Commentary & Perspective

Get Ready for GHCI 2016, with Kamala Srinivasan, Program Director, ABI India

I have been associated with the Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) conference in several roles – as a volunteer, speaker, and now as Program Director. I feel fortunate to be a part of this vibrant community of women and the conference that is instrumental in inspiring, connecting and guiding women technologists.

In my mind there are many commonalities between GHCI and the Olympics.  Similar to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is made up of volunteers, the GHCI Program Committee has women volunteers. The Olympics brings together various sports personnel and enthusiasts across the globe. They all come together to showcase and encourage their best talent in sports. It is quite the same at GHCI. Women technologists across India come together and share their technology skills sets and knowledge through the several sessions at the conference. The key goal of the Olympic Games is to develop ‘Sport for All’ without discrimination of any kind, in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. Similarly GHCI focuses on the research, professional and entrepreneurship interests of women in technology. The main objective of GHCI is to provide women in technology with opportunities to build rewarding careers, in an inclusive work environment.

GHCI 2016 is just a few weeks away and it’s time to get geared for the largest technical conference for women in India. Here are a few tips for a first time attendee:

  • The GHCI conference is three days long. Get ready to get inspired, connected and guided by hundreds of women.
  • Check out our web page for the detailed program agenda.
  • Mark the sessions that you are interested in and be there at the venue 5 minutes prior to the start.
  • Go through the session abstracts and familiarize yourself with the topic and speaker.
  • Carry plenty of business cards to exchange with other women technologists that you meet.
  • The conference will be attended by students, professionals and entrepreneurs. Strike conversations with people you just met. There is lots you can learn and experience.
  • Form a group for a specialized technology domain. This will help you  exchange ideas and best practices. You could also work together and submit a paper for next year’s conference.
  • GHCI is a great place to find mentors for your professional growth. Go out there, network and find them.
  • Speak to GHCI volunteers and the ABI India team and find out more about the various programs under ABI such as the ABI.Local chapters. See whether you can be a volunteer for any of them.
  • Those with several years of experience and technical knowledge can share it with others. Be a role model to someone…

What can students do at GHCI 2016?

  • Besides the pointers above make sure you visit all the stalls and organizations participating in the Student Career Fair.
  • Do not forget to submit your resume in the Resume Database. Organizations are already on the lookout!
  • Connect directly with leading Tech companies and find out about their internship and job opportunities.
  • Keep multiple copies of your resume handy.

There is lots for everyone at GHCI 2016. If you’ve been here once you keep coming back for more. Ask anyone who has attended a GHCI before! We will see you soon on 7, 8 and 9 December, 2016.