Women Computer Scientists – Yes They Exist!
Women are doing some amazing work in Computer Science and
Engineering, how come we don’t know about them? We all know about
the stereotypical hot start-up out of Silicon Valley led by some
twenty-something white guy but we don’t hear much about women
entrepreneurs, computer scientists, researchers and business leaders in
tech. How come?
Is it like the research study recently reported in the New York Times
where a scientifically oriented resume with a women’s name at the top
was consistently rated lower by professors than the exact same resume
with a man’s name? Do women have to be substantially better than men to
Maybe today, but the 7th Annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), going on this week, is all about changing that.
Downtown Baltimore is teeming with technical women today. Three
thousand, six hundred of them! More than 1,500 are students, passionate
about developing new technology, and not afraid to say so just because
they are girls.
And here at the conference they are surrounded by other technical
women who don’t fit the tech frat boy stereotype that Silicon Valley is
so known for, but who instead just set about changing the world of
technology from a diverse point of view.
Consider Lilli Cheng who is GM of the Future Social Experiences
(FUSE) Labs in Microsoft Research. She leads a team who invent, develop
and deliver new social, real-time, and media-rich experiences for home
and work, and she speaking on Creativity, Learning and Social Software.
Or Lori Beer who is the EVP for Enterprise Business Services at
WellPoint and manages over 30,000 people developing new health care
products for you and me, and is speaking today on Transforming Health
care Through Data.
Or Ann Mei Chang who is a Senior Advisor on technology at the State
Department and has the Silicon Valley engineering who’s who on her
resume, including being a Senior Engineering Director at Google. She’s
speaking on Leveraging Mobile and Internet Technology to Improve Women’s
Lives in the Developing World.
Or Nora Denzel, who was both funny and wise in her keynote today, and
has led large, cutting edge software and business teams at IBM, HP and
Intuit, and can go nose to nose with anyone on technology.
Imagine 3,600 confident girly geeks together, mingling with each
other as students and mentors, inventors and developers, investors and
founders. Women working together to change the ratio of women in
technology by recruiting new young women into the field and helping them
stay in the field, despite the odds. Less than 25 percent of the STEM workforce in the U.S. are women, more than 50 percent of women who start in engineering drop out
of technology in the first 10 years of their careers, the numbers of
women graduating in computer science has been dropping over the last 10
years, and yet by 2020 the U.S. will graduate less than 30 percent of the engineers we need to be competitive.
It just makes sense to get more girls into technology. It’s an
incredibly exciting field and women make great computer scientists.
Thousands of them are at GHC in Baltimore today. Join us and change the
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is a program
of the Anita Board Institute, which is funded by the world’s best
technology companies to help industry, academia, and government recruit,
retain, and develop women leaders in high-tech fields, resulting in
higher levels of technological innovation. You can learn more at www.anitaborg.org.