GHC 2007

Latinas in Computing had three events at the 2007 Grace Hopper Conference in Orlando, FL. (LiC Brochure)

Friday October 19th


The Latinas in Computing luncheon in the Gardenia Room on the mezzanine. This event attracted N people.


“Successful Latinas Opening Doors to the Future: Advancing Latinas in Computing.” Panelists: Gilda Garreton (Sun Microsystems), Ann Gates (University of Texas), Irene Hernandez-Roberts (IBM), Diana Gomez (SHPE), Maria Azua (IBM), Monica Martinez-Canales (Sandia National Laboratories), Ivonne Valdes (Sun Microsystems), Patty Lopez (HP). (See below for details on the panel.)


“Latinas in Computing” (This BoF session was a follow-up to the panel discussion. ) Panelists: Cecilia R. Aragon (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Gilda Garretón (Sun Microsystems), Dilma M. da Silva (IBM TJ Watson Research Center)

The panel discussion “Successful Latinas Opening Doors to the Future” featured six distinguished Latinas from industry and academia discussing the following topics, divided into two sections.

Professional Section

In this half of the panel, leading Latinas in the Computing industry shared their experiences as Latinas in industry, including misconceptions and stereotypes they have encountered, as well as ways to leverage the Latino/a culture to succeed in our professional careers. Some of the topics that were debated in this panel were:

  • Strategies and means to help professional Latinas to advance in their careers
  • Practical advice regarding how to take the next step on the ladder of success without losing focus, getting side-tracked or demotivated.
  • Challenges faced by Latinas when it comes to networking with people outside their local community which is crucial to becoming established as professionals.
  • Effective approaches well-aligned with the Latino/a culture for overcoming stereotypes and misconceptions in the workplace.
  • Ways to deal with being a double-minority and ways to identify issues that overlap with or cause division among other related minority groups, such as groups that focus on the issues faced by white females.

Student Section

In this section Latinas shared their experiences as active members in academia and discussed strategies and initiatives to support young Latinas at colleges and universities as they make progress toward their degrees. Some of the topics addressed in this panel were:

  • Challenges faced by young Latinas when it comes to creating mentor relationships at the undergraduate and graduate level due to the lack of support and under-representation of Latinas in their community.
  • Proposed effective mechanisms and initiatives to extend the social network of Latina students outside their local community when seeking  role models and peers.
  • The language barrier as a significant obstacle when networking in academia, its prejudicial effects and how to overcome it.
  • Practical advice on several issues including choosing an advisor, choosing a mentor, getting letters of recommendations, coping with the language barrier in interviews, and applying for scholarships.