By Telle Whitney
President and CEO
At the end of this year, I will step down from my role as President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute (ABI). It has been an honor and privilege to lead ABI, and to work with our dynamic and passionate staff, our committed and influential Board of Trustees, and our amazing community, all working towards women being at the table creating technology. I’ve enjoyed the work immensely and look forward to remaining involved in the global movement for women technologists.
It has been wonderful to see how much ABI has changed and grown over the years. When I joined ABI in 2002, 630 people attended our Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). That number has increased dramatically. GHC is now the largest gathering of women technologists in the world, with 15,000 people from across the globe attending GHC 16. It is inspiring to see so many women technologists come together to connect and discuss ways of promoting diversity. I am grateful to all the staff, sponsors, and volunteers who make this event possible every year.
I am also thrilled with the number of resources ABI has developed to promote diversity, from our Top Companies program, a national program that recognizes companies committed to building workplaces where women in technology roles can thrive, to ABI.Local, a network of locally organized communities that connect women technologists in cities around the world. At a time when women technologists are significantly underrepresented in the tech field, it is essential that we find innovative ways to combat the issue and provide women with the support they need to succeed.
I am proud to have been a part of ABI’s journey, and I am very optimistic about the future of ABI. 2017 is the perfect time to welcome a next generation of leadership. I am confident that ABI’s vision of a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies that use it will guide the organization for many years to come. While the industry is certainly not where it needs to be in terms of inclusion, there is a groundswell of support from advocates committed to equal representation of women technologists.
I will be working with the Board of Trustees during this time of transition until a successor is chosen. I haven’t figured out my next adventure, but I have plenty of time. I have good health and a love of community, and I am excited.
Thank you, everyone, for all the support you have shown. I hope you will continue to support ABI and advocate for women in tech. Together, we can make difference and change the face of technology.