By Audrey Van Belleghem, Director, Strategic Programs at NetApp
Last week 23 NetApp employees had a wonderful, inspiring, exciting and exhausting time in Minneapolis at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. We’re proud to have been a Platinum Corporate Sponsor of this event, which celebrates the technical achievements of women and works to bring women's participation in computing fields to an equal basis. We believe in the Anita Borg Institute's message: “Technology transforms the world, and women transform technology.”
Our employees traveled from Sunnyvale, Boulder, Wichita, Waltham, Research Triangle Park, Pittsburgh, Irvine and Vienna, Virginia, for four days of networking, keynotes, panel sessions and parties. In addition to great recruiting opportunities, the conference also gave registered participants the chance to learn about ways to enhance career growth, improve soft skills and dive deep into technical and academic topics. The Grace Hopper Celebration is an annual event also held in Bangalore, India, where NetApp is a key sponsor as well.
Highlights of the conference included keynote sessions that are also available online. Wednesday featured a conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Author of Lean-In; Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College; and Telle Whitney, President of the Anita Borg Institute, while Thursday's speaker was Megan Smith from Google[x], and Dr. Valerie Taylor from Texas A&M spoke on Friday. There were over 4,800 people at the conference and it truly was amazing to see so many women technologists in one place!
NetApp employees who attended will bring back their insights and takeaways to our Women in Technology (WIT) groups around the world, which has 10 active sites with over 800 members. Our mission is to provide a forum for mentoring, networking, communication and professional development; in our next meeting, we will introduce the Anita Borg and Lean In Circles for Technologists.
Joining employee resource groups is only one of the cool things about being a NetApp employee!