GHC News: I Learned About GHC Through Systers
by Gabriella Libonati
I joined the Systers community over a year ago, after reading about it through the ACM-W – I wanted to connect with a large female-only e-network that could share thoughts and advice about their experiences as women in STEM fields. Joining Systers was one of the most helpful steps in my career as a female Computer Science student! It brought a wealth of benefits, such as:
- boost my own confidence;
- a better understanding of (gender) challenges faced by women in the field;
- great advice on career, academy, training, how to tackle issues and maximise own chances;
- invaluable source of information on jobs, scholarships, events, conferences, etc.;
- as a women-only list, it allows for a better communication (one without trolling, harassment or misogynistic backlashes).
For example, on Systers I learned about Grace Hopper Conference (GHC), Google Anita Borg Scholarship, Anita Borg/Systers Pass-It-On Award (PIO) and volunteering opportunities at the Supercomputing conference. Without Systers I probably wouldn’t have participated in any of those events, or won any of those scholarships. All of which, brought considerable positive benefits to my career and studies.
Directly related to the Systers community are The PIO Award and the annual GHC for women in computing. I was granted a PIO Award scholarship last spring: this will be a great support to my studies, allowing me to concentrate on my final year in a Computer Science degree with less concerns for the financial aspect. It will allow me to be the first graduate in STEM in the family and also network with and support other young women in the field, by being a role model and providing inspiration to participate in technology. These are exciting times in computer science and we, women, should not miss out on these opportunities!
On the Systers list, I learned about the GHC 2011 in Portland, OR, USA. Due to time constraints I didn’t have the chance to apply for one of the scholarships available to attend, but nevertheless I decided to invest some of my student budget to participate in the GHC. Booking in advance, I obtained an early-bird reduced conference fee, low airfares and accommodation prices. It was all well worth the investment! At GHC there were approx. 3000 female attendees, you could literally see a stream of women walking through the alleyways in the conference centre and it was an amazing sight. As practical benefits, you get to network with many interesting women from various backgrounds, have a large choice of talks, workshops and seminars to attend, and discover new interesting groups (like the i.e. women in open source initiatives). Finally, it’s an invaluable chance to meet a large number of potential employers at the GHC Career Fair so get there well prepared, bring prints of your CV, prepare a 30-second presentation about yourself, know your answers to the typical questions and be ready for a potential interview on the spot! It’s your opportunity to shine, prepare and you can do it.
No Comments »
No comments yet.