchange of ideas and information. It’s fantastic to see the extension of Lean In Circles through our corporate and non-profit partners.”
ABI Lean In Circles are designed specifically for women who are pursuing—or considering pursuing— technology careers. ABI is developing specialized discussion guides, videos, training, and resource materials to help women recognize their strengths, set goals, overcome challenges and have successful careers in technology.
ABI Lean In Circle’s curricula focus on both young women who are considering a technical career and early and mid-career women who are ready for their next stage of growth. ABI tailored its curricula based on input from women in technology at different stages in their careers. For example, young women exploring a field of study or future career can tap into video testimonials from early career women discussing why technology was the right path for them and how they dealt with their transition from student to professional. Resources for mid-career women deal with issues around building technical credibility through activities like patenting, presenting research papers and speaking at technology conferences. Future modules may also address key issues of isolation and role models.
ABI announced the launch of the ABI Lean In Circles at its annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The theme of the event this year, “Think Big, Drive Forward,” was designed to inspire women to dream big and act ambitiously in their computing careers. Keynote speakers include Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.Org; Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College; Megan Smith, Vice President of Google[x]; and Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of DARPA. GHC is the largest gathering of women technologists in the world, and has attracted over 4,600 participants from over 40 countries in industry, academia, and government.
“We are very proud to be partnering with Lean In and particularly excited about offering training, tools and programs as part of a curriculum focused on women in technology,” said Telle Whitney, CEO of the Anita Borg Institute. “Women in different fields face unique challenges and opportunities and it was important for us to leverage our deep knowledge of women in engineering and computer science positions and offer a set of modules specifically designed to help them successfully navigate their careers in this field.”
Anita Borg is using Mightybell’s new community feature to host and operate their Lean In Circles. Mightybell Communities allow large groups to gather virtually and then organize into smaller Circles. Mightybell is unique in giving organizers the ability to create and publish collections of content that appear in every Circle. Circle members can use this community content, create their own content, privately chat with other members, and organize in-person meetups.
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About Lean In
LeanIn.Org is the non-profit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to encourage and empower women to pursue their ambitions. The organization’s goal is to offer women ongoing inspiration and support through an active online community, free online lectures and Lean In Circles, the small peer groups that meet regularly to share and learn together. Since the organization’s launch in March 2013—following the release of New York Times bestseller Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead—the Lean In community has grown to nearly 300,000 members, with over 9,000 Lean In Circles in 50 states and at least 50 countries.
Lean In Foundation (d/b/a LeanIn.Org) is recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt private operating foundation under section 501(c)(3).
About The Anita Borg Institute (ABI)
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) connects, inspires, and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, our reach extends to more than 42 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. As a social enterprise, we recognize women making positive contributions, and advise organizations on how to improve performance by building more inclusive teams. ABI partners include: Cisco, Google, HP, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Amazon, CA Technologies, Dell, eBay, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, Marvell, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, NetApp, SAP, Symantec, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Broadcom, EMC, Neustar, Raytheon, Salesforce.com, VentureLoop, Xerox and Yahoo! The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization. For more information, visit anitaborg.org.
Follow the Anita Borg Institute on Twitter at @anitaborg_org and become a fan atwww.facebook.com/anitaborginstitute.
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New Venture Communications on behalf of ABI