Members of our engineering and data teams attended the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.
Five members of the Blink engineering and data teams participated in this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), joining 22,000 other women from the technology field. The event, held in Houston and produced by AnitaB.org, was co-founded by Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney in 1994 to bring “the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront.” The namesake and inspiration for the event, Admiral Grace Hopper, was a Navy rear admiral and pioneering computer scientist who developed the first software compiler and paved the way for programmers around the world. Attendees from Blink had the chance to participate in workshops and keynote talks, hearing industry leaders share their insights.
We chatted with Jiawen Meng, Senior Data Analyst at Blink, about her experience attending the Grace Hopper Celebration (and why she wants to return next year).
What was the most impactful lesson you learned at the Grace Hopper Celebration?
This is the first time that I attended a conference focused on the entire tech industry, with 22,000 women, and I could feel the sense of community just by being part of it. Even though GHC participants have diverse experiences and different backgrounds, many of the challenges we face in work and life are surprisingly similar. When you listen to each other’s stories, you connect and build empathy, becoming each other’s ally. Being around so many creative women, I felt confident pursuing my passions. GHC is such a unique experience that I want to come back next year. I believe that every year I can learn something different from fellow women technologists.
Which Grace Hopper speaker/workshop was most memorable and why?
In the opening keynote, Jessica O. Matthews shared her story of founding Uncharted Power, a technology start-up using renewable kinetic energy solutions to generate clean, consistent and cost-efficient power for communities, facilities and the Internet of Things. It all started with one of her school projects: providing an auto-generated energy solution to the community by leveraging one of their favorite sports — an energy-generating soccer ball. Uncharted Power now continues to develop more products as the company grows, including the electricity-generating jump ropes Jessica demoed onstage. Jessica told the audience, “Just because it’s not your plan doesn’t mean it’s not your destiny.” I deeply resonated with this quote from Jessica and hope more women in tech will find their true passion and be courageous in embracing unexpected opportunities.
What are three words that describe your experience attending the Grace Hopper Celebration?
- Inspiring. I was inspired by all of the attendees, their creativity and passion.
- Exciting! 22,000 female technologists gathered in one place — isn’t that exciting?
- Valuable. I learned valuable lessons on how to form allyship, embrace opportunities and build something impactful using technology.
If you want to build something impactful using technology, explore careers at Blink. We’re aiming to disrupt the prescription drug industry and are looking for more talented people to help us make medications affordable for all Americans.
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