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KU Students Attend the First Ever Virtual Grace Hopper Conference

November 19, 2020

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the largest gathering of women technologists in the world, and in October 2020 it was hosted virtually for the first time. Even though the circumstances were unfavorable to travel to Orlando, FL, where the event was originally planned to take place, over twenty members of the KU Women In Computing (KUWIC) club still represented our school at a large range of different workshops and networking events as well as learned a ton from other female leaders in the industry. This is a quote from a KU senior, Antonette Gichohu, who attended the keynote session featuring a talk from Serena Williams: “My favorite talk/keynote was that of Serena Williams, where she spoke of succeeding beyond all odds… This was an incredible motivator, and an excellent way to begin the conference. The next few days were filled with attending talks that were geared toward my interests, such as digital forensics, leadership in technology, and how to incorporate diversity into technology.”

Another KUWIC senior, Archana Ramakrishnan, said: “I was able to attend information sessions by companies like Mastercard, eBay, Oracle, etc. Smaller group networking sessions conducted by Coursera, Goldman Sachs, Audible and Morgan Stanley. Being given a chance to attend sessions like these and interact with large international technology companies gave me lots of insights about what my future career path could look like. Thank you to the KU School of Engineering for funding our virtual trip to a great learning experience and a global community!”. Each essay submitted by the women that were able to attend this outstanding conference echo the same message of an amazing experience to network and learn more about the technology industry as a whole. The conference is hosted annually by the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and is sponsored by some of the biggest technology companies in the world such as Google, Tesla, IBM, Adobe, Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and more.

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