Microsoft has today announced that it is supporting and hosting the inaugural Hopper Local at its new campus at One Microsoft Place in Dublin that will bring together technologists, academics, and international companies to put a spotlight on the importance of women holding positions of leadership and influence in technology.

Modelled after the AnitaB.org Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), the one-day event will see Ireland’s technology leaders join forces to support the inclusion of women in the sector including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stripe, Science Foundation Ireland, and SAP.

The conference will be split into panels addressing diversity in the technology sector, with a focus on software engineering, cybersecurity, data science, AI, and inclusive design.

The keynote address will be given by Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Microsoft, who has been a global advocate for women in technology and who unveiled the company’s commitment of enabling 10,000 girls to engage with technology in a positive way over two years.

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland: “We’re delighted to host the first Hopper Local in Dublin that celebrates women who are blazing a trail in Ireland’s ICT sector. The variety of voices at the event speaks to the importance of seeking out perspectives that are different from our own. For only when we value difference can innovation truly flourish.

“At Microsoft, diversity is woven into our culture as we firmly believe that we can better serve everyone on the planet by representing everyone on the planet. Our Codess community promotes gender diversity for those working in the computer engineering field, and we encourage the leaders of tomorrow to choose a career in STEM through our Girls in ICT Day and our DreamSpace teaching and learning experience at our Leopardstown campus.

“Through our support for the Hopper Local event and the development of a local community supporting female technologists, I’m confident that we can develop a more inclusive and diverse sector where every person has the opportunity to do more and achieve more through technology.”

AnitaB.org is a global organisation founded on the belief that women with diverse backgrounds and identities bring vital perspectives and experiences to technical learning and innovation. They enable companies and academic research teams to serve broader community needs, solve more complex problems, and ultimately drive higher ROI. It works to advance the careers of women in computing, by connecting female technologists and creating partnerships with the world’s leading technology companies. Its Grace Hopper Celebration is the largest gathering of female technologists in the world, attracting more than 20,000 people annually.

Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of AnitaB.org, said: “We are delighted to host our first Hopper Local event in Dublin. Ireland is at the epicentre of digital innovation in Europe, and we want to ensure inclusion, pay parity, and opportunity parity are core pillars of Ireland’s continued expansion. Women-led and racially diverse companies outperform their peers. Companies that address diversity, inclusion, and equity holistically in the technology sector will gain a competitive advantage.

“With female representation in Ireland’s tech sector measuring only 19%, companies should be looking to foster more diverse teams, representative of their marketplaces, so they can better lead and grow in the future. Hopper Local will bring women technologists together to connect with their peers, grow their networks, find new ideas and inspiration and draw on the wealth of talent here in Ireland to showcase the global innovation female technologists are delivering on daily basis.”

The first Grace Hopper Local Dublin is a one-day conference, which will take place on February 27th in One Microsoft Place, Leopardstown. The event is being supported locally by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stripe, Science Foundation Ireland, and SAP. For more information on the event, visit https://community.anitab.org/event/hopper-local-in-dublin/.

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