Commentary & Perspective

#GHCI17 Daily Download: November 16, 2017

The 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration India (#GHCI17) is finally here! More than 3,750 women technologists from 406 global organizations joined us to network, gain new information and skills, and become “champions of change.” We can’t wait to see how these women will transform technology, and how their contributions will transform the world.

Check out the highlights from Day One of #GHCI17, and let us know what your favorite moments were. Tweet us at @GHC, or use the hashtag #GHCI17.

Diversity is Key

A group of women pose together on stage at GHCI 17Women make up about 49% of India’s population — so why are there so few women in the corporate tech world? Geetha Kannan, Managing Director of AnitaB.org India, explained why businesses need to build diverse teams if they are to be successful.

“If technology has to appeal to a large audience, you have to have women on your team to cater to your market. If the workforce is not diverse, the relevance of a product is lost on half the population,” Geetha said. Geetha’s remarks mirror our research on the importance of diversity. Read our report, “Innovation by Design: The Case for Investing in Women.”

Keynote: Ahead of the Game

Technology is changing rapidly, which is why it’s so important for women technologists to keep learning new skills. “Let’s be ahead of the game,” said Pankajam Sridevi, Managing Director of ANZ Bengaluru Service Centre, during her keynote address.

Pankajam also encouraged women technologists to support each other and work together to find ways of changing the direction of tech. “You need to be champions of change,” she said.

Geetha Kannan of AnitaB.org India talks on stage as her fellow panelists listen at GHCI 17The Rise of the Machines

There have been a lot of questions concerning artificial intelligence, from “Will self-driving cars be safe?” to “Will AI steal our jobs?” Although some people remain worried, speakers on the GHCI 17 CXO Panel, entitled “The Rise of the Machines – What Does it Mean for Our Workforce?,” agreed that AI will improve our society in many ways, from precisely diagnosing health issues to providing businesses with more accurate data.

As for losing your job to a robot? The panelists agreed that you are perfectly safe, so long as you are willing to adapt to changes in technology and learn new and relevant skills.

AnitaB.org's CEO and President Brenda Darden Wilkerson and AnitaB.org India's Managing Director Geetha Kannan stand on stage during Day One of GHCI 17A Word from our New CEO

The new President and CEO of AnitaB.org, Brenda Darden Wilkerson, also joined the celebration to discuss her vision for the future of AnitaB.org. “One of the things I want to do is to extend our opportunity to so many more women,” she said. “The mission of AnitaB.org is to support women globally, and India is an important country in this transformation.”

Tweets of the Day

 

See you tomorrow for our final day of #GHCI7!