The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. It is organized every year by the Anita Borg Institute and this year there were 15,000 attendees, and 1,000 of those were men.
In this episode I talked to three attendees of The Grace Hopper Celebration: Sundas Khalid, Chih-yu Chao, and John Kingsly. Sundas is a first time attendee, Chih-yu is a returning attendee, and John is one of the male attendees.
Sundas is passionate about the intersection of business and technology, and is always looking at learning new things. Currently, she works as a Data Engineer at Amazon’s Weblab Science team, empowering Amazon’s A/B testing platform worldwide with statistical analysis that enables businesses within Amazon to understand customer behavior and make million-dollar launch decisions of critical site features at the flick of a switch.
Chih yu is a returning attendee. She received 2 Masters degrees from Carnegie Mellon and a PhD in Computer Science at MIT. While attending Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she explored her career in fields including research (academic and industrial), non-profit, management consulting, and patent law, while helping a start-up that was then acquired by IBM.
She joined Microsoft as a Program Manager in 2011 and used to work on Bing Ads and Cortana International. Currently she is working on Learning Experiences – which provides free online education on Microsoft technologies to empower learners all over the world.
John Kingsly is a program manager at Microsoft building capacity planning systems that power Microsoft’s cloud services. Having worked in Consulting, Services and most recently in engineering roles understanding the lack of diversity needs an eye-opening moment lest an assumption be made it is normal. Seeing leaders who walk the talk in diversity and the effectiveness of their teams at work influenced him to be committed to supporting the cause of women in Tech. As a father of two girls who want to be in Tech, he was thankful for the invitation by his mentor to be part of the Microsoft team at GHC16. He believes that there should be more women in technology as technology shapes the future of humanity.