LinkedIn Women in Tech at GHC 2016
November 7, 2016
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join my peers from LinkedIn’s Women in Tech team at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, sponsored by the Anita Borg Institute. This was my third time attending GHC, and I’ve been amazed by how each year the event increases in size—this year, there were nearly 20,000 attendees. I became aware of just how large GHC has become before I even arrived in Houston, as my flight to Texas was filled with conference-goers!
I’m also impressed by how the quality of the event itself seems to improve every year. Conference sessions this year featured a diversity of relevant, useful content, such as “How being a mentor can grow your career” and “Getting to ‘Hell Yes’ - negotiating while female.” Another benefit of the increasing attendance at the conference is that each year sees an increasingly diverse group of women assembled in terms of age, race, job title, and more. For instance, it was great to see other attendees who share my same job function—Technical Program Manager—at this year’s conference. Being able to trade stories and understand shared experiences from peers at other tech companies is both empowering and educational.
We had a great company presence at the conference, with more than 130 attendees from LinkedIn, including ten senior leaders at the VP level. At our booth, we had the opportunity to meet many amazing women who work in computing, some of whom may have been inspired to apply for jobs at LinkedIn based off of their interactions with us. We also hosted “Rock Your Profile” sessions at our booth, helping conference attendees bolster their LinkedIn profiles with tips and free professional headshots. Talking to folks at the career fair booth was one of the highlights of my time at GHC 2016!
Additionally, we hosted our sixth WomenConnect event, which brought together 69 senior women in technical roles from various companies. The goal of the WomenConnect program is to provide a platform for women who work in tech to network, make valuable connections, and share professional best practices.
Here are some anonymous quotes shared by our WomenConnect attendees via a post-event survey:
"It was amazing to sit with people from different companies and levels to learn from their experiences."
"I thought it was a really great environment to talk about the issues we face as women in the tech industry. The ladies at my table were all very inspiring. I also really liked the size of the event."
In addition to participating in these events, several representatives from LinkedIn also spoke at GHC sessions this year, with talks including “Building Product Mindset through Ideation” and “Hadoop at Scale.” It’s always wonderful seeing your colleagues speaking in front of a packed room!
Every time I attend GHC, I'm amazed by the progress women have made in the tech industry. The next generation of female tech leaders is so inspiring, and my colleagues and I had the chance to witness it throughout the conference. I left GHC feeling a renewed sense of pride for being a woman in tech!
LinkedIn’s presence at GHC was a huge undertaking that required the coordinated work of dozens of individuals. We’d like to everyone who came and participated in the event, but especially the following: Aatif Awan, Amy Parnell, Annabel Liu, Bruno Connelly, Catherine Snelgrove, Elizabeth Morgan, Emilia Shapiro, Erica Lockheimer, Erin Earle, Igor Perisic, Jackie Waldorph, Jacqueline Jones, Julie Marie Norvaisas, Kamini Dandapani, Kathleen Magy, Katie Loitz, Kevin Scott, Kiran Prasad, Laura Dholakia, Mohak Shroff, Nicole Leverich, Parul Jain, Pat Wadors, Prachi Gupta, Quinn Emanuel, Robert Bennett, Sandy Hoffman, Sarah Clatterbuck, Stephanie Lucas, and all of our speakers.
Editor’s note: To learn more about LinkedIn’s goals for women in tech and mentoring the next generation of young female leaders, check out the interview below featuring LinkedIn Director of Software Engineering Sarah Clatterbuck and Senior Director of Engineering Erica Lockheimer.