While at the Anita Borg Scholar's Retreat at Google New York, I learned about an exciting event that I knew I had to attend. It's called the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and is "a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront." That's right, a whole four days of conference designed specifically for women in computing! How could I miss out?
The bad news is that getting there could be pretty darned expensive. The flight to Denver from Ottawa alone could cost over $800, and then you have to consider the shuttle bus to the resort, the hotel room for four nights, and the event registration costs.
But don't worry, there are ways to get there that you, too, can take advantage of! Here at Carleton, there are several girls trying to get our school's chapter of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group up and running again. Attending this conference would be hugely beneficial to WISE, since we would have the opportunity to be meeting and networking with the best of the best, and those who've been there before us. Because the timing is just right, we are trying very hard to find all the sources of financial support we can.
The first place to look is the official scholarship the conference organizers put together. You can apply online here, but you have to hurry: the deadline is mid-June and you need reference letters and an essay. You can also volunteer some of your time to have the registration costs waived. Then, you can ask your supervisor for support (if you happen to be a grad student), and check with the administrators of your department. You can also see if your school has something similar to Carleton's Student Activity Fund. Finally, you can check with local companies or your past employers.
I don't know yet whether I will be able afford to get there, and I won't for a while yet. My fingers are crossed that it all works out!