Treehouse NewsTreehouse went to the Grace Hopper Celebration (#GHC19) and it was amazing. Here’s what we loved the most.

Treehouse

Treehouse
writes on October 16, 2019

In early October, some of the Treehouse team traveled to Orlando, Florida for the Grace Hopper Celebration. The conference is the largest event in the world for women in tech. It was a massive event! Thousands of women from all backgrounds converged to support, mentor, teach, and learn from one another. 

AnitaB.org, the organizer of the event, is also a partner in Project: Unlock the American Dream. We were invited to the celebration to continue building the momentum from our Project: Unlock the American Dream launch with Aminé and connect with industry luminaries.

We were featured in fireside chats with AnitaB.org CEO Brenda Darden Wilkerson, sessions about apprenticeship, and 1:1 meetings with industry leaders from a range of different companies. Overall, it was a fantastic week of learning and connecting. If you have the opportunity to attend next year’s celebration, we highly recommend it. 

Here’s what we learned:

 

Vanessa Harris - Treehouse

Vanessa Harris

Partnerships Coordinator & Associate Producer of the Change Wave podcast

It was amazing to be surrounded by 26,000 women in tech! The keynote by Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, was incredible.

I loved chatting with eBay, Workday, Intuit, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Lesbians Who Tech. It was inspiring to hear about the work folks from Time’s Up, Shift7, and Future For Us are doing.

Any tips or tricks for attending a convention like GHC?

Talk to as many people as possible because there’s so many amazing connections to be made! Try not to be overwhelmed by all of the incredible options and great talks to choose from.

What are you most looking forward to next from what you experienced at #GHC19?

I can’t wait to continue conversations started at GHC to empower 100,000 diverse women to become software engineers and designers through apprenticeship, create generational wealth for them and their families, and create real systemic change in tech! #overrepresent #wewill #unerasable

 

Colleen Showalter Treehouse

Colleen Showalter

Vice President of Treehouse Apprenticeship Program

My highlights were speaking and sharing our message. Plus, attending the leadership summit and meeting some heroes including Cynthia Tee from Nordstrom!

 

Olivia Nicholas Treehouse

Olivia Nicholas

Partnerships Coordinator & Associate Producer of the Change Wave podcast

This year was my first year attending Grace Hopper and I was absolutely blown away. After attending quite a few conferences this year where the majority of attendees and speakers were white, cisgender men, GHC was a sight to behold! Women with diverse backgrounds and experiences took the stage and spoke candidly about the challenges they’ve faced and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. This celebration is truly a testament to the necessity of representation and the power of mentorship.

Stepping onto the conference floor, I witnessed so many incredibly talented and gritty young women and non-binary techies grabbing out their resumes and demanding a seat at the table. It is so obvious from the 26,000 attendees that there is a HUGE amount of untapped talent. There are thousands of hardworking, brilliant people who have been boxed out of tech and who simply need the opportunity to get their foot in the door so they can run through it.

One of the highlights of GHC for me was sitting down for meals with powerful leaders in EDI, engineering, and talent acquisition who are breaking down barriers for women and building a more inclusive and equitable tech industry. After flying back to PDX, I was sad that GHC was over, but I’m so fired up and excited to keep pushing the needle forward by partnering with badass, innovative companies to fight for equality until we make the diversity of tech match the diversity of America.

 

Jaden Johnston Treehouse

Jaden Johnston

Director of Sales and Customer Success

GHC was a powerful experience for the Treehouse team.  Surrounded by ~26k women technologists, it’s unlike any conference I’ve ever attended. I saw many moments of joy and growth amongst my team members, particularly connecting with other women who are passionate about changing the dialog in tech and moving the needle on diversity issues.

It’s a massive event, with a ton of companies in attendance on both a large and small scale. For Treehouse, we had a dual purpose – to launch Project: Unlock the American dream in partnership with AnitaB.org, as well as connect with as many companies as possible who are invested this kind of work and mission that resonated with our own – which is to train and place 100,000 Americans from diverse backgrounds into high paying tech jobs.

Fortunately, we came prepared – our strategy really built on our own networks and connecting with those folks in person as much as possible. We had some amazing meals with really interested folks, and shared a lot of ideas, and insights on what companies need to help create change.

Personally, I saw my team grow in ways I had never seen and participate in coaching opportunities. I also was able to forge some deeper connections with people I don’t get to work with as often.

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