Sometimes it’s hard to blend in. In one of my internships, I was not only the only female on my team, I was the only minority. I understood that my male co workers would never take to my passion for fashion or makeup and could care less about knowing the differences between heels, wedges and platforms. I accepted that and spoke about basketball and cars but it didn’t change the fact that I wanted to fit in. I popped my head out of my cube one day and realized- I was the only Latina in the row. I yearned so much to find someone who could relate to me on much more than a gender level. I wrote a teary eyed email to my mentor and asked her to help me find someone I could relate to. I went to Grace Hopper two weeks later where my mentor introduced me to Patty Lopez who in turn, introduced me to LatinasInC (@LatinasInC).
I attended the LatinasInC reception and was overwhelmed by the number of Latinas who filled the room. I was filled with joy to know there were so many successful Latinas I could look up to. Grace Hopper has receptions for Asian Women in Computing, Black Women in Computing, Latinas in Computing and Arab Women in Computing all designed to allow students and industry professionals alike a chance to meet.
A year later, I know I may never fully blend in. I’m different and choose to embrace it. Those moments where I feel overwhelmed being the only Latina on my team (or in the lab for that matter), I know I have a community of women just like me who can offer me guidance and support. I invite you to attend a reception or a luncheon and meet people who you can connect to on much more than a gender level.
Some receptions happening later this evening that offer a chance to meet new people and build your network. They are:
- Asian Women in Computing Networks, Hyatt Regency
- Arab Women in Computing, Sponsored by Qatar Computing Research Institute,
North 221 A
- Black Women in Computing Reception, Sponsored by Google North 224 A
- Latinas in Computing Reception, also Sponsored by Google North 224 B
If you can’t make the receptions, drop by and have lunch with us!
- Thursday: The Women of Color Lunch begins at 1:00 p.m.
- Friday: The Syster Lunch, Sponsored by Facebook.