When I entered the tech industry 10 years ago, I was not aware of the power of technology nor my ability to create and influence it. At the same time, the industry was advertised for, represented on behalf of, and led by men with little representation of women technologists. This year, that perception changed for me after attending the 2019 Grace Hopper Conference (GHC). The conference revealed a hidden world of female technological excellence and an unyielding commitment to achieve gender parity for all by 2025.
More than 25,000 women from around the world came together in Orlando, Florida, to share insights and opportunities across the industry. Attendees visited a massive career fair, listened to an array of presentations and panels, participated in workshops, and networked with like-minded individuals in the tech field.
Representation ranged from college-aged women to tenured professionals and presentation topics ranged from leveraging machine learning for wildlife conservation to accelerating the future of space through scalable electric propulsion technology. It was a 360-degree view of how women are influencing and building the next generation of tech.
eBay values strategic partnerships with organizations who have a proven track record of success and shares our values and our commitment to diversity and inclusion. GHC is an excellent partner to help improve our gender diversity efforts and that’s why eBay has supported GHC as a Diamond Sponsor for the past four years.
With more than 80 employees in attendance this year, our booth was vibrant and in a premium location at the career fair. People lined up for our booth, and we screened hundreds of candidates. Those lines were comprised of computer and data scientists, product managers, user interface designers, students, professionals, people returning to work, women and men. We built a strong pipeline of recent college graduates (RCGs)s (undergrads, masters, PhDs) and interns ready to help us shape the future of eBay.
We also had a presence at the conference’s Senior Leadership Summit with a keynote presentation by StubHub President Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and myself acting as a moderator for fireside chats with industry leaders. We were joined by other eBay leaders including Helen Kim, Bradford Shellhammer, Sanjeev Katariya and Damien Hooper-Campbell. Each of us connected with people and job candidates to demonstrate our commitment to attracting more women in technology.
As a woman and person of color, my GHC experience awakened a world of possibility for me. I am inspired to explore more technical roles in the industry while learning from and supporting other women who share this journey. I’m proud to work for a company that understands the importance of gender diversity and actively works toward achieving it. GHC reminded me that I am the change I want to see.
“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counterclockwise.” - Grace Hopper