The following is an excerpt from an article on The Huffington Post, “Why We Come Back: Past GHC Scholars Return to Support New Generations of Women Technologists.”
In a few days, more than 12,000 people will arrive in Houston to attend the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing. The conference is the world’s largest gathering of technical women, and is often the first time attendees are exposed to so many other female technologists who have the same interests and share the same struggles.
The conference is especially impactful for the GHC Scholarship Grant winners, who are selected each year to come to GHC with all expenses paid by generous industry sponsors, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Thelma Estrin Foundation, a National Science Foundation Grant, and individual donors. The winners, who demonstrate true passion for technology and changing the ratio for women in tech, often find inspiration and encounter a launching pad for their careers at GHC.
And as their careers progress, many of these scholars return to GHC as professionals representing some of the top companies in the technology space.
For Clara Shih, that cycle of learning is coming full circle this year as she returns to GHC more than a decade after first attending in 2004 as a scholar. Back then, Clara was a graduate in the computer science department at Stanford. Today, she is the founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, a social media marketing management firm.
“I remember feeling a tremendous sense of community, possibility and confidence-building,” Clara recalls. “Being the only woman in the room can be lonely at times, and I appreciated the incredible camaraderie and friendship at GHC 2004.”
This year, Clara will return to the celebration as a plenary speaker to share her journey to becoming a leader in technology with other women who aspire to leadership roles. Thirty percent of Hearsay Social’s engineering staff is female, and Clara has worked hard to promote a diverse and supportive work environment at her company and the industry as a whole.
“It’s an honor to return to GHC this year as a speaker and to speak to so many women who are where I was a decade ago,” Clara says. “GHC represents exactly the kind of community, mentorship and skill-building that we need to change the numbers for women in tech.”
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.
- Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih to Keynote Grace Hopper Celebration, Fortune Most Powerful Women Event
- CEO Clara Shih Named One of FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs
- Clara Shih Selected as LinkedIn Next Wave Transformative Leader
- Tech Titans Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, and Clara Shih participating in Code.org’s “Hour of Code”