Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Systers: Your Global Community

“Until Systers came into existence, the notion of a global community of women in computer science did not exist.”
   — Anita Borg

Looking for a global community of individuals who support, encourage and challenge each other? The has just the group for you!
In 1987, Anita Borg, founder of the Anita Borg Institute (now known as formed an online global community of women. Systers works via an online community of women to support you wherever you are in your career journey. Systers is a private email loop that reaches from the university level across to the technical side of computing.

Anita’s vision was to see women inspire each other through their professional journeys as well as career decisions.  I have been a part of the Systers community since my first Grace Hopper in 2009 and one of the most powerful aspects of this list is the personal journeys told, and the encouragement shared.

Systers has more than 7,500 worldwide members as well as several affinity groups. To check out the affinity groups or find out more about them, click here: Systers Communities - Affinity Groups

Systers also offers special interest groups, centered around specific industries, and initiatives, such as the Pass It On Awards and Systers Open Source. In addition to the special interest groups and initiatives, Systers offers CRA-W email groups. These groups center around research of women in computing. For more information on any of these groups, check them out here: Systers Initiatives
Looking for a role model, mentor or encouragement? Need advice on a specific topic? Questioning your career path or just need some advice on what you should do next? From college students to industry professionals, support is there when you need it.
To get started with exception group of women,  join Systers today: Join Systers

Systers Community at -

Friday, September 7, 2018

GHC 2018 – Mentoring

GHC 2018 – Mentoring

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Time: 11:30-2; 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Location: GRB Grand Ballroom B

Findings Mentors and learning from other women at GHC

Grace Hopper Convention is one of the top places for women in stem to learn from other women who have travelled their own paths in the world of technology.  Finding the right people to learn from can be hard but luckily it can also be easy.  You can attend GHC Mentoring Circles AND Speed Mentoring.

Speed Mentoring: Start Time: 3:00 PM | End Time: 5:30 PM 

This is an informal mentoring format.  You can drop in and chat with a variety of mentors in an easy going format.  No themes, no agendas, just tips and sharing from women that have been there done that to help you navigate your career, technology, and life!

Length per mini-session: 6 minutes for 1:1 / 15 minutes in round tables of 9

Number of mentors: 146

Format style: informal

Special feature:  New set of mentors every hour!

GHC Mentor Circles    Start Time: 11:30 AM | End Time: 2:00 PM | 

This is a more formal mentoring format.  There will be tables that hold up to 10 people at them at a time.  There is a mentor (or 2) at each table who has developed a formal application related to their mentoring topic (see topics here). 

Length per mini-session: 20 minutes in round tables of 9

Number of mentors: 50+

Format style: more formal

Special feature:  pre-reviewed Mentor Topics. See: Mentoring Circle topics

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How to mentor mentors on being a mentor?

by: Mary Anne Melloy, Anita|Bees Mentor Committee Member

Do you consider yourself a mentor? Interested in being a mentor? Have volunteered for the speed mentoring at GHC '18. I wanted to share some of my tips and best practices for those that want to be a mentor…. now or in the future.

Best Tips and Practices to utilize when mentoring a mentee:

  • Listen. I mean really listen. Be careful of starting the answer (in your head) before the mentee has finished asking the question. This will alleviate any misunderstanding of the question asked or information given. It may also prompt more questions if it is a group mentoring session. 
  • Be prepared to back up advice with a story or example. The best advice I have ever received has been through storytelling on my mentors’ part and I have had some great mentors! It’s the stories that stick with you. 
  • It’s all about the networking! Recommend resources and people. It is okay to have a cheat sheet of your favorite books, URLs, quotes, etc. to utilize when speaking to a mentee. 
  • Find out how to link up with the mentees to continue a conversation. This is especially important if you are mentoring during a conference and need to move on to another appointment. 
  • Pass on your LinkedIn profile for future connections. You never know who you are inspiring, but guaranteed you are inspiring to someone, somewhere. My best example of this was when I decided to achieve my bachelor’s degree (Yes, I was one of those late in lifers 😊). I was able to encourage others to achieve their goals. I became part of their support network. This was a pleasant surprise since I never set out to do this. It taught me that inspiration comes from very simple acts and encouragement comes from anyone and everyone around us. 
  • Think about the who, what, when, where and why people are seeking a mentoring relationship. Drawing on your experience, figure out which are the most appropriate questions to ask and see what you can offer to your mentee. Another technique that is very valuable to use (and yes, my past mentors have used it on me) is the 5-whys. The 5- whys is designed for root cause analysis, but by answering the simple “why” question(s), it helps a person focus what matters most. The 5-whys has been equated to peeling away the layers on an onion so think of this technique as…. you are helping your mentee peel away their layers until they can focus on what matters most to them. Want to know about this particular technique, check out this resource
So, you still want to be a mentor? My final piece of advice is to look at the mentoring relationship as “what can I give?” and not as “what will I get?”. One day, your mentee might be sending you the same advice you gave them…that is when you know the mentee has become the mentor.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Changing of the Guard: Welcome to the New ABI President and CEO

At the opening keynote of this year's Grace Hopper Celebration, eighteen thousand technical women got to meet's new President and CEO, Brenda Darden Wilkerson. She introduced herself as a warm, eloquent, and passionate lady. She and outgoing CEO Telle Whitney made a touching video in which Telle passes the proverbial torch to Brenda, heralding an exciting new era for the organization.


I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Telle over the last number of years. A talented computer scientist, she took on the commitment of heading up the then-called Institute for Women and Technology in 2002 when her dear friend Anita Borg fell ill. Though CEO might not have been a role she expected to have, Telle embraced the challenge and lead the institute through incredible growth and impact.

I first met Telle when I was assigned as a Hopper volunteer for an ABI advisory board meeting during Grace Hopper in 2010. I was then invited to be part of the board and got to know Telle more over the years. Some of my fondest memories of her are on the dance floor, where she was always ready to bust a move with me like we were the best of friends.


I had the chance to meet Brenda Tuesday night before GHC started. The ABI advisory board no longer exists, but I had the chance to attend the Systers leadership dinner with the Anita|Bees committee. Brenda addressed our relatively small group with such warmth that I couldn't help but immediately like her. That she has such an impressive background, and founded the original 'computer science for all' initiative, just makes it all the better.

I'm also tickled that we had a bonding moment over breastfeeding. I was nursing my six-month-old Henry when she was going to introduce herself. After noticing what I was doing, she told me about her own experiences with her babies. I love connecting with folks on a personal level like that, no matter how "high-up" they are.


I think everyone can agree that great things lie ahead for I hope that Telle enjoys her well-earned retirement, and I hope that I'll have a chance to dance with Brenda someday as well.

If you'd like to learn more about Brenda, check out her interview on the website.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tips for GHC First Timers

Just in time for your last-minute packing, here are some amazing tips for first-timers to GHC written by fellow committee member Faye Cheng.

GHC Swag

01) Push yourself out of your comfort zone

GHC provides a unique and invaluable opportunity to form genuine connections and conversations with fellow attendees. This conference brings together people from all over the world, and you can explore various tech-related topics and conversations with pretty much anyone -- and chances are they’re equally excited to chat with you too! Everyone has a unique background and experience, and you can certainly learn something meaningful from each encounter. So don’t be afraid to charter your own path and make GHC your own experience: Go to sessions by yourself! Say hi to someone new in line! You never know what opportunities you’ll find, what memorable conversations you’ll have, or what interesting and inspiring people you’ll meet.

02) Come prepared

The Expo floor is one of the main events at the conference, and it is fairly easy to feel overwhelmed. Whether you’re looking for an internship, a job offer, or new connections, it is always a good idea to prepare ahead of time to put yourself in the best position possible. I would recommend becoming extremely familiar with your resume (and have more copies than you think you’ll need!), and practicing your elevator pitch (which should contain references to key experiences on your resume). You’ll want to discuss experiences that make you stand out, and your passion for a particular project or involvement will help your conversation be more memorable. Recruiters are going to be meeting with many interested candidates, so it is in your best interest to help them identify what opportunities you’re interested in and what experiences you have that are relevant for them.

03) Remember who you meet

It is a good practice to keep in touch with the people you meet to maintain connections and follow-up after the conference. GHC is a very hectic and busy time, so don’t be discouraged if people aren’t the most responsive right after the conference. Though it may seem a bit outdated, business cards are a really quick and easy way to exchange information with the people you meet (and is more professional than using your phone). An efficient way to keep track of the people you meet is to immediately jot down key points from your conversation on the back of their business card, which you can later reference in your follow-up.

04) Be comfortable, and be ready to walk a lot

You’re going to be on your feet for most of the day and walking all over the convention center. You should wear whatever makes you the most comfortable. I would highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a light jacket. While it will certainly be warm outside, convention centers tend to crank up the AC quite high.

05) Pack lightly

I am definitely guilty of over-packing for trips, but one piece of advice is to leave a lot of room for the incredible amounts of swag you’re going to be bringing back from the conference. Companies will be giving out more t-shirts than you’ll ever need, so make sure you have room for everything for the trip home!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Low-down on Speaking at GHC17

So you're speaking at GHC17. What do you need to know? How can you prepare to be the best you can be? How do you calm your nerves?!


Although I wasn't lucky enough to have any submissions accepted to this year's conference, I have spoken at Grace Hopper before along with many other venues. Let me start by reassuring you that this is one of the very best places to present. I have rarely found a more wonderfully supportive audience.

Let's get some of the official stuff out of the way. As a speaker, you need to thoroughly read through everything on the speakers section of the conference website. In particular, note the quick references on the right.

I'd like to draw your attention especially to the Speaker Ready Room info. There, you'll learn about uploading your slides before your presentation, and you'll see a link to the slides template. Please take the time to design your presentation using the template right from the get-go. Trying to shoehorn an existing presentation into the template tends to look unprofessional, and not using the template at all even more so. Also make sure to leave plenty of time to upload your presentation and test it. You'll want to make sure any embedded media is actually embedded, and that your fonts and colours look ok.

The conference website also includes some tips on speaking. I'd also like to share another amazing resource that brings you weekly inspiration and advice on speaking: a newsletter called Technically Speaking. Subscribe now and you will benefit leading up to your talk, and check out the archives as well.

Finally, I have a few tips of my own:
  • Design your slides with as few words as possible. Convey the main idea through pictures and a short phrase.
  • Add speaker notes into the notes section of the slides. When practising, you can simply read the notes at first. This should make you familiar enough to be able to improvise more day-of.
  • Practice in front of colleagues at some point with enough time to receive feedback. Provide them with a written feedback form they can use to give you anonymous ideas for improvement.
  • On the day of your talk, arrive in the room early to give yourself time to calm your nerves.
  • Make sure you have access to water during the talk.
  • Before you start, take some deep breaths, maybe with your eyes closed. Think yoga breathing.
  • Invite the audience to chat with you after the talk, and stand somewhere where it's easy for the audience to actually do so.
Good luck with your talk – I'll know you'll be awesome!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Childcare at GHC

Are you a mom in computing planning on attending Grace Hopper this year? Then I highly recommend considering bringing your kid(s). Not only is there a huge opportunity to visit Disney while you're already in Orlando (shh, I'm planning on surprising my daughter with this), but the childcare option is top notch. And it's FREE!

I brought the whole family to Grace Hopper 2012 in Baltimore when my daughter was ten months old. We made a road trip out of it, visiting some other states along the way. Since my husband was also registered for the conference, we made use of the daycare a lot during the day, and once in the evening for the sponsor night party. We were really happy with the care, and I was easily able to stop in and nurse or provide expressed milk as needed. We noted the fun the older kids seemed to be having when we caught glimpses of them on their scavenger hunts and such.

Ready to roll on our big GHC road trip back in 2012!

This year, my daughter will be almost six, and we have a son who will be 7 months old. The whole family is coming again so we can hit Disney afterwards. I figured my daughter would have a blast in the childcare, where her outgoing personality would means she'll easily make some new friends. My husband, who is currently on parental leave, will mostly take care of our son, but I signed our son up for a day of care as well in case daddy wanted to play tourist a bit.

If you want to sign up for childcare, the deadline is September 20. Make sure you have a good idea of when you'll actually use it, because there is a charge for missing sessions you sign up for. Otherwise, it's totally free!

Get all the info on the childcare page of the conference website.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Traveling to Orlando and Packing Tips for GHC

This will be my fourth time attending the Grace Hopper Celebration and I get just as excited as the first time I attended.  There are so many things to see and do but to have the best experience possible, you need to prepare before you go.  Here is my essential list of tips on travel and what to bring.

What to Bring

Comfortable Shoes

Pack two pair of shoes – one casual pair and one professional pair.  DON’T PACK HEELS!  GHC is huge.  Do yourself a favor and pack the most comfortable shoes you have.  Your Fitbit will shower you with accolades halfway through each day because of the amount of walking you will do. 

A Portable Charger

Listen, there are 18,000 of us coming together for GHC.  EIGHTEEN THOUSAND.  And I would venture to say that we will all have at least two devices that will need charging sometime during the day.  There will be places to charge your devices but it will be easier to get to every activity on time if you bring a portable battery charger so you can charge on the go.


Plus, I always feel a little bit sad when I see a group of women huddled around an outlet, waiting to get enough charge on their devices so they can rejoin the celebration.  So let’s resolve that we will have no downtime at GHC due to drained devices, m'kay?

Business cards

I know I just mentioned it, but there will be EIGHTEEN THOUSAND people at GHC this year.  That is an incredible network of industry and academic professionals, executives, and students waiting to connect with you!  Make sure you have business cards (and a pen) on hand.  Exchange cards and jot down tidbits about the conversation you had on the person’s card so that you can easily follow up with them via email later (e.g. Hello Rosalind, it was wonderful speaking with you during the Women of Color luncheon about research opportunities at your AI lab).

Printed resume

Step 1 is to upload your resume and/or CV to the GHC17 Resume Database

Step 2 is to bring printed copies of your resume to the Career Fair, even if you have secured an interview with an organization prior to attending.  Did I mention that there will be EIGHTEEN THOUSAND people in attendance this year?  Recruiters will generally ask for your resume so they can jot down their impressions of you and notes about your conversation for later review.  Again, make sure to have a pen on hand to jot down the name of the person with whom you spoke and any pertinent information they may provide.  You can even ask a recruiter if she minds if you snap a picture of her and her badge.  It’s nice to be able to put a face with your notes later.  A career fair program will be one of the items provided in your GHC bag so you can make notes near the description of the organization.

Refillable Water Bottle

There will be plenty to eat and drink during GHC.  However, I always bring a refillable water bottle to make it easy to stay hydrated throughout the day.  This is especially important for those who are not acclimated to very warm and humid climates.

Indoor and Outdoor Weather-Appropriate Garments

I lived in Orlando several years ago, and I must say that October is usually the best month as far as weather is concerned.  It is less humid but still warm and sunny.  However, the daily afternoon rain showers may still occur (it’s a Florida thing), so you should be prepared with a pocket umbrella.  Also, the sessions can get a bit chilly, so pack a thin sweater or wrap.  I personally carry an infinity scarf; it can be worn around the neck or around the shoulders but it folds up into a small package.

NOTE:  Get up-to-date local weather information from one of the local station's weather app:

A Sturdy Bag

You’ll be provided with a bag at check-in, but they have varied in capacity and storage capabilities (i.e. number of compartments) over the years.  I would advise bringing a bag that you will feel comfortable carrying around all day, just in case.  Some people carry book bags; others carry a large purse.  Just make sure that it is something that allows you to be comfortable while keeping your hands free.

Me my first time at GHC

Leave Space!

This is one that I learned the hard way my first year at GHC.  The shear amount of swag that you will be offered at GHC is incredible.  Save room in your luggage for swag - especially if you are flying.  I generally use one of the canvas bags you will undoubtedly be given as swag to store my other swag in so I can carry it on the plane.  Just be mindful of FAA regulations regarding the types and sizes of items that can be brought onto domestic and international flights.  There is nothing worse than a TSA agent confiscating your really cool swag items.

How to Get Around

Ok, now that you know what to bring to GHC, let's focus on getting there and getting around.  Here are my best travel tips:


First, let’s clear up what is always a bit of confusion for newcomers to Orlando.  Don’t panic if your Uber driver asks if you’re going to OIA but your itinerary says MCO.  It’s the same place.  You will hear people call the Orlando International Airport by its abbreviation, OIA.  But you will see its callsign written as MCO.  It turns out that McCoy Air Base occupied that location before OIA was built, so the callsign MCO remains.  Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the airport most people use, but it is by no means the only one in the area.  There is also Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB) if you don’t mind a bit of a drive and Orlando Executive Airport (ORL) if you plan to take a private jet or a helicopter (I’d like to ride with you if you plan to take a private jet or a helicopter).    

How I imagine the shuttle to heaven looks
Once you are in town, you have several options for ground transportation.  Uber and Lyft were just recently given permission to pick up and drop off at OIA.  Check with others about arrival times and departure times so that you can share a ride.  Taxis and hotel shuttles are also available.  The MEARS shuttle service can bring you to International Drive (I-Drive to locals) where GHC17 will be held.  Once you’re on I-Drive, you can catch the I-Drive Trolley to the attractions.  And don’t forget that GHC is providing shuttles between the GHC hotels from the venue.

Toll Roads

Orlando has a system of toll roads that lead into and around the city.  If you’re a Floridian, you may have a SunPass (E-Pass in Orlando) that will allow you to zoom through the toll areas without slowing down.  If not, be prepared to throw change at a toll booth if you plan to drive.  Florida’s Turnpike is a toll road that connects to I-75 and leads into the city. There are also several toll roads around Orlando such as the East-West Expressway that can get you across town relatively quickly.  GHC is being held in venues on I-Drive and there are plenty of places to shop, restaurants, and attractions in that area, so you may decide not to venture out into the city.  But I hope you do because there are some fantastic local places like Lake Eola and Waterford Lakes Town Center that are great ways to spend an afternoon.  Just know that the traffic on city streets can get heavy during rush hour, which is why the toll roads are convenient.

sidenote: Yes, Rosalind Ave is named after me.  No, no it really isn’t but I like to pretend that it is.

One last note…

Orlando is a relatively safe and fun place, but the constant influx of tourists does make it a thieves' paradise.  Be sure to secure your belongings while out and about – don’t leave your purse/bag/shopping bags hanging on the back of your chair.  Some attractions have trained security who will actually take such items when you are not looking in order to highlight how easily things can go missing.

Ok, go get packed!  GHC is almost here! And don’t hesitate to say hi if you see me wandering around; we'll exchange business cards!

Rosalind loves her dog and the beach in that order.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

ABIE Awards

There are a number of women technologists around the world who commit their work and time on making the world a better place for the future generations. In honor of their commitment to the social responsibility, Anita Borg Institute awards them with ABIE awards every year.

Each year these awesome women will be honored with a cash prize, and all expense paid trip to GHC and an opportunity to speak at GHC to motivate other women. The award has 7 categories to cover a wide area of involvement in community.

Technical Leadership ABIE Award

This award is to recognize women who demonstrate leadership through their contributions to technology and achievements in increasing the representation of women in tech.

ABIE Award for Leadership

This is for the women who serve in significant leadership roles in advancing technology, who has a strong focus on increasing women’s representation and success in the field.

ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship

This award recognizes women who build innovative, ground breaking, and game changing technology venture startups.

Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award

This is for junior faculty members for high quality research and significant positive impact on diversity.

Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award

This is for the educators who develop innovative teaching practices and approaches to attract girls and women to STEM fields.

Student of Vision

This award is to recognize a young female student who commit their time to facilitate the development of technology in their communities.

Social Impact ABIE Award

This recognizes a women whose work is making a positive social impact on women, technology and the society.

Change Agent ABIE Award

This goes to a non us resident (specially the women in developing countries), who makes a change by creating and expanding opportunities for women in technology.

Want to see these awesome women who won the ABIE awards in 2017? Here is the list of the award winners with their profiles. Join with us at GHC 2017 to listen to these awesome women speak and share their experience.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Volunteer at this year's GHC!

Ever considered not just attending Grace Hopper this year, but also giving back? Whether it's your first time attending, or you're a multi-year veteran, volunteering in some way is a great way to enhance your experience.

I've been volunteering with the conference since 2008, my first year there. For many of those years, I served as as a volunteer blogger. Starting as a blogger opened up all kinds of opportunities for me, including being on the Anita|Bees committee. The women I've met have become members of my professional network as well as friends. My blog got more attention and I felt a lot of fulfillment by sharing my views of conference sessions with the world.

Volunteering as a blogger or note taker is just one way to participate in the conference. You can also be a mentor for GHC scholars, open source day, or one of three speed mentoring sessions. If you have a PhD degree or higher, you can even judge the ACM student research competition.

Not attending GHC in person this year? You can still be a volunteer blogger / note taker for sessions that are streamed.

So don't wait, go sign up to be a volunteer today! Get all the details on the opportunities and a link to apply on the conference website.

Systers: Your Global Community

“Until Systers came into existence, the notion of a global community of women in computer science did not exist.”    — Anita Borg Lo...