UNC was well represented at the Grace Hopper Celebration held in Houston September 26 – 28. With support from corporate partners, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and UNC alumni, the Department of Computer Science provided scholarships for 45 women to attend. Including UNC staff, faculty, and additional students, UNC was represented with a total of 59 participants.
The Grace Hopper Celebration is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists with more than twenty thousand in attendance. The conference offers technical and career workshops, keynote speeches from leaders in industry and academia, and networking opportunities. Each of the 45 scholarship awardees received about $1,000 to cover the conference fee as well as travel and accommodations.
In addition to the value of the conference’s educational workshops, Associate Chair for Diversity and Inclusion Michael Reiter noted, “Grace Hopper is an amazing platform for networking and career development.”
Senior computer science major Caroline Lu said that she gained a meaningful understanding of companies’ cultures from networking events during the conference.
“Grace Hopper was an invaluable opportunity to connect and interview with companies I would not have otherwise been able to meet,” Lu said, “I will be working after graduation as a software engineer, as a result of an interview at Grace Hopper and the UNC computer science department’s support.”
Grace Hopper Celebration scholarships are one of many ways that the department supports women in computer science. The department also sponsors two women in computer science clubs and a Girls Who Code club, as well as Pearl Hacks, an all-women hackathon. During the spring semester, the department hosts Women in Tech Week to highlight women in computer science and technology and to foster an environment of inclusion at UNC.
See posts from UNC CS at the Grace Hopper Celebration by following the department on Instagram.