2023 NCWIT Summit: Day One (5/18/2023)

Welcome Back and Pioneer Award Presentation

A special welcome from NCWIT Co-Founder and CEO, Lucy Sanders and Executive Director, Terry Hogan. We’re excited to convene the NCWIT community for this hybrid event, and what better way to kick of the proceedings than recognizing a technical woman whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the landscape of technological innovation, amplifying the importance of bringing diverse perspectives to the table.

The 2023 recipient of the NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award, Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover joined Bell Telephone Laboratories at the dawn of computer enterprise as one of few women in a field largely dominated by men. Among her many accomplishments, she worked on Number 1 ESS (Electronic Switching System), a highly reliable electronic computer to control or “switch” telephone calls. She wrote the specifications for the instruction set for the computer and the specifications for the operating system. Later, she invented an algorithm enabling the computer to cope with telephone traffic overload, an algorithm which Bell Labs patented. As a result of this patent, she was inducted in the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame. She was promoted to Technical Supervisor, then Technical Department Head at Bell Labs, and was the first woman to hold either position.

Conversations for Change: Ijeoma Oluo

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy — from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans — has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair — and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, will discuss how to have honest conversations about race and racism, and the ways that they infect almost every aspect of American life.

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