2019 NCWIT Summit: Lynn Conway – Pioneer in Tech Award Recipient

During the 2019 NCWIT Summit, we sat down with several plenary speakers, workshop presenters, and other change leaders from the NCWIT community to discuss their perspectives on valuing diversity, changing systems (as opposed to “fixing” underrepresented individuals), recognizing bias, and more. The end result was a series of short videos that not only captures what drives these change leaders in their inclusion efforts, but also highlights research-based recommendations from the vast collection of NCWIT resources.

In this video, 2019 NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award Recipient Lynn Conway describes the sense of excitement and adventure that can flourish when people with a variety of different perspectives come together to work on a project that has the potential for major impact. To learn more about what you can do to help make your workplace or event more welcoming for people of diverse gender identities and backgrounds, check out the ideas in this NCWIT resource: 13 Tips to Make Technical Conferences More Inclusive.


LYNN CONWAY: I got to kind of an orientation about the social and technical side of things and seeing them as something that were combined. That was a pretty different time. A time when there was a tremendous amount of collective cohering activity. Very fortunate to find myself suddenly in a group that was chartered to create a new supercomputer, a very powerful one. Turns out this group was actually very diverse in a particular way. The diversity was personality, intellectual. They were just adventurous. And they challenged each other, and they kind of did this thing together where all kinds of crazy ideas got put forward and gradually coalesced into this elegant new form of machine. Maybe the future, and our increased connectivity and our increased exposure to diverse influences, can re-stimulate some of that. The coolest thing you can do is just keep learning.

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