As a woman in tech, I was psyched to join my colleagues Katie Malone, Jenna Colazzi, Emily Stephens, Kate Pham, and April Chen at the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), the world’s leading gathering of women technologists hosted every year by the Anita Borg Institute. The conference included talks by the likes of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, robotics expert Professor Manuela Veloso (my personal favorite), and United States CTO Megan Smith.
While the conference was last fall, I wanted to share our recently released findings and analysis of the conference attendees. As part of our sponsorship of the conference, we had the opportunity to work with the Anita Borg Institute to evaluate the impact of GHC on the 11,702 attendees. And the findings are fascinating. You can see the full report below, but here are some highlights:
- Attendance at GHC grew 50% from 2014 — and 24-fold since the first GHC in 1994
- 82% of attendees work in departments with fewer women than men
- 76% of attendees say they have strong professional networks after the conference—a 10% increase from before the conference
- 43% of students who attended GHC got an interview as a result of GHC and its Career Fair featuring more than 200 tech employers
- 30% of attendees plan to start or join diversity initiatives at their organizations after GHC
In an effort to create a complete view of each attendee’s experience at GHC, we fielded before and after surveys to analyze the conference’s impact on attendees’ commitment to tech, their professional networks, and their attitudes toward their careers.
GHC is named in honor and memory of Grace Hopper, one of the most accomplished computer scientists. Grace Hopper was a United States Navy Rear Admiral and one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark 1 computer, used during the latter part of World War II. She invented the first compiler for a computer programming language and is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” after literally removing a moth from a computer. We at Civis Analytics are such big fans of Grace Hopper, we even have named one of our conference rooms after her!
One of the things I love about working at Civis Analytics is applying data science to contribute to great causes, like supporting and advancing women in tech.
This post was co-authored with Danning Chen.