“The funding obtained through ACM-W’s weR Gold crowdfunding project supports one of the most important activities for our women in CS – attendance at the premier conference for women in technology, the Grace Hopper Conference. Attendance at this conference gives our students a chance to expand their horizons in the field, build their networks, interview for internships and future jobs, and be enthusiastically supported by others in the field – critical for women in technology.” - Fran Berman, Ph.D., Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computer Science, RPI Faculty Advisor to ACM-W
The Grace Hopper Conference provides a wide array of opportunities for Rensselaer women. Students who attend GHC will build professional networks, go to seminars that enhance their confidence as women in the tech field, and secure prized internships and permanent job offers. Through these connections made, and the knowledge gained at GHC, our female students harness their inner strength to become leaders in the tech industry.
The professional impact of attending GHC for women in CS is undeniable. In 2020, one of the Rensselaer students who attended received full-time job offers from both Twitter and Disney. She accepted the offer from Twitter. In 2019, the students who attended Grace Hopper came away with internship offers at companies such as Facebook, Apple, Wayfair, Signa, Audible, Microsoft, and Google, just to name a few. In 2018, one of our graduate students who attended received a full-time offer from Google after interviewing with company representatives at the Grace Hopper career expo.
Many students use GHC as an opportunity to expand their knowledge in specific domains of computer science. This gives them a competitive edge when searching for internships, research positions, and jobs. At the 2019 conference, students attended a variety of tech talks on topics such as integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into user experience, stereotype threat within AI technologies, and accessibility of design for all users. Several students said that these seminars opened their eyes to the wide range of concentration areas in CS.
The most amazing part of GHC is the empowerment and sense of belonging that women experience at the conference. In the past few years, students have come away with the realization that they should never sell themselves short in their abilities. They are reminded that having a community of supportive women is one of the most important ways to combat imposter syndrome in the tech world. One of the 2018 attendees commented that because of her experience at Grace Hopper, she wants to always ensure that safe spaces exist for women and underrepresented minorities in the computing industry. Students who attend GHC are excited to empower other women at Rensselaer and expose the younger generation of women to technology. Many of the students who attend GHC are involved in student clubs on campus such as the Women’s Mentorship Program, the new ACM-W Mentorship Program, and the Society of Women Engineers. Our students return from GHC understanding the importance of young women seeing other women working and finding success in the tech industry.
The feedback we hear from students after they return from GHC include comments such as, “I attended leadership seminars that I believe truly helped me better understand myself, and they gave me more confidence. I plan to bring that into almost every aspect of my academic and professional career.”
“[I learned] how important it is to give back to the community and lift others up as you move forward; to continue the cycle of support.”
“I was able to network with women from a variety of career levels, career paths, companies, and locations all around the nation. I was inspired by each woman’s story and her journey on how she got to where she is today … I cannot imagine there exists a better opportunity than attending Grace Hopper for a young woman searching for a career in computer science."
What You're Supporting
If we are able to send more students to Grace Hopper, we are taking concrete steps toward narrowing the gender gap on campus and in the broader STEM field. Women who attend GHC return to campus with a renewed enthusiasm for their studies and their future in the tech industry. They are excited to empower other women at Rensselaer and expose the younger generation of women to technology. Many of the students who attend GHC are involved in student clubs on campus such as the Association of Computing Machinery Women’s Chapter (ACM-W), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), and Coding&&Community. These clubs greatly benefit from the energy that students bring home from GHC, and their commitment to uplifting other women and underrepresented minorities in the tech world. Your donation will help cover the costs of registration, airfare, hotel accommodations, and ground transportation for students selected to attend the Grace Hopper Conference.
Who We Are
Both the Department of Computer Science and RPI’s chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery Women’s Chapter (ACM-W) would be extremely grateful for your support. ACM-W is a community of students that celebrates, informs, and supports women in computing. The Rensselaer chapter provides a safe, collaborative space for everyone with a passion for technology. By providing a variety of workshops, networking events, and career advancement opportunities, ACM-W’s goal is to tear down inherent biases to achieve a more inclusive and diverse tech industry. Several ACM-W members attended GHC in 2020, and they have been working actively to bring what they learned back to the Rensselaer community.
Your donation, in any amount, will help more women have experiences similar to those described on this page. The ripple effect of excitement and empowerment that comes from Grace Hopper is palpable and inspiring for our students. By sending more women to the Grace Hopper Celebration, Rensselaer is helping the tech world become a more welcoming place for women.
For more information on ACM-W, head to our website, and for more information on the Department of Computer Science, visit our website!