Tag Archives: Geeks

“Notable Women in Computing” Poster Accepted!


I am glad to report that the “Notable Women in Computing” poster submission made by Dr. Susan Rodger (Professor of the Practice in the Computer Science Department, Duke University) and me for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing has been accepted for presentation.  GHC14 will be 8-10 October 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. Our poster is based on the CRA-W and Anita Borg Institute Wikipedia Project – Writing Wikipedia Pages for Notable Women in Computing I have been working on since 2009.

I am also delighted that my daughter Jessica Dickinson Goodman also had her poster “The Source App: Connecting Consumers to the People Who Make Things” accepted for GHC14. Jessica and I have been GHC roommates every year since 2007.

Image Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

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Women of Vision, King Abdullah of Jordan, TechWomen


Last week, I sat with the Anita Borg Institute Advisory Board at a gala celebrating Women of Vision, and in particular, the well-deserved award for Leadership honoring Dr. Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College here in California. I am dating myself to write that I remember when Mudd was an all-male institution. Maria and her team have grown Mudd from 10% women in Computer Science to 40% – and have kept that 40% stable for years. This unique accomplishment deserves some celebration! Maria is amazing – she is also #17 on Fortune’s list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders.

The other inspiring winners were Tal Rabin (Research Staff Member and Manager cryptographic research, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center) for Innovation; and Kathrin Winkler (Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, EMC Corporation) for Social Impact. Bank of America won as the 2014 Top Company for Women in Computing.  Also attending the event were many of my sister mentors who have served in the U.S. State Department’s TechWomen program for scientific and technical women in the Middle East and Africa, including: Jameeka Aaron (of Lockheed Martin), Larissa Shapiro (of Mozilla), Andrea Leszek (of Salesforce), and Rahima Mohammed (of Intel).

Yesterday, my husband John and I drove to Berkeley to see His Majesty, King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein of Jordan speak at International House on the University of California campus. I was pleased to see the slide saying that 30% of Jordan’s tech industry workers are women – better than the 26% in America as of 2013.

I have never seen the King in person before, although last year I was honored to meet his cousin, Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan. Also, when my daughter Jessica and I were on the bus to Petra in Jordan, we watched “The Royal Tour“, a video featuring King Abdullah riding his motorcycle to show off his country. Yesterday’s talk is yet-another event that entered my life because of TechWomen. Mentor Lucie Newcomb (of NewComm Global Group) posted information about the event – including how to get tickets.

TechWomen 2014 mentor sign ups open soon! Please consider expanding your mind, experience, and heart to join us!





Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Famous Women in Computing, ABI Advisory Board


Today, the Anita Borg Institute Board of Advisors met, hosted by Cisco in San Jose, California. What an inspiring and accomplished group of technical leaders! It is an honor and pleasure to serve with them.

In the meeting, Elizabeth Ames (ABI Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Alliances) passed out copies of a card listing Famous Women in Computing from the 1840s -2000s. The card honors Ada Lovelace, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Grete Hermann, The ENIAC Programmers, Katherine Johnson, Grace Hopper, Erna Schneider Hoover, Lynn Conway, Irene Grief, Radia Perlman, Adele Goldberg, Anita Borg, Frances Allen, and Deborah Estrin.  The information for the card came from the CRA-W and Anita Borg Institute Wikipedia Project – Writing Wikipedia Pages for Notable Women in Computing – a project I have been working on with a great team since 2009. Such a pleasure to see our work in print! The cards will be distributed at tomorrow’s Women of Vision awards.


Photo copyright by Katy Dickinson 2014. “Famous Women in Computing” document copyright by the Anita Borg Institute 2014 – used with permission.

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Recruiting TechWomen Mentors


Last night, many of the TechWomen 2011-2013 mentor alumnae from the Silicon Valley and San Francisco participated in an event introducing the U.S. State Department mentoring program for women in the Middle East and Africa to potential new mentors. Thanks to BrightRoll for hosting the event!

What is TechWomen?

TechWomen empowers, connects, and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities.

Through mentorship and exchange, TechWomen strengthens participants’ professional capacity, increases mutual understanding between key networks of professionals, and expands girls’ interest in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models.

1,400 women in STEM from 16 countries have already applied to be one of the 78 emerging leaders who will come to the San Francisco Bay Area in October 2014. Selections will be announced in June. Also in June, applications will open for professional mentors. Cultural mentor applications open in July. This is a life-changing and excellent program – both for mentors and mentees. I have been part of TechWomen since 2010 and I recommend it highly!


Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Where we stayed in Rwanda


Here is information on the hotels for the forty TechWomen delegates in Rwanda. Of course, the five local TechWomen Emerging Leaders stayed in their homes. While in Kigali, most of the delegation stayed at the Hotel des Milles Collines (the setting for the story, if not the film location, of the historical drama Hotel Rwanda, about the Rwanda Genocide). The Mille Collines was friendly and comfortable and the food was good. Unfortunately, the hotel wifi was unable to handle so many geeks at one time: it regularly crashed within minutes of the delegation getting back from our daily adventures. Many of us also had to get a new key card every time we wanted to open our Mille Collines room door (six times most days) but the hotel staff were so friendly it was hard to grouse about it. There is live music nightly at the Mille Collines and the hotel is in easy walking distance to shopping.

Several TechWomen mentors stayed at the nearby Heaven restaurant and inn – where one night the whole delegation enjoyed a spectacular dinner and dance together. One mentor stayed with a local family, arranged through Airbnb – and said she enjoyed her experience. While we were trekking to see the mountain gorillas and monkeys, we stayed at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. I think some ladies started out at a different hotel and then moved to the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.



Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen Meet Technical Girls of Rwanda


The TechWomen delegation started today with a visit to the Carnegie Mellon University – Rwanda campus where we talked with the women Engineering students. Lunch was at the wonderful Shokola restaurant – on a covered deck in a garden. This was followed by a visit to the US Embassy for an address by Evan Ryan (Assistant US Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs).  The TechWomen mentors then spent some delightful hours under a  big tent on the embassy lawn talking about science, technology, and careers with about a hundred remarkable and lively girls from many local schools. In the evening, we enjoyed dinner with dancers at Heaven restaurant – with a night view of Kigali.  Lovely and inspiring day!






Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Amazing Gashora Girls Academy, Rwanda


The TechWomen delegation spent yesterday at the amazing Gashora Girls Academy (GGAST) in Rwanda’s Eastern Province of Bugesera, about an hour from the capital of Kigali. We learned about these talented and intelligent girls’ education, lives, and hopes for college and leadership in Rwanda. The TechWomen mentors presented to several hundred girls – discussions on careers in technology, engineering, and science, plus workshops on interviewing, blogging, software application development and other geeky subjects. I worked with other TechWomen to present two sessions of the Blogging and Web Research Workshop. We also brought English-language books by and about women for the school library.  I will be posting the list of blogs that the girls promised to write as guests here on Katysblog. It was an inspiring day with remarkable young women.








Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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