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Grace Hopper Conference 2016

Kelly Salance

This year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Technology conference in Houston, TX brought together over 15,000 attendees from around the world. Since its conception in 1994, the gathering has grown to the world’s largest technical conference for women in computing. Inspired by the legacy of computer scientist and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, GHC recognizes women’s experience, expertise and knowledge in the technology sector and aims to amplify these voices.

Zendesk sponsored a booth in the expo hall where we were able to meet women in every stage of their careers from still in college to experts in the field. We had two engineers present: Adel Smee, from Melbourne office, and Shani Tang, from San Francisco, both first time attendees.

The conference tackled issues from diversity, to advancing your career path, to innovative products. However, one of the unexpected highlights of the conference was the sense of belonging. As Adel describes, “I never knew, not really, how it felt to be surrounded by women who are like me. How comforted and proud and connected and delighted. Not only by these women but at the significant financial and cultural support for women on display by so many companies who build the technology that is shaping the future of so many of us.”

Read the full article about Adel’s experience on her post on Medium.

Adel’s sentiment about the conference is not an isolated feeling. Many women who came by our booth, touched on the importance of the conference.  It was a powerful three days, where women in computing careers gathered from all over the world for knowledge-sharing, professional development and support.