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Grace Hopper 2021 Conference Report

By IB Sobayo, HCDE Master's student

"2021 Grace Hopper logo"Extremely grateful to the department for providing funding to be able to attend the Grace Hopper 2021 conference. It was impactful to not just network and connect, but to learn about the amazing things that women are doing in STEM right now. I particularly enjoyed the keynote “From Techno-Optimism to Techno-Realism: What It Means to Innovate Responsibly” by Margaret Gould Stewart. Margaret encouraged us to be more intentional about how the work we do in technology “maximizes the good and minimizes the harm” in society. As I am transitioning back into industry, I am looking forward to taking the things I learned in this keynote and many others to build technology that highlights the people being designed for, not the technology itself.

I was also able to attend many networking events hosted by different sponsor organizations to learn more about their recruiting processes and how to better prepare for transitioning into industry. Particularly, the 1-on-1 sessions hosted by companies like Disney and Nordstrom provided opportunities to establish connections with women in industry that have remained helpful even after the conference. While I wished my schedule allowed me to attend more keynotes and learn more, this was an amazing opportunity I will always be grateful for.