Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Each year women from all parts of the world come to attend this three-day long event and go back home feeling inspired and empowered. Each year the number of attendees keep increasing. In 2018, GHC had over 20,000 attendees from 78 countries gathered in Houston, Texas, making this the largest GHC yet. Attendees also gave a 92% approval rating to GHC due to the many learning and growth opportunities they availed at GHC. Learn more about GHC18 impact in a report published by GHC.
Participation Opportunities at GHC
There are a number of ways one can be part of GHC. You can join GHC as an attendee, a faculty scholar, a student scholar, a volunteer, a speaker or an award recipient. Attending GHC is a pricy matter, therefore the majority of the attendees either apply for GHC scholarships or attend through sponsorship through their companies. Learn more about attending GHC here and here.
Pakistanis Representation at GHC
Though GHC is one of the most popular women in computing events of the year, only a handful of attendees participate at the event from Pakistan. Most of these attendees were either students or faculty members from universities from Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad who learned about GHC through friends or colleagues and applied for the scholarships. The speaker level participation has been almost non-existent. So far, there has been one award received by a Pakistani (based in Pakistan) at GHC. Dr. Durdana Habib received the ABI Change at GHC14.
PWiC, An AnitaB Syster’s Community
In 2018, Pakistani Women in Computing (PWiC) became part of AnitaB’s Systers community. The intention was to provide Pakistanis a platform at GHC and also to bring visibility to our community at the global level. In 2018, PWiC held its first community meet at GHC.
Gearing Up for GHC19
GHC19 is fast approaching and this year PWiC took its community participation at GHC as one of the key objectives and we saw a significant spike in overall participation at GHC19 in all different categories.
PWiC’s Webinar on GHC Information Session
PWiC conducted an online information session in partnership with WomenInTechPak on February 16, 2019, on attending GHC where past scholars, volunteers, attendees from academia and industry shared their experiences, lesson learned and best practices to apply for GHC. Presentation slides are available here and the session recording is available here.
Thanks to WomenInTechPak for their support in organizing the session and to all the GHC and PWiC volunteers (Huma Hamid, Sundas Khalid, Saba Rasheed Malik, and Aiza Hasib) for sharing their experiences and knowledge with the audience.
Onsite GHC Information Session at LUMS
PWiC campus ambassador for LUMS, Aiza Hasib conducted a GHC information session on campus for the students and guided them through the GHC scholarship process.
Onsite GHC Information Session at Lincoln Center Islamabad
On February 15, 2019, an onsite information session was conducted by PWiC Islamabad Lead, Saba Rasheed Malik and her team of volunteers on the benefits of attending GHC and applying for GHC scholarship as a student or a faculty member. More than 20 students and faculty members attended the event.
Onsite GHC Information Session at Lincoln Center Rawalpindi
On February 8, 2019, an onsite information session was conducted by PWiC Islamabad Lead, Saba Rasheed Malik on the benefits of attending GHC and applying for GHC scholarship as a student or a faculty member. More than 30 students and faculty members benefitted from the event.
GHC Scholarship Applications — Group Activity
Not only PWiC Islamabad conducted sessions, but they also tagged team to fill the GHC scholarship applications. This helped them through the application process as a team, while cheering and encouraging each other to submit their scholarship applications.
PWiC GHC Scholarship Review Team
PWiC members who had already attended GHC as scholars volunteered to mentor and guide new applicants with their scholarship applications. This was to mentor and build their confidence to apply for the conference.
PWiC Members for GHC Volunteers
A number of PWiC members also volunteered under different categories at GHC19, getting exposure to a global community of women in computing
PWiC is aiming to increase the participation of Pakistani women in computing at international conferences and global platforms. This was the first step towards achieving that goal.
Learn more about
PWiC Systers Affinity Group: https://anitab.org/systers/systers-communities/
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) Conference: https://ghc.anitab.org/
GHC19 at Orlando, Florida: https://ghc.anitab.org/calendar/2019-grace-hopper-celebration/
GHC Call for Speakers: https://ghc.anitab.org/2019-speakers/
GHC ABI Awards: https://anitab.org/awards-grants/abie-awards/
GHC Scholars Program for Students and Faculty: https://ghc.anitab.org/2019-student-academic/scholarships/
GHC Hoppers (Volunteers) Scholarship Program: https://ghc.anitab.org/hoppers/
Thank you for reading!
About the Author
Huma Hamid, a tech-maker mom, and Co-founder of Pakistani Women in Computing (PWiC). She is passionate about building products, teams, and communities. You can reach out to her via LinkedIn and Twitter.