Lessons from Grace

March 8, 2018 Hope Williams

When I first read that quote, I realized I had heard that expression many times at Appirio, but never realized it was from a pioneer of computing — Grace Hopper.  As employees of an innovative global services company, Appirians will say this when referencing our improvement mentality. We thrive on disruption, just as Grace did.  

The tech industry is notorious for diversity issues, as headlines often highlight toxic workplace cultures and a lack of support for underrepresented minorities. Joining the tech industry for the first time, I was beyond thrilled when one of my first assignments was to help coordinate Appirio’s delegation to the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC).

The Grace Hopper Celebration seeks to empower and inspire women in technology. It is the largest gathering of women technologists in the world. Delegates have the opportunity to hear from inspiring leaders like Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Diane Greene, Melinda Gates, and Debbie Sterling, in addition to participating in workshops, panels, and sessions.

Melinda Gates keynote.Melinda Gates keynote.

This was Appirio’s fourth time attending the Celebration, and our third year sponsoring the event in the United States. Not only was it my first year attending, but it was also our first year attending the Grace Hopper Celebration in India as well.

The Grace Hopper Celebration has inspired and shaped Appirio’s culture since we began attending. Two years ago, two delegates came back and grass-roots started Lean In Circles at Appirio. It is now our largest Employee Resource Group at the company, continually growing and evolving.

Throughout Grace Hopper, I had the privilege of speaking with many women who are about to launch their careers in tech. They spoke of their hope for the future of technology, and their desire to be empowered in their careers and use their skills to better the world. I appreciated the opportunity to inform young women technologists that there are positions beyond software development, in which they can combine their love of technology with their desire to help others. Our consultants are able to blend interpersonal skills with savvy tech knowledge, to help businesses solve complex, real-world issues.

Appirio GHC delegates with Floridian Appirians.

As Appirio continues to work to best support all of its employees — including women technologists — I’m thrilled that the Grace Hopper Celebration will continue to be a staple of our programs. In fact, our 2017 delegates have pushed Appirio to become a thought leader at this event, and are leading the charge for Appirians to speak at GHC ‘18, in both the United States and India.


What I have loved about joining the tech industry is finding that Appirio is a place where the status quo is not the norm. Every day we are pushed to rethink how we do things, and this is the attitude needed to make changes. As I think about the work to be done to make the tech industry more supportive of women, I am thrilled to be working alongside Appirians on these initiatives. Keep a look out for us this September at Grace Hopper Celebration 2018.




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