This year Judith Owigar of AkiraChix was a recipient of the Anita Borg Change Agent Award. This was in recognition of her commitment to promoting networking, training and mentorship among technical women in computing. She traveled to Portland, Oregon to receive her award at the Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Technology. She received the award together with Marita Cheng of Robogals, Australia. Previous Kenyan winners of the Anita Borg Change agent award include Dorcas Muthoni, CEO of Open World and founder of LinuxChix Africa and Anne Ikiara General manager of Nairobits Trust.
The Anita Borg Change Agent Awards celebrate the accomplishments of technical women from, and who work in, developing countries. These awards are designed to recognize up-and-coming leaders that impact or advance women’s participation in technology, while also internationally expanding the reach of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference.
In Judith's words, 'The Grace Hopper Conference was a great experience. Imagine being with women who are deep into tech, with a career fair and an education fair all squeezed into three days. There was a lot of learning and networking to be done. Meeting ladies who are working on ground breaking research and are at the forefront of applications that we use was an inspiring experience. It encouraged me to continue pursuing knowledge in technology and to pursue something groundbreaking. I came back to Kenya determined to introduce more women into the field of technology.”
Another Kenyan award winner was Anne Ikiara (previous Change Agent winner), she was recognized with the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. There was also a panel led by African Women in Technology, @afriwit, discussing the question, “ What if there were more African women in technology?” The Grace Hopper Conference is a great place to inspire women who are in technology, and next year more women from Africa should attend this great conference.