17 November, 2017

GHCI 2017

On 16th of November 2017, more that 3000 women technologist made their way to BIEC, Bangalore to arrive at THE largest celebration of diversity and inclusion - none other than Grace Hopper Conference India. This is not a "feminist movement"- no grudges against Men In Tech - Its just that a bunch of people come together on these days to find solutions to the much ignored problems around women. I started from Whitefield at 7 am and reached the venue around 9 am- That's true 2hrs of travelling within Bengaluru (which is just 2x I do everyday!)

The location this year was a well-selected destination, spacious and ventilated - especially for the career fair exhibition centre. After registrations, I headed towards the key-note speaker where Pankajam Sridevi, MD at ANZ, had some great tips for Women In Tech. I am a secret admirer of this lady, from the time I met her during the roadshow for GHCI at ANZ, till today. Co-incidentally I heard that "right" words from her, during the "right" time. I wish to meet her today and have a mentor-mentee bond throughout life! She is how I would see myself in coming year - my #roleModel

"Be the change, don’t wait for someone else to help. Carry your own power." - Pankajam Sridevi

"Learn Listen Link" says Geetha Kannan

The volunteers and staff that make happen:

After that, I headed towards Morgan Stanley booth area, where I represented the firm MS, explained people visiting the booth about the work that MS does, my work, learnt about their interests and connected them to right resource for opportunities here. There were about 1030+ women - from both campus and co-orporate world. It was so amazing to hear their experiences - each one had a different story to tell. 


Not all faces from a huge crowd looked new - there were some old faces as well. We had like a mini-reunion of DA-IICT folks - though not all!

It is almost like a ritual that I meet Geetha Kannan , Kamala Srinivisasan, Telle Whitney and some great leaders at GHC every year now.

I did get a chance to pull out some time and head towards conference centre, where there were posters, lectures and sessions, where my friend Heena was presenting her poster.

After lunch, I moved around different booths at career fair - to get a flavour of work they were doing. I also got a chance to visit Red Hat Booth, the open source organisation that I am closely associated with. They immediately recognised me and warmly welcomed me. For readers who are not aware, I was awarded the first-ever Women In Open Source Award in 2015 and was also invited to their annual Red Hat Summit in San Francisco, California. That was my first-ever to States.

I also did get a chance to meet Suswar Ganu, at Deutsche Bank. When I interned in Morgan Stanley, I worked on the application which was written by him a couple of years back. Now, when I am working as FTE, mostly on credit valuation adjustments of swaps - he was the one of the "first" ones to work on Interest Rate Swaps with RBI about 10 years ago. Such a co-incidence, that my work has always been in the same domain as his..

There are some amazing stories of meeting other inspirational folks as well, but the post is running too long, so I will conclude it here. It was an amazing experience to be part of GHCI at Day 1. Looking forward to DAY2 - I am writing this as I am on my way to the venue :)

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