On This Day… Feminism For Real pays tribute to Anita Borg, an American computer scientist,
founder of the Women and Technology Institute and co-founder of Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
“Around the world, women are not full partners in driving the creation of new technology that will define their lives. This is not good for women and not good for the world… Women need to assume their rightful place at the table creating the technology of the future.”, declared Anita Borg.
Anita was a visionary for those times when very few women had access to STEM education. Her intuition drove her to create an ecosystem in order to promote solidarity and quality networking for women aspiring to contribute and create excellence in technology.
So in 1987, Anita Borg and 12 other women technologists cofounded „the Systers community”. Of course, I was a rudimentary one, just an email list for women working in this field. Tech women were invited to have free discussions about issues about their work, their challenges, and their work-life balance issues. This sisterhood networking offered safety, empathy, support and resources.
A decade later, in 1997, Anita founded the nonprofit organization Institute for Women and Technology (IWT).
In 1994, Anita and Dr. Telle Whitney cofounded the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. The organization was named after computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper, an American computer scientist, mathematician and United States Navy rear admiral.
The Grace Hopper Celebration has grown to become the world’s largest annual gathering of women technologists.
Anita Borg was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and died prematurely in 2003, 54yo. Institute for Women and Technology was renamed the Anita Borg Institute in her honor.