Thanks to the donations of generous sponsors, I was among several college students who attended AnitaB.org’s 2014 Women of Vision Awards Banquet. I continue to be awestruck by the inspirational speeches and presentations given throughout the night. In particular, I will forever remember Maria Klawe’s story and speech. Klawe, the first woman president of Harvey Mudd College, was awarded the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership. Under her tenure at Harvey Mudd, the percentage of females majoring in computer science at the college has increased to 42 percent, which represents more than a three-fold increase. This incredible feat is testament to the fact that, when equipped with passion and dedication, one valiant leader can lead and spearhead major change in a relatively short time period.
I was also moved by Kathrin Winkler’s speech. Winkler, Chief Sustainability Officer at EMC Corporation, was the recipient of the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Social Impact. I am inspired by Winkler’s commitment to global sustainability and e-waste reduction efforts, at EMC and beyond. Later this year, I will be assuming a full-time position at a company specializing in cloud storage. Winkler’s speech will undoubtedly inform and influence the ways in which I think about my role and efforts in my new position. As Winkler highlighted, corporate sustainability should never be an afterthought – it should be a mentality and a driving force.
At the dinner table, I had the opportunity to sit with other students from Stanford University, as well as students from the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Clara University. We bonded over our technical internship experiences, our experiences in computer science-related fields, and the changes we have seen transpire in computer science over the course of our collegiate studies. Throughout dinner conversations, I met new lifelong friends – many of whom I am confident will be standing on the stage at upcoming Women of Vision awards banquets to receive awards for their contributions to technology.
Thank you to everyone involved in the 2014 Women of Vision Awards Banquet. It was a life-changing experience. I feel very fortunate to have spent the evening surrounded by the leaders of today and tomorrow.
– Rebecca Hinds