Amazing opportunities at Grace Hopper 2015

  • Posted on October 5, 2015

This is a guest blog post written by Avanade alum, Eddie Pate.

The Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), taking place October 14-16th in Houston, Texas, honors women in computing and Avanade will be right in the middle of it all. For me, as the Leader of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at Avanade, I see this event unfolding in two ways. The first way comes from me putting on my strategic hat and looking at GHC as an amazing opportunity for us to do many things:

  • identify top talent that helps us hit our 30% target for women at Avanade by 2020
  • strengthen our employer brand position
  • help us be seen as a destination-employer for women in the industry
  • give us a platform to show how we rock with digital, cloud & innovation
  • help us get the ever important “they get it” designation, which indicates our end-to-end commitment to D&I

We will be in booth 1120 (next door to Microsoft) and there are a ton of exciting activities planned. We’re giving away a couple Surface Tablets, we will feature a very cool virtual reality demo on patient rehab, we’ll show off a demo on the supermarket of the future and we’ll even tout our partnership with Williams Martini Racing. Plus, we will have a fun vending machine so you can tweet for a treat from your Twitter or Instagram account.

BUT…the second way I see GHC unfolding is the most exciting to me. I see GHC as an opportunity to “feel” the empowerment, togetherness, and energy 12,000 participants will both generate and absorb over a three–day period. GHC is, I think, the largest gathering of female techies in the world and Avanade needs to be there adding to the energy, empowerment and sense of togetherness which will be EVERYWHERE!

I’ve, very honestly, dedicated a lot of my D&I career to helping our industry understand the immense power there is in being inclusive. I’ve very specifically worked hard creating and driving programs for women and allies because I believe, 110%, companies will be more innovative, creative, and prosperous because they are there. As I’ve said before, Diversity & Inclusion make good business sense. So for me, GHC is an opportunity to draft off of the electricity that will clearly be there giving me an even more profound sense of purpose and will, no pun intended, recharge my battery!

I invite all those attending the conference to please come by Avanade’s booth to say hi, chat about our mutual love of technology and add to the D&I conversation. I do realize not everyone can be in attendance so I encourage folks to follow @GHC and the #GHC15 hashtag on Twitter to get real-time info on what’s being said and shared at the conference. I’m hopeful you will be able to at least get a sense of that electricity and empowerment that will undoubtedly be generated by 12,000 female techies from all around the world gathered in one location.

Finally, I’m profoundly proud of Avanade’s commitment to Grace Hopper and see it as a statement of leadership (#OurTimeToLead) and a challenge for others to do the same. Inclusion Inspires Innovation…are you ready!?

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