On August 16, Singularity University Presented its second annual Women @ The Frontier Symposium at the Tech Museum in San Jose. It began with a networking recpetion and expo followed by a multi-disciplinary panel and a Q&A session.
As a senior in high school living in the middle of Silicon Valley, I was very excited to finally attend an event focused on women in techonology! Walking into the expo I see tables with “Girls for a Change”, “Electronic Arts”, “WomenGoGLobal” and so much more – I knew I was in the right place. The first table that caught my eye was by Alison Lewis, who combined her love for fashion and technology to create electronic arts! Light up skirts, shoes and pillows were just a few of her crafts in her own do-it-yourself book. Next I met a lady representing eFactor; the world’s largest entrepreneurial community. It’s a social network that provides the knowledge and funding to start your own small business. GFC or Girls for Change is a nat’l organization that empowers girls to create social change in their communities and DIYgenomics conducts crowd-sourced clinical trials and personal genome apps. When I first stepped into the expo hall, I didnt quite see the connection between all the presenters; however, I later realizred that all these women had combined their interests in art, food, science, community and social change with technology to create innovative and inspiring positive change in the industry.
After going through all the expo presenters, I networked, or rather just chatted with other people at the event as well. I met several SU students, many were from out of country, Korea, Mexico and Germany, to name a few, yet they all shared their passion for technology and agreed that living in Silicon Valley was way cooler! Present also were educators, mentors, and professionals eagerly awaiting the for panel speakers.
The panel speakers included Marylene Delbourg-Delphis who is one of the first European women to be the founder of a high technology company in Silicon Valley. I enjoyed her speech describing her journey to success when all odds were against her. Lt. Col. Jacquelyn Susan Parker, United States Air Force. Lt Col Parker is the first woman Air Force pilot to attend U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California. She described the joyous moment of when the US repealed the law that prevented women to fly in combat in 1980. Joy Buolamwini is the 2010 Astronaut Scholarship Award winner who shared with us her special focus on developing affordable mobile technology in Africa.
Although I was one of the very few highschool students who had attended, I still really enjoyed meeting all these people and listening to the inspiring women of today’s industry. I would definitely recommend everyone to attend next year!
Jannat is a 2010-11 Bay Area Affiliate winner and a national runner up of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing.