Ohio Celebration of Women in Conference (OCWiC) 2023!
It’s a wrap! The Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC) occurred on February 24th & 25th, 2023, at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio. Except for 2021, due to the pandemic, this celebration has occurred every odd year since its inception in 2005. The event was organized by Ohio’s ACM-W OCWIC Professional Chapter and is modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
OCWIC ‘23 welcomed 235 women and men representing 43 universities and tech companies across Ohio this year. Female college students studying computing-related fields such as software engineering, computer science, cyber security, and data science (168, 71%) and industry and academic professionals in IT (58, 25%) shared their experiences and expertise in tech.
The event was made possible due to the generous support of academic and industry sponsors. The funds raised offered all student attendees a free scholarship to attend the event. This $285 scholarship covered event registration, hotel accommodations, and meals. Sponsors included 17 colleges and universities across Ohio, nine industry sponsors, and ACM-W Global. The complete list of sponsors can be found here: https://ocwic23.ocwic.org/sponsor-list/
At the conference
The OCWiC 2023 program included two keynote presentations. The first, was from Bettina Bair, the Founder of OCWiC and current Global ACM-W Communications Chair. The presentation, “Fork() theRules ” included a recap of Bettina’s career and encouraged the audience to Fork(), i.e. find their own path forward even if it looks a little different than everyone else’s path. Check out Bettina’s “Fork the Rules” articles published on LinkedIn.
The second keynote was given by Lisa Pierson, the Global Head of DevOps, Build for Aon and the OCWiC 2023 planning committee’s Program Chair. Lisa shared her career journey and covered how she evaluated whether a company was a good fit for her ideal work environment or not. She also shared insights regarding her remote work experience and how others can be successful working remotely.
Both keynote presenters highlighted the benefits of community, supporting one another, and being true to what does or does not work for you in a workplace environment.
New this year was the Leadership Summit held prior to the start of the conference for our ACM-W and ACM student chapter leaders. Over 50 student leaders gathered to share leadership challenges and ideas for activities. They also learned about Kouzes & Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, practiced talking about their leadership experiences during an interview using the STAR method, and networked with professionals in the IT industry.
In addition to the Keynote Speakers and Leadership Summit, the OCWIC ‘23 program consisted of student research poster presentations, student-lead talks regarding techniques they have learned or a deeper dive into their research, technology-focused workshops, career preparation tips (including a resume review workshop and career and opportunity fair), and Q&A with panelists from academia and industry. The full program can be found here: https://ocwic23.ocwic.org/program
In addition to the OCWiC celebrations every odd year, the OCWiC ACM-W chapter will be kicking off new speaker series that will take place between the celebrations. The events will primarily be virtual and are intended to connect women across Ohio, including students, professionals from academia, and professionals from the computing industry.
The next celebration will take place in February 2025. We will celebrate 20 years of OCWIC, so you will not want to miss this one. Events will be communicated through our mailing list, so be sure to sign-up here: https://ocwic.org/