A few weeks ago, the Tenable recruiting team jetted off from HQ to sponsor the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computer Conference for the first time. We have a team dedicated to closing the diversity gap in the technology industry and we were excited to meet other women in the field.
Grace Hopper is a name that comes to mind when discussing women in technology, especially women who aren’t afraid to “break the mold.” You may not know her name, but you may know her by one of her many famous quotes. My personal favorite is, “The most damaging phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way.’” This resonates with me because 1) I am a woman 2) I work in the technology industry 3) I think complacency is so damaging to the growth of both individuals and companies.
I look for companies who don’t rely on complacency...whether it be from their employees or the company’s progress. Tenable is a company that is always looking forward. Even after reaching our goals, we ask, “what’s next?” and seek to meet women who share that mentality. We were excited to meet women who said “screw the mold, there is no mold” just as the women of Tenable do.
On Day 1 of the conference, we were in a sea of not only eighteen thousand women in technology, but encompassed by those who supported them. The best part of the Grace Hopper community was its inclusivity. As an LGBTQ Ally, I appreciated Anita B. Org’s pronoun preference options that attendees were allowed to include as part of their name tags.
To my surprise, the majority of attendees were students. To see young women who know that a career in technology is the path they want to take was inspiring! We have come a long way when it comes to removing the stigma around being a woman in STEM, but the problem is still deeply rooted. One of the keynote speakers was Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their organization’s main focus in the United States is to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. “It’s time the world starts recognizing that the next Bill Gates might not look anything like the last one, and that not every great idea comes wrapped in a hoodie,” said Gates during her keynote. It is astonishing to hear that there is still a shortage of women in technology roles, especially, when I just met 18,000 who have a passion for tech.
All in all, we met so many talented women and their supporters, and we hope that the number of women in our field continues to grow. Here at Tenable, we don’t like to use the phrase “breaking the mold” when referring to the distinguished women who are a part of our company. There is no mold here, YOU are exactly what an engineer should look like.